Furniture Fiasco

Many people will tell you that ruined furniture is a natural consequence of having cats. Not necessarily so. Here are some tips on keeping your furniture and your cats happy:

• Most of these tips will work best if you can mold the behavior of a young, developing cat. But that’s not to say that older cats can’t change; it might just take a little more patience.

• Most cats love to scratch (even declawed ones will pretend scratch); they can mark their territory, stretch, and let loose all those feline tensions. Scratching posts or play centers are essential in making sure your pet has an environment where they can exhibit normal behaviors. Make sure scratching posts or pads are sturdy and covered in a tough material. Sisal rope or the corrugated-cardboard types are preferable to using carpet-covered scratching posts, which can encourage cats to use carpet elsewhere. Place scratching posts near favorite sleeping places and in central places in the home.

• Scratching posts can also be used to try and wean pets away from problem areas. Placing a scratching post in front of a piece of furniture that is being inappropriately “used” can help transfer their attention from one to the other. If the scratching post is not in an aesthetically pleasing position, it can be gradually moved away once they use the post instead of the furniture.

• Even when using a scratching post, it is still important to regularly trim your cat’s nails. Indoor cats, especially, can grow their nails very long – they can even grow long enough to curl around into their pad!