Everybody knows how cats love to scratch. Though most cat owners have their theories, most probably don't understand why cats scratch and are therefore unprepared to deal with the problem. If you are one of the many cat owners that have been going round and round with your cat's scratching issues, here are five ways to help you cope.

#1: Negative Reinforcement

Punishment doesn't Work. Cats, like many other animals, do not respond well to negative reinforcement training, also known as punishment. Cats are very independent and if you try to discipline one physically, you are at best going to have an enemy for life and at worst; you are going to have a fight on your hands.

Your cat may recognize that they did something wrong, but they will also understand that you are now the enemy that has caused them harm. Instead of physical punishment, try smacking your hands together or making an abrupt noise, any sort of sound that will stop your cat from doing the bad behavior.

#2: Get the Right Kind of Scratching Post

To make a cat stop scratching your stuff you need to give them an alternative. Get them a scratching post. They most favorable to a cat is the ones made of wood and the ones made of carpet. They prefer it to be tall enough to extend their entire bodies to scratch it. So make sure the post is at least 28 inches tall.

#3: Trim Your Cat's Nails

So your cat causes less damage, you should trim their nails regularly. This will lessen scratching for sharpening, or grooming purposes. Some cats are extremely difficult to deal with when it comes to trimming their nails, so instead you can take them to a pet salon or vet.

#4: Avoid Declawing

People have been declawing their cats for obvious reasons for quite some time, though many vets no longer recommend it. Most don't realize, however, that declawing is not a simple nail trim. In fact, the last digits of your cat's toes are actually removed during the declawing, which can lead to infection and balance problems. Imagine if the last digits on your fingers were removed and you get the idea.

#5: Try Soft Paws ©

Soft Paws © are an invention that has met with surprising success in the fight against cat scratching. These lightweight vinyl caps are placed over your cat's claws, allowing him to scratch without causing damage to your furniture.

Soft Paws © are easy to put on and cats don't freak out about them like you might think; they are very unobtrusive. Soft Paws © should only be used on indoor cats, as a cat that goes outside regularly needs full use of all his claws to protect himself from other cats, dogs, and other predators.

Cats scratch because it is instinctual for them to do so. All you have to do is understand that this is why he is scratching and deal with it. Give him an outlet for his instinctual behavior and you will save your furniture.

Author's Bio: 

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