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The solution can be as simple as giving your cat the right things to scratch. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

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ping a piece of wood with a carpet remnant or sisal, a hemp- like fiber. Schelling recommends sisal fabric over sisal rope, which “frays very easily and that can be a danger,” she says. Steer clear of cheap vertical posts with a lightweight base. If a post is wobbly or topples over when your cats use it, “they’ll never want to scratch on it again,” says Lisnik. Satisfy the itch - Place scratching posts and boards in different locations, one on every level of your house. Corrugated cardboard pads under your bed prevents kitties from scratching the underside of mattresses. Act like a cat and simulate scratching on a scratching zone could motivate him to give it a try. Or drag a toy across the post so that your cat incidentally scratches it while playing. Reinforce the good scratching behavior with praise or a treat. No scratch zone Make furniture and other scratching hotspots less attractive with double-sided sticky tape or a scent deterrent such as a citrus spray to repel cats. Wildman’s most effective strategy is to cover the object your cat has been scratching with a tight-fitting sheet and place a scratching post next to it. Rub catnip to excite his attention, or honeysuckle spray. “Then they have the deterrent and something interesting nearby to take its place,” says Lisnik. To deter territorial scratching, Wildman recommends gently rubbing a soft fabric on your cat’s cheeks and then on the object. Save your cat the trouble of using his claws to transfer his scent. Blunt instruments Trim claws every week to limit the damage she can inflict. “It’s super simple and makes a huge difference,” Schelling says. Use cat clippers not human clippers to prevent fraying and keep them blunter longer. To protect her mother’s frail skin from scratches, Schelling applied vinyl nail caps to her mom’s cat blunting the nails so the cat can scratch without damage. Nail caps last four to six weeks and can be purchased at pet stores and online. “I still recommend providing some rough scratching surface for the cat, they love that feel and they will still scratch.” Fall 2017

4 Legs & a Tail Lebanon Fall 2017