Break Your Cat’s Furniture Destruction Habit

Your big tabby cat Zeus is always craving a new challenge. This clever four-year-old feline housemate easily became bored with his cat toys, although the laser wand was a worthy adversary. He enjoyed ogling the birds from his comfy cat tower, but quickly became annoyed when he couldn’t grab them for lunch. Desperate for something to occupy himself, Zeus settled on your custom living room set. For two days, your industrious cat has been clawing and chewing on your fine fabric upholstery. He has shredded the couch’s cushions and arms into bits of colorful fabric, and has scattered white stuffing around the floor. Although scratching strengthens his paw muscles and sharpens his claws, he’s on the wrong track. Tomorrow, your Myrtle Beach veterinarian will give your feline delinquent much-needed behavioral counseling.

Lessen the Damage

By dulling Zeus’ little daggers, he can’t inflict as much damage on your furniture (or curtains). Your vet will clip your cat’s claws during his next regular checkup; or make a brief nail-trimming appointment now.

Substandard Scratching Experience

Give your cat a truly horrible scratching experience. Cover your couch, loveseat, and chairs with sandpaper or plastic wrap. When his sensitive paws encounter the abrasive sandpaper, or become mired in the clingy wrap, he’ll quickly revise his clawing strategy. He might even beat a rapid retreat to another room. Since he’ll likely return, keep the coverings until he has found another project.

Acceptable Scratching Option

Since Zeus is reevaluating his options, provide an acceptable scratching surface with a similar texture. Place a carpeted or sisal-wrapped scratching post near your damaged couch or chair. If your busy cat has been gnawing on furniture frames or legs, a nearby cedar scratching post should distract him.

Scratch the Punishment

Although you’re furious at your feline criminal, don’t punish him for his poor behavior. He won’t understand why he’s been disciplined. Worse yet, he’ll expect the same consequences every time you approach him. Also, punishment won’t lessen his desire for furniture destruction. He’ll simply wait until you leave the house.

To keep Zeus from getting bored, periodically add new scratching destinations. Ask your vet if spritzing a feline pheromone on those objects, or sprinkling them with catnip, will spur your one-track feline to abandon the furniture. If your cat specializes in indoor destruction, contact your Myrtle Beach veterinarian for expert advice.

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