Cats can be great pets… when they're not scratching everything in sight.
TeddyHilton.com reader, Janet, wrote in to Dr. Patrick Mahaney, asking:
My boyfriend and I have adopted 2 super sweet kittens and they've been with us for a year now. They're brother and sister and are really friendly and really sweet. The problem is that they scratch at the foot of every closed door in my place wanting to get in.
I leave all the doors open but whenever somebody is in the bathroom, they scratch at the foot of the door, tearing our carpet, door frames and thresholds to bits. We try to train them by spraying them with water (lightly of course) whenever we see them doing this but that only stops them for the moment.
I've bought small rugs to put in every threshold (which doesn't look very nice) to avoid furthur damage but it hasn't stopped our furry friends from attacking the rugs as well. What can I do to stop this behavior? Thank you for your help.
Dr. Patrick responded:
Thank you for your question, which is actually a common and frustrating scenario for many cat owners. There are a variety of reasons your cats may be scratching on the floor by the doors besides their burning desire to be close to you, their beloved owners.
Cats scratch to mark their territory (both from a visual sense and with pheromones), for exercise, and to remove dead nail tissue (akin to a nail file).
Give your cats an enticing place to scratch in every room of your house where they have scratched at the base of the door. The scratching posts should be vertical and higher than other objects in the room on which they could scratch (like the side of your couch).
You can purchase a commercial sisel rope and/or carpet style encased post or if you are a DIY kind of gal, then make it yourself. Rub fresh or dried catnip on the scratching posts to attract your feline friend and send them into a blissful scratching spree.
Hopefully, by giving your cats enough options for where they should scratch, they will be dissuaded from tearing up the carpets and driving you crazy!
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Tags: cat, dr patrick mahaney, kitten, kitty, q and a, question, scratching