Why Do Cats Scratch?
Excerpt from Why Don't Cats Go Bald by Dr. Skip Sullivan, DVM, and David Fisher
Here is the reality: Scratching is a necessary action for your cat to keep its nails in good shape and to mark its territory. You can't eliminate it, but you can channel it.
Can I Train My Cat Not to Scratch?
You can teach a new cat new tricks. Sort of. Sometimes. It's worth trying. Young cats or newly adopted kittens can be trained to use a scratching post. But like training any animal to behave properly, it takes time and patience. You need to start with a good post, made of heavy hemp or sessile and that's tall enough for your cat to really strrreeeeeetttttch upward and still not reach the top. Some posts, The Felix Post, for example, have lots of catnip packed inside to attract the cat. Scratching posts are a modern replacement for trailside trees that cats in the wild use to mark their territory, so it makes sense to put them in a spot the cat often passes. Also, a moving toy like a cat dancer — with no small pieces — or even some tightly anchored string might attract a young and playful cat to the post.
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