Understanding Destructive Cat Behavior
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Destructive behavior: intentional or instinctual?

Get inside your cat's mind for successful training and a better relationship... you'll be glad you did!

Does your cat's behavior ever seem like a well-executed plot to take over your home? If so, then you've probably experienced the mess of chewed houseplants, the racket of broken dishware as she prances along the kitchen countertop, and the disappointment of scratched upholstery. Her destructive behavior can be frustrating, but what you may not know is that your cat isn't behaving this way to drive you crazy.

Curious cat wanting to know what you eat for breakfast Cats are just trying to be cats. Each of the above behaviors is quite instinctual. By getting inside her mind and understanding her basic needs, you will be able to provide positive, non-destructive outlets for your cat to display these natural behaviors. Or, if necessary, you'll find ways to prevent them more easily – and save your home from ruin. You and your cat just need a little training.

Reasons cats need to scratch on furniture, doors, or table legs

Cats have a need to sharpen and wear down their claws. They also have a need to leave scent behind on objects to mark their territory. Scratching does both, and cats often return to the scratching object to apply their scent again. To make your furniture and upholstery less inviting to your cat, please see our article 3 Ways to Prevent Scratching and Protect Your Furniture and follow the 3 D's. Don't hesitate to demonstrate to your copycat how to use her new scratching furniture, and reward her with plenty of praise and treats when she follows your good example.

TRAINING TIP
Help train your cat to use a scratching post by rubbing a little catnip on it to attract her to scratch. She'll leave behind scent and, therefore, is likely to return to the post to replenish her scent. A few scratchers placed throughout your home, like our Cat Scratchers provide positive, appropriate scratching surfaces. Also, try No Scratch spray on surfaces your cat has scratched to deter further scratching.

  
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