Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching The Furniture

Cats are wonderful pets. They are more independent than dogs yet also very affectionate and loyal. Cats are very smart animals but despite their intelligence they can still demonstrate unwanted cat behavior. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch and claw anything they find that suits their needs. Unfortunately, you cannot stop your cat from scratching because it is a natural behavior for them. Cats scratch for a variety of reasons including marking their territory, hygiene purposes, and it provides good exercise for them. Instead of just accepting the fact that your cat will scratch your furniture, you should take the time to learn how to stop your cat from scratching the furniture to effectively redirect this unwanted and destructive behavior.

Unlike popular myth, cats can be trained to do almost anything that they are able to do and this includes stopping your cat from scratching the furniture. One important factor that is a must for success is a patient owner. Cats are not as dependent as dogs are and therefore they are more content by themselves. But don't let their independence fool you. They still require love, affection, and quality time with you, they just tend to dictate to you when the attention is wanted and when it is not. When your cat is in the mood for affection from you, it is the perfect time to train them. If your cat behavior problem is scratching the furniture or other valuables, then you must work on how to stop that behavior. A great way I have learned to prevent this behavior is to provide your cat with its own furniture. Cats are territorial and will quickly bond with a scratching post or cat tree. Catnip is often used to attract the cat to the cat tree, and before you know it, the cat will begin scratching its own furniture. I find it useful to provide my cats with several cat trees throughout my home and providing them a window seat will soon become a favorite place to sit, scratch and play. It is also helpful to place a cat tree or scratching post near where ever is currently scratching. This can help deter your cat away from the furniture and attract it to its own furniture.Your cat needs to be taught that scratching up your furniture is not acceptable so when it occurs make sure you redirect the behavior with a firm "NO!" and then bring them to their furniture. Always praise your cat when it scratches its own possessions to positively reinforce the good behavior. Offer a reward to your cat to further reinforce the positive behavior. Cat treats are a great way to reward your cat while in training. Before too long it is possible to stop the cat from scratching your furniture.

Remember to always be consistent when training a cat. Even if it is inconvenient for you to stop whatever you are doing to redirect the behavior problem, you must stay consistent and make the extra effort to bring the cat back to its cat tree or scratching post and praise the cat for scratching the appropriate things. Your cat will soon learn what is acceptable to scratch and what is not and most of the time you will achieve success in a relatively short time. There are some cats that are more persistent with bad behavior and the trick is to know exactly how to stop the unwanted behavior, and the earlier the better. There are several great cat training books listed on this site that provide a huge amount of information and other techniques you can use to stop your cat from scratching the furniture and train your cat to be the perfect pet.

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