The Ultimate Cat Behavior Guide.
THE PROBLEM - CATS SURFACE SCRATCHING
IMPACT ON OWNER – damage to surfaces and cost of repair / replacement (you can guarantee your cat won’t pick areas to scratch that are easily repaired or replaced!!).
CAT’S PERSPECTIVE – totally natural behaviour!!
- can indicate an underlying issue / upset
Vertical and horizontal scratching of surfaces, especially those with raised textures. Cat scratching functions for many reasons. (if you are a cat)!
1. Claw Maintenance
Removal of the outer nail by scratching reveals the new sharper growing nail. Scratching outdoors generally occurs on trees, fence posts, sheds and wooden gates as they provide a perfect level of resistance to the action. Indoor cats still need to perform this natural behaviour and will find what they think is a suitable surface to scratch. Most common surfaces include soft woods, fabrics, textured wallpaper and carpet.
Scratching can become enjoyable due to the texture of the surface and can also be associated with excitement and play.
Wallpaper scratching often follows on from a minor defect in the paper giving rise to a fun and rewarding game of paper removal. By giving your cat attention, albeit angry, this is still seen as a positive reward from your cat’s point of view.
4. Communication/Territorial Marking
Strategically scratching in important outdoor locations will indicate a cat’s presence both visually with the scratch marks and by smell from the scent gland between the cat's pads.
When cats feel vulnerable, they will try to rub their own scent on prominent places in a room so that they feel more secure. If the cat is trying to increase its feeling of security, many surfaces may be scratched, particularly those in strategic places such as edges of chairs and areas nearest to doorways. Secretions of watery sweat from between the cat's pads leave a scent message on top of the physical marks, reassuring your cat of his own environment. Your cat can feel threatened even by the sight of another cat through a window.
Please remember most importantly, your cat is not trying to be destructive! In an indoor situation your cat is either trying to display a natural behaviour or something is upsetting him and he is trying to cope. Punishment in both cases is counter productive.
Please see the E-Book for more essential solutions...
Cats protection statement
“To deprive a cat of its ability to scratch objects, by placing plastic caps over its claws could make a cat feel defenceless as well as prevent natural behaviour that is part of being a cat. This, in turn, could lead to further behavioural problems such as the cat over-grooming himself or finding other ways to scent mark such as “spraying”. We would recommend that plastic caps should only be fitted to cat’s claws on expert advice for specifically diagnosed behavioural problems as a short term measure while the underlying reason for the unwanted behaviour is addressed.”
De-clawing ie the process of totally removing the claw and end bone of the toe is illegal in the some countries like the UK. Overall we think it is a bad idea and would like to deal with the problem non surgically as outlined in this book
It is important to understand your cats thinking processes and we guarantee that by reading our E-Book you will have a head start. The most important factor in having a wonderful long term relationship with your cat is learning how they think. Get inside your cats head!
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Paul, Sarah & Merlin