How to Teach Your Cat Proper Scratching Habits

Is your feline friend tearing up your sofa or carpet? Fluffy has many wonderful characteristics, but her nail care regime isn’t always a big hit with her owners. In fact, scratching is one of the most common complaints we hear from cat parents. We are here to help! A local Lakeville, MN vet gives some great advice on how to teach Fluffy proper scratching habits in this article.

Offer Options

If you want your kitty to stop scratching your belongings, you’ll need to offer some suitable options. Make sure your furball has a scratching post. We recommend a kitty tower, as these kitty jungle gyms offer multiple uses: Fluffy can also nap and play on it. You can also get a scratching post or board. Just make sure Kitty’s manicure station is sturdy, so it won’t topple over on her. It should also be tall enough to let her stretch out to her full length.

Breaking Bad Habits

Never punish your feline pal for scratching. It’s a completely natural, and actually healthy, behavior. Those claws are crucial to the survival of kitties in the wild, so the urge to take care of them is a very deep-set instinct. Instead, you’ll want to discourage your kitty from scratching in the wrong spot. Try squirting her with water, or making a loud noise. You can bang a few pots together, rattle a change jar, or sound a bike horn. Your furball won’t be hurt, but she’ll probably be startled enough to reconsider things. If Fluffy is scratching a wall or the corner of a sofa, try putting down clear, two-sided tape. She’ll hate that sticky feeling, and may look for a new manicure station.


To entice your furry little diva to use her new scratching post, you may need to resort to bribery. Put some fun kitty toys near it. Sprinkling some catnip over it won’t hurt either. Also, make sure to praise and compliment your cat for using it. Fluffy loves compliments!

Last Resorts

If you still aren’t having any luck, consider clipping your furball’s nails. This is a painless, although temporary solutions. Or, try using claw caps, which are fake nails for cats. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Does your feline pal need a nail trim? Call us today! As your Lakeville, MN animal clinic, we are always happy to help.