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, (that action will continue when you’re not there–and it doesn’t get to the motivation), it will make him/her afraid of or angry with you.
Indications of the Problem
The fabric on your sofa is in tatters or your favorite leather chair is lacerated beyond repair. That scratching post you bought is hardly used. Cats need their claws: for balance, exercise, (ooh, that shoulder and back stretch!) play, survival, catching prey and marking territory ( “instant messaging”). Clawing helps the cat work off excess energy. It feels good! But when s/he scratches and claws in all the wrong places, there’s a problem. Claw withdraw! (That does NOT mean declawing. Never. Ever.)
The principal cause of inappropriate scratching/clawing is not providing the best surfaces 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 post that you liked due to its height, angle, color, texture, and price, but was it what Noodles likes?
Never declaw! It’s mutilation, nothing less. It’s equivalent to cutting off the first joint of your own fingers. And the method, whether it’s amputation by laser or by any other way, makes no difference. Declawing is never necessary and never recommended by any responsible cat behavior consultant or animal organization. It’s also illegal in many countries, and many American cities.
As a professionally-trained, specifically cat behaviorist with 40 years of experience, I also manage other problems and fears; the aging cat, the feral cat and the stray cat can present special challenges of their own. These are the types of issues that require the skills of an experienced cat behaviorist.
*FOR A FASTER RESPONSE, PLEASE EMAIL ME DIRECTLY (JANE_EHR@ HOTMAIL.COM), INSTEAD OF USING THE FORM. (I don’t always get form submissions!)* Also, as my Paypal account uses another email address, please use the form. Thank you!
Book a Clawing Consultation
***Regarding the COVID virus:
I do home visits if you are vac cinated(as I am), but happy to do phone consults, if you prefer. We can ‘video conference’ (via Skype, FaceTime, Messenger, etc.) where we’ll discuss the problem, observe cat’s behavior live or video, and then we can work out a plan.
Initial Telephone Chat: Complementary (Contact to Book) Let’s discuss the issues.
Short Consultation (30+ mins): $95
After initial consultation (the more information I have, the better I can help), we can discuss certain problems that may not need a longer consultation.
In-Depth Consultation (60+ mins): $190
This includes in-depth questioning during a one-hour telephone call, and email follow-up report, with recommendations. Telephone follow-up is included. Especially useful for national and international consults.
In-Home Consultation: $425
This includes extensive questioning by telephone, a one- to two-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.