Scratching and Clawing Inappropriately
Indications of the Problem
The fabric on your sofa is in tatters or your favorite leather chair is lacerated beyond repair. Meanwhile, that scratching post you bought is hardly used. Cats need their claws: for balance, exercise, play, survival, catching prey and marking territory (cats’ version of “instant messaging”). It helps the cat work off excess energy. It feels good! But when your cat starts scratching and clawing in all the wrong places, there’s a problem!
The principal cause of inappropriate scratching/clawing is not providing the proper surfaces—and the most appealing— for your cat to use. Some cats prefer vertical surfaces, while others may prefer horizontal or even 90 degree–angled scratchers. You may have bought a scratching post that you liked due to its height, angle, color, texture, and price, but it wasn’t what your cat likes.
Never declaw! It’s mutilation, nothing less. It’s equivalent to cutting off the first joint of your own fingers. Declawing is never necessary and never recommended by any responsible cat behaviorist or animal organization.
The key to solving your cat’s scratching/clawing problem is to redirect your cat’s natural urge to scratch towards more appropriate areas. Make those areas more appealing while making where s/he’s scratching now less appealing. Never punish your cat! Not only will it not work, it will make him/her afraid of you. The added stress from punishment may cause him/her to become overly aggressive as well.
If your cat has this problem, contact me by phone or email to schedule a time to discuss a solution to the problem. A happy cat is a happy household. You may also be saving a great deal of money in new furnishings, doors and carpeting! I help people (and their cats) across the country, as well as Europe and Canada, and I can help you.
As a trained cat behaviorist, I also manage other problems and fears; the aging cat, the feral cat and the stray cat can present special challenges of their own. Introducing a new baby into the resident cat’s household is another common problem.
|Initial telephone chat: no charge
|Mini-consultation: 20-25 minutes for $45.00
After questions (the more information I have, the better I can help), we can discuss certain problems that may not need a longer consultation
|In-depth telephone consultation: $100.00
This includes in-depth questioning during a one-hour telephone consultation, and email follow-up report, with recommendations. Especially useful for national or international consults.
|In-home consultation: $180.00
This includes extensive questioning by telephone, a one- to three-hour visit to your home for in-depth discussion and observation of your cat’s environment, and e-mail/ phone follow-up with further recommendations. If needed, a follow-up visit is included.
|“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair|