11 Jan 5 Tips To Protect Your Doors And Floors From Pet Scratches
Our pets bring love and compassion into the walls of our home and offer sanctuary and a cuddle after a long, hard day. That’s not to say that pet parenthood is the easiest of jobs. As anyone with pets will tell you, it can be a challenge. One of the most persistent trials of having a furry friend is preventing your pet’s destructive scratching and protecting your home & furniture from the claws of your beloved dog or cat. Here are 5 tips to help you maintain the condition of your pet-friendly home.
Cats– To Scratch or Not to Scratch?
If your feline friend just can’t seem to stop scratching, it’s important to address their need to scratch rather than resort to punishment straight away. Scratching can be enjoyable for cats– it feels good for them. It also offers the benefit of sharpening their claws, removing dead skin cells, and marking their territory in their new home. Scratching is a perfectly normal feline behavior and though it can be a nuisance, resulting in damaged walls and a brand-new couch torn to shreds, there are ways to redirect your kitty’s scratching habits.
Offering a scratching post is the first step to redirecting your cat’s scratching fixation. Some cats may even prefer to have multiple scratching post options, such as a large cat condo, a horizontal carpet scratcher, or a scratching panel that hangs from a door handle (especially helpful if your cat is fond of scratching doors). Keeping the scratchers accessible and near the objects of your cat’s desire will help them make a positive association with it, keeping your furniture scratch-free.
More Than a Manicure
Both dogs and cats require regular nail trims just as humans do to keep their nail beds healthy and prevent drag marks on your wooden floors. You can do this yourself, once every 3-4 weeks. At your local pet store, you can find a variety of nail clippers offering ease and efficiency for your dog or cat. If your pet tends to be anxious about nail clipping or if you find difficulty with the process, contact your veterinarian and inquire about their nail trimming services to keep your pet’s nails in their best shape. (Bonus! Keeping their nails trimmed regularly means less scratching making it a win-win.)
Spray, Don’t Scratch
Animals are more sensitive to smells, especially negative ones, than humans, making it a successful way to deter them from harming your furniture or doorframes. If your dog or cat likes scratching doors, try using a citrus-based spray deterrent around the door frame to prevent them from approaching the door in the first place. You can spray deterrent anywhere your pet tends to favor– a couch, a dresser, and even on curtains or linens. Non-toxic deterrent sprays can be found at your local pet supply store.
The Sticky Truth of Unwanted Scratching
If you’re worried about your pet’s habit of scratching doors, try using a double-sided sticky tape on the bottom perimeter or the door frame to deter them from scratching. Because the tape will feel uncomfortable to them, they will eventually associate that area with the feeling of the sticky tape and inevitably, look elsewhere for a place to scratch. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce a scratching post or a carpeted area that is safe for your pet to scratch.
The Last Resort
If all other efforts fail, it may be helpful to introduce a negative reinforcement technique. If you notice your pet in the act of scratching, you can try spraying them with a fine mist water bottle as a deterrent. However, in order to be effective at deterring the scratching behavior and saving your damaged walls, you need to administer the reinforcement within 3 seconds of the behavior to ensure they are associating the two.
Using these tricks or a combination of them can prove valuable in maintaining your home’s integrity and your sanity all while ensuring your furry friend is happy, healthy, and leaves the couch alone.