The Star-Herald

All cats must scratch

As we reflect on our Thanksgiving celebrations, all of us at the Central Aroostook Humane Society couldn’t be more thankful for the many supporters that we have, who do so much for the animals and our organization.  

From the towns that contract with the shelter, the many volunteers who show up to help with daily chores and dog walking, the numerous businesses, individuals and families who donate money and much needed supplies, and the wonderful employees and board members — we are so very grateful they all help to keep the shelter doors open and running smoothly.  Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season.

For those of us who have had the pleasure of having cats in our lives, inevitably there will come a time when the little felines will start “scratching.”  You’ve just found the perfect couch after months of searching, you bring it home and after one night in your living room, you discover the next morning that your kitty has also discovered the new addition.  

This can be a very frustrating problem, because in a short amount of time your beautiful furniture can be shredded. We truly understand being angry about the couch. However, some people get angry with the cat. They think the cat is doing this because he’s “bad.” We simply need to look at it from the cat’s perspective.

Cats HAVE to scratch. When the need arises, they look for something that will do the job. They have no idea of your couch’s value or that they are harming it. They just found a good place to scratch.

So what can we do to save our furniture?  We all know that cats do as they please, so we have to make them choose to leave the couch alone by choosing cat scratching alternatives and deterrents.

One suggestion would be to purchase a two sided sticky tape. This can be found in hardware stores, including most pet supply places. Put pieces of this clear tape on the couch where kitty is scratching. When he returns to that spot, he will feel that sticky stuff and will choose not to scratch there, because it didn’t feel good.

Next, you need to supply an alternative. Get a new scratcher or scratching post and put it near the couch. If he seems to ignore it, add some catnip or catnip spray to get him interested in investigating this new object. After your cat starts using it, you can begin to move it away from the couch slowly, if you don’t want to keep it there.

Some cats prefer horizontal scratchers and others prefer vertical. If you are unsure of your cat’s preference, get one of each. You want to make sure your cat likes it and will use it to satisfy that scratching need.

Stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society or check out our Facebook page for the latest news and pets available for adoption. Please be responsible — spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society board of directors.

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