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Stop Your Cat’s Relentless Furniture Shredding

July 1, 2015
Your calico cat Daisy is a most industrious feline. This four-year-old firecracker regularly immerses herself in projects that fascinate her. First, she tormented her soft cat toys until she pulled them completely apart. Next, she perched on the window sill for hours, intently watching the birds at your backyard feeders. Although you found these antics amusing, you’re unhappy about her latest pursuit. For three days, your feline housemate has been systematically shredding your living room set. Now, the floor is strewn with colorful fabric and white stuffing. Although scratching works Daisy’s paw muscles and claws, you’re displeased with her target selection. Tomorrow, she’ll visit your Columbia, MD veterinarian for a physical exam and behavioral counseling. Consider other possible strategies as well.

Decrease the Damage

By making your cat’s claws duller, she can’t inflict as much damage. During her regular physical exam, ask the vet to trim her little daggers. If your home’s furnishings won’t last that long, book a nail-clipping appointment now.

Substandard Scratching Experience

If Daisy seems focused on furniture destruction, provide her with an unpleasant shredding experience. Blanket your couch, chairs, and potential targets with sandpaper or plastic wrap. When her delicate paws rub against the harshly textured sandpaper, or become trapped in the clingy plastic, she’ll likely beat a retreat to another room. However, she’ll probably return. Keep the furniture covered until you’re convinced she has found another hobby.

Desirable Scratching Destination

Since you’ve caught your feline delinquent off guard, this is a perfect time to introduce a better digging destination. Position a carpeted or sisal-covered scratching post next to her current target. If she’s focused on the furniture legs or frames, place a cedar scratching post near that chewed-up object.

No Punishment Needed

Although you’d love to punish Daisy, she won’t understand that she did something wrong. Worse yet, she’ll conclude that she’ll receive the same treatment every time you greet her. Looking at the situation objectively, punishment won’t work. She’ll just wait until she’s alone; and then she’ll return to her beloved furniture. To keep your fidgety cat’s interest, periodically surprise her with new scratching surfaces. Ask your Columbia, MD veterinarian if spraying these objects with a feline pheromone, or sprinkling them with catnip, will make her forget about the furniture. If your cat seems intent on destroying your household, contact us for expert assistance.

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