Cats have a physical and psychological need to scratch. It helps them to keep their claws sharp which are their natural hunting weapon and also helps them to mark their territory. Unfortunately, this can be something of an annoyance for pet owners who are left frustrated after having invested their money in new furniture or flooring which has been damaged by their cat.
So what are some of the ways that you can prevent damage to your carpet? Sadly, you cannot stop your cat from clawing but you can redirect it away from your carpet, or furniture.
One of the best ways to redirect your cat’s need to claw at things is to purchase a scratching post. You should place the post near an area where your cat has been known to scratch and wipe your cat’s paws gently across the post. This will leave some of their scent there and if repeated you should be able to encourage your cat to use it.
While scratching is a natural behaviour for a cat, clawing can also be brought about by feelings of insecurity or stress. You can make an indoor cat feel more comfortable by restricting its movement within your home to just one or two rooms where it can begin to get familiar with its surroundings. You can also help it feel at home by spreading its scent around a room. To do this give your cats face a wipe and then use the cloth to spread the scent around the room, being careful to avoid any areas you don’t want it to spend time in.
Another reason for scratching can be that your cat isn’t getting enough attention. While cats are often solitary creatures, they do enjoy playing with toys which stimulate and keep them occupied, especially if they are left home alone.
One final solution for scratching on carpets, floors and furniture is to consider cat claws. Cat claws are a type of plastic cap which are fitted by a vet and prevent your cat from scratching. However, you should always seek advice from your vet to make sure that it is the right solution for you and that your cat is comfortable.
For further advice, click here to read our article “A guide to the best flooring for pets” for a comprehensive guide to the best options of flooring available for your home.