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Cat Scratching – How to Prevent and Stop

Cat Scratching

Cat scratching can be a real problem in a household, affecting your furniture, carpet, and body!

The funny thing is, in most cases of cats that scratch their owners, that one second they are enjoying some relaxing petting, and the next they are grabbing and scratching you!

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If your cat or kitten loves to use those claws to scratch, read these tips to help prevent or stop the scratching:

  • When you’re petting the face, stroking the tummy, or just giving the cat a well-deserved rub-down, watch his/her eyes to make sure they are still enjoying it.  Often times, cats only want a certain amount of petting, and when they are done, they don’t want to be touched anymore… and they will scratch or bite you to let you know!
  • Get a scratching post already!  Put some cat-knip on the post and your cat will stop scratching your furniture and start scratching the post!
  • Don’t declaw your feline. We have found that declawing cats cost far more than just money, and should be avoided whenever possible.
  • Don’t try to over-pet your kitten or cat, especially if they aren’t in the mood to be pet, or if there are distractions (such as other pets or people around, or even the TV) around.
  • Again:  keep your cats grooming time to a minimum.  Pet them only when they want it, and watch for signs of when they’ve had enough.
  • Yes, there is such a thing as CAT SCRATCHING FEVER and CAT SCRATCHING DISEASE.
  • Reward your cat with a treat when he/she is being relaxed and loving.  Much like dogs (and any animal for that matter), cats will learn from praise much faster than from punishment.
  • Cats are natural hunters – they have the wild animal instinct and energy to hunt & kill for food.  Supply your cat(s) with toys so they can have fun and exert their energy on the toy and not your leather couch.
  • If you’re playing with your cat and it gets over excited and scratches you – say “NO” in an authoritative manner and walk away.  Don’t hit the cat!  Just the fact that the scratching ended play time will teach the cat not to do it again.
  • Teach your cat with squirt bottles! – if you can catch the cat scratching red handed, spray the cat with some water from a spray/squirt bottle.  Cats don’t like water, and will eventually learn that scratching will lead to being sprayed with water.

Remember that cats are natural hunters and have claws for a reason.  Also, it feels good for them to scratch with their claws (it’s relevant to humans stretching their muscles).  Therefore, get your cat a scratching post or declaw (the process of removing the cats claws) your cat (only if it stays indoors).

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