7 Ways to Teach Your Cat Better Scratching Habits

Does your kitty have a penchant for using your couch as a nail-care station? It’s great that cats take their beauty regimens so seriously, but Fluffy’s manicure habits could use a bit of improvement. In this article, a Green Bay, WI vet offers advice on managing your cat’s inappropriate scratching.

Offer a Scratching Post

You won’t have much luck getting your cat to stop scratching your things if you aren’t giving her any other options. Make sure that you choose something sturdy. Kitties often get wary of scratching posts that wobble. A cat tower is a great option! You can also use a scratching post or board.

Two-Sided Tape

Try putting two-sided tape on the side of the sofa or chair your kitty is scratching. Fluffy will hate the sticky feeling, and may very well go elsewhere.


Bribery can be very, very effective on our feline buddies. Put catnip and toys near your cat’s scratching post, and offer her toys and treats for using it. Compliments will help as well. When Fluffy uses her post, immediately pet her and praise her.

Blocked Access

If your cat has a specific spot that she likes to scratch, try blocking her access to it. If it’s a couch or chair, you can place an end table or a nontoxic potted plant beside it. For carpets, put down a mat.


Another thing you can do when you see Fluffy scratching improperly is squirt her with water. Most of our feline pals hate getting wet! Loud noises will also help. You don’t want to hurt your cat: you just want her to be annoyed enough to form a bad association with scratching.


You may want to consider simply clipping your feline friend’s claws. This is painless and temporary, just like a human manicure. We don’t recommend this for cats that are allowed outside, however, as they need their nails for defense.

Claw Caps

If you aren’t having any luck, try putting claw caps on Fluffy. These are basically like little fake nails for cats that you can glue on over your kitty’s claws. They have rounded edges that will keep your furry pal from demolishing your furniture.

Please feel free to contact us, your local Green Bay, WI vet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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