!Let's Talk! Button

My Cat Has Gone Into the Shredding Business

January 15, 2015

Your cat Rudy has decided to become a feline entrepreneur. More specifically, Rudy has decided to open his own furniture shredding business. Since Rudy wants to provide excellent service to his clients, he’s been practicing his skills on your living room furniture. For the past several days, Rudy has been industriously gnawing on your lovely upholstered couch and matching wing chairs. When he tires of chewing, Rudy sinks his sharp little claws into the rich brocade fabric. Although regular scratching helps Rudy to trim his claws and strengthen his paw muscles, you’re not pleased with his choice of scratching objects. You’ve asked your veterinarian from Welland to determine why Rudy has developed a scratching obsession, and give your cat some  behavioural counseling  to make him stop. Read more about some other strategies that might prove useful.

Duller Claws for Reduced Damage

First, make Rudy’s claws duller so he can’t inflict as much damage on your furniture. Ask your vet to trim Rudy’s little razors during your cat’s next regular checkup. If you (and your furniture) can’t wait until then, your vet’s staff can schedule a quick nail-trimming session.

Unpleasant Scratching Experience

Rudy scratches your furniture because he thoroughly enjoys it. Make the experience less pleasant by covering your couch and chairs with sandpaper or plastic wrap. When Rudy’s sensitive little claws get scraped by the abrasive sandpaper, or get stuck in the plastic wrap, he’ll likely back away quickly and have second thoughts about returning for another round of scratching.

Divert Your Scratching-Obsessed Cat

To keep Rudy away from the furniture, give your busy cat a similarly textured surface that’s more acceptable. Position a carpeted or sisal-covered scratching post right next to the affected couch or chair. If Rudy has been working on the furniture legs, distract him with a nearby cedar scratching post.

Don’t Punish Your Delinquent Cat

Although you’d like to punish Rudy for his completely unacceptable antics, he won’t understand what he did wrong. He’ll also assume that he’ll be punished every time you interact with him. When you look at the situation logically, punishing Rudy won’t solve the problem. He’ll just wait until you leave the house to crank up his furniture shredding activities.

If Rudy gets bored with his new scratching surfaces, he’ll be tempted to backslide into his previous undesirable behaviour. Keep him entertained by adding a new scratching surface when he least expects it. Also, ask your Welland vet if sprinkling catnip on Rudy’s new scratching surfaces, or spraying them with an enticing feline pheromone, will make those new objects so appealing that Rudy just can’t help himself.