Friday, April 11, 2008

my cat is clawing the carpets to pieces; what can I do about it?


The first thing you have to consider is why your cat is doing it.

If the scratching is done in just one or two places then it is probable that your cat is 'conditioning' and exercising their claws.

These types of cats haven't managed to transfer their behaviour onto outdoor objects, such as trees.

Treatment aims at directing their behaviour back to where it should be done. Various scratching posts are available, but don't buy or make one that is covered with fabric or carpet. This will just confuse your cat!

Place the scratching surface in front of the affected areas and once the cat has begun to use the new object, it can be moved to a more convenient location. If you want to get your cat scratching outdoors, then try putting some tree bark on the carpet where it is being destroyed.

One of the most important factors is to make sure the scratching post is the correct height. The cats will need to stretch themselves fully to exercise their claws properly.

Remember punishment will never be effective in situations like this and may even make the situation worse.

As regards catnip, this will probably not help your cat with adjusting to a scratching post. Cats that do react to catnip do so immediately they smell the plant, (Nepetacataria) and the reaction can last between five and fifteen minutes.

The cats will first smell, then lick, and then chew in an increasingly frantic manner. Many cats will roll over, and some leap to the air in excitement. Some enter a trance-like state and can stare into space, some will chase an imaginary prey.

It is thought that these cats are in a truly psychedelic state, but the effects of catnip are short-lived, quite harmless and non-addictive.

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