The behavior of the cats to scratch everything in their path is an instinctive and natural behavior in them, which allows them to express themselves or mark their territory, but there are times when that action gets out of control, being performed compulsively on different objects of the house, so it is important to detect the problem that generates it to reduce that behavior.
The cat can compulsively start scratching furniture, fabrics, rugs or sheets, which becomes an annoying and undesirable behavior for the owners, because it could be difficult to try to control those actions. But the first thing you should do in this situation is to ask yourself if there is any problem that leads the cat to act that way, since it can happen that the cat feels in a state of anxiety or stress and shows it by scratching everything compulsively.
Next, we invite you to know the reasons why cats have the instinct to scratch objects with different textures and we will give you some tips to handle this situation, as well as product tips that you can use as a solution to that excessive behavior.
Is scratching normal?
When we analyze the behaviors of the feline species, we notice that one of its main behaviors is scratching objects, it is the most representative action and has multiple meanings. Cats can scratch for different reasons and this action begins to execute it since they are puppies, because at that age they discover, explore and begin to develop their hunting instincts.
One of the reasons why cats scratch is to mark their territory, because through their claws the felines scatter pheromones found in the glands of the interdigital spaces of their paws. In addition to the pheromones deposited on the object, the cat leaves a visual signal, which is a vertical line and the more it scratches that object, those signs are accentuated leaving visual and olfactory marks.
Cats also scratch to free themselves of leftover debris on their nails, to sharpen them or to stretch their muscles, which is important for preparing to capture their prey and as a defense mechanism. So, they choose different places along what they consider their territory and near their resting place, so it is common to observe that this behavior begins to be practiced in curtains, carpets, furniture, among other homemade items.
At this time, if they are not provided with the best scraper for cats , then the felines will develop a preferential taste for those places that we do not want to scratch, such as furniture and other objects in the house. In the same way, when the cat has already reached its sexual maturity, the marking behavior intensifies and begins to urinate, rub or scratch on all sides, leaving impregnated the entire area where it develops with its pheromones, which allows it to feel greater comfort and safety in its territory, also serving as an alert for other felines.
Other important factors that explain the cat’s compulsive behavior of scratching our furniture and any household items are anxiety and stress. Through that behavior the cat will try to alert us that it is not in a state of full well-being and feels the need to scratch everything to be safer. In addition to this behavior, a cat subjected to high levels of stress, can perform behaviors that he did not do before, such as defecating or urinating in areas other than his usual sandbox, may feel excessively dependent, apathy or may be very hyperactive.
Reasons such as home changes, loneliness or being locked up all the time can be stressful situations for the cat, which could significantly affect his health, leaving him prone to disease more easily.
Tips to prevent the cat from scratching everything
As you have noticed, the scratching of cats can be due to multiple reasons and is an instinctive behavior in them, which does not necessarily represent a negative effect, so it is important to encourage our cat to choose the appropriate places to perform such action without risk of damaging our favorite furniture or objects in the house.
That is why, it is highly recommended that you try to get at least two scrapers for each animal you have at home, with different textures and models, to detect which would be the favorite scraper of our feline pet. They should be placed near the area where the cat usually scratches, there are even alternatives that serve to cover scratched furniture, with textures that are unpleasant for the cat, so that they serve to prevent it from scratching again.
Another trick you can use to teach the cat to use scrapers is the use of catnip. Although there is a fairly effective article on the market, such as Felicratch Feliway, a product of synthetic origin that simulates the natural pheromones of cats and encourages them to use the areas impregnated with this element.
It is also important to use toys that stimulate the cat on a physical and mental level, so that it can properly channel all its energy, so it is necessary to maintain a good socialization with its caretakers, the use of intelligence toys, physical activity and the exercise, so that our cat is happy, that it has an adequate feeding and the fundamental cares that give it a state of comfort, calm and security.
But if we notice that our cat has high levels of anxiety and stress, it is best to go to a veterinarian, to help us solve the problem, because with a scraper it is most likely that he will not recover, being appropriate Then use products like synthetic pheromones to help you feel well-being and calm.
In addition to the above, veterinarians recommend that you can not punish the cat in any way, because it increases stress levels, it is advisable to use positive reinforcement to change its behavior, which may include tasty prizes or treats for cats, use kind words, caresses or other alternatives, that serve to make the cat associate the action of scratching the scrapers with a positive fact.