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Common symptoms of kitty illness include hiding for more than a day, loss of appetite, change in litter box routine and lack of grooming. If you detect any of these behavioral changes, meet with your veterinarian.

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Expert Q&A

How Can I Get My Cat to Stop Ripping Up the Furniture?

How Can I Get My Cat to Stop Ripping Up the Furniture?

BY: Stacey Brecher

While you consider your cat to be a true member of your family, you don’t want him to destroy the furniture in your home. And while in a perfect world you could get your cat to stop scratching entirely, it’s important to remember that scratching surfaces is a natural behavior for cats. Tera Bruegger, director of Hearts United for Animals explains, “Cats scratch for a variety of reasons, and one reason is to sharpen claws or shed the outer layers of the claws.”

The first step in helping to curb your cat’s appetite to scratch is making sure her claws are trimmed. After that, an easy way to try to deter your cat from scratching is adding double stick tape to the areas of your furniture that your cat tends to get at. Cats don’t like the feeling of the tape on their paws, and thereby try to avoid areas that give them those sensations.

Of course if you’re in the market to buy new furniture, you might consider picking out materials that fend off cat scratching in the first place.

Other products like spray deterrents can help to stop your cat from scratching, too, and scratching posts are a great option to steer your cat away from your furniture. Bruegger suggests putting a scratching post near the area where your cat scratches, and when she begins to do so, make a noise and put the cat near the scratching post instead. When the cat scratches the post/box, praise him by petting him, and perhaps even offering a treat.

Stacey Brecher is a freelance writer. She has contributed to Animal Fair magazine, and her blogs have previously appeared on The Dog Daily. 

Tags: cat behavior , cat training

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