You’ve simply introduced dwelling an cute new kitten, and also you’re already in love with that candy face, these cute little ears and her tiny paws. But wait, these little ft will not be fairly as cute when they’re scratching your new couch, the wall-to-wall carpeting or your favourite sweater.
Just why is your kitten so intent on destroying your issues? No, she doesn’t have something towards you. It’s simply pure for kittens to make use of their claws. They scratch so as to:
- Sharpen claws and shed the outer nail sheath, sustaining good nail well being
- Exercise their ft and develop the muscular tissues of their paws
- Mark territory with the scent glands they’ve of their ft, warning different cats to remain away
While kittens have to scratch to take care of their foot and nail well being, it doesn’t must be on the expense of your belongings.
Establishing scratching boundaries takes just a little effort, however it received’t take lengthy on your kitten to study should you begin early. Even earlier than your kitten begins to exhibit scratching habits, you’ll wish to be ready for this inevitability.
Let your kitten know early on that sure locations in your house are off limits to tiny claws. There are areas your kitten shall be naturally drawn to scratch, and maybe the most important goal for kitten scratching shall be your upholstered couch and chairs. Getting your kitten to cease clawing the couch will take just a little work, however it may be efficiently completed. Protect objects from little paws by making them disagreeable on your kitten to the touch. Covering sofas and chairs with plastic or double-sided tape will make it unattainable on your kitten to claw them. Likewise, spraying sofas or carpets with an orange-scented spray may additionally preserve them away, as most cats don’t just like the scent of citrus.
If you do discover your kitten clawing your couch or different no-no locations, clapping your fingers or throwing a toy for him to chase ought to cease your kitten in his tracks. You’ll additionally wish to have prepared some acceptable scratching alternate options, so you’ll be able to information your kitten to these locations do you have to discover him clawing your couch.
Offer Appropriate Alternatives
If you reside with a kitten, having at the least one scratching put up or scratching pad in your house is a should. Choosing the precise scratching put up on your kitten is vital. There are many various kinds of scratching pads and scratching posts accessible that you just’re sure to search out at the least one that can attraction to your kitten. Keep his small measurement in thoughts when choosing his first scratching put up or pad, and ensure it’s not so huge that it might fall over on him. Keep in thoughts simply how your kitten scratches so you’ll be able to choose the precise model for his wants. If he appears to be drawn to scratching on a chair or couch, then a vertical scratching put up may attraction to him. However, if he’s extra intent on clawing the carpet, then a flat horizontal scratching field or pad is perhaps a more sensible choice.
Once you get the scratching pad or put up dwelling, you’ll wish to place it in an space the place your kitten performs. Attract him to it by placing some kitty toys round it and providing some treats to him proper subsequent to it. Should you see him scratching a no-no place, gently transfer him to the “appropriate” scratching place and information his paws alongside it. He’ll get the connection earlier than too lengthy. Whenever you observe him utilizing the scratching put up, supply loads of reward and a yummy deal with to strengthen the optimistic expertise for him.
Clip Those Nails
Perhaps the most effective instrument in successful this battle is to maintain your kitten’s nails trimmed. What this implies is clipping the nails commonly to render them comparatively innocent ought to your kitten determine to scratch a no-no place.
In preparation for this, earlier than your kitten even wants his first nail trim, it’s a good suggestion to start out dealing with his ft and toes commonly. Touch them, gently squeeze the toes in his entrance ft to reveal the nails and get him used having his toes dealt with on this method. By the time you’re able to do his first nail trim, your kitten shall be so used to having his toes touched that he ought to allow you to trim the nails with out fuss. Ask your veterinarian to point out you precisely the right way to trim them, so that you’ll know simply the place to chop the nail.
It’s attention-grabbing to notice that almost all kittens don’t start intensive scratching habits till they’re round Three months of age. I’m at present fostering two Four-month-old kittens who’ve been with me since they have been 1 month outdated, and I even have a 5-month-old kitten of my very own. It was at across the Three-month mark when every kitten first began to make use of the scratching posts and scratchy containers to sharpen their claws. Only one of many kittens has scratched something apart from these “good” scratching locations. I caught her early and was in a position to instantly redirect her again to the scratching put up, thus stopping the couch clawing from turning into a long-standing behavior. Now the one factor she does on my couch is take a nap.