You’ve simply introduced dwelling an lovable 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 are usually not 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 in opposition to you. It’s simply pure for kittens to make use of their claws. They scratch as a way to:
- Sharpen claws and shed the outer nail sheath, sustaining good nail well being
- Exercise their ft and develop the muscle groups 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 keep up their foot and nail well being, it doesn’t should be on the expense of your belongings.
Establishing scratching boundaries takes slightly effort, however it gained’t take lengthy to your kitten to be taught should you begin early. Even earlier than your kitten begins to exhibit scratching habits, you’ll need 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 will likely be naturally interested in scratch, and maybe the largest goal for kitten scratching will likely be your upholstered couch and chairs. Getting your kitten to cease clawing the couch will take slightly work, however it may be efficiently achieved. Protect gadgets from little paws by making them disagreeable to your kitten to the touch. Covering sofas and chairs with plastic or double-sided tape will make it not possible to your kitten to claw them. Likewise, spraying sofas or carpets with an orange-scented spray may maintain 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 palms or throwing a toy for him to chase ought to cease your kitten in his tracks. You’ll additionally need to have prepared some applicable scratching options, so you may information your kitten to these locations must you discover him clawing your couch.
Offer Appropriate Alternatives
If you reside with a kitten, having a minimum of one scratching submit or scratching pad in your house is a should. Choosing the suitable scratching submit to your kitten is essential. There are many several types of scratching pads and scratching posts out there that you just’re certain to seek out a minimum of one that can enchantment to your kitten. Keep his small measurement in thoughts when deciding on his first scratching submit or pad, and be certain it’s not so large that it might fall over on him. Keep in thoughts simply how your kitten scratches so you may choose the suitable model for his wants. If he appears to be interested in scratching on a chair or couch, then a vertical scratching submit would possibly enchantment to him. However, if he’s extra intent on clawing the carpet, then a flat horizontal scratching field or pad may be a better option.
Once you get the scratching pad or submit dwelling, you’ll need 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 submit, supply loads of reward and a yummy deal with to bolster the optimistic expertise for him.
Clip Those Nails
Perhaps one of the best software in profitable 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 might be able to do his first nail trim, your kitten will likely 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 learn how 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 had 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 packing containers to sharpen their claws. Only one of many kittens has scratched something aside from these “good” scratching locations. I caught her early and was in a position to instantly redirect her again to the scratching submit, 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.