New Horizons Veterinary Behavior Solutions

300 Somonauk St.
Park Forest, IL 60466


Feline Scratching Behavior

This web page is all about cat scratching and what you can do about it. Cat scratching behavior is normal and necessary. Cats do it for a variety of reasons.  We should not completely suppress it! 

But that does not mean your kitty has to scratch and ruin your furniture!  There are lots of ways to train your cat to scratch in appropriate areas.  Declawing surgery is always a possibility but not all cats need this.  Training your cat to use scratching posts, nail trimming, and soft paws are additional options.


Managing Feline Destructive Scratching Video this informative video to understand why cats scratch.  Learn how to choose the right type of scratching post, and how to teach cats to appropriately use scratching posts.

APDT Litter Box & Scratching Webinar a great webinar to watch that will teach you how to select the ideal scratching post and train your kitty to use it! Also has tips litter box use from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (They train cats too!)

Think Twice Before You Declaw There are other options to the cat scratching dilemma.  Knowledge is power.  Check out your options before deciding surgery is the best remedy!

Declaw...or Not?  Important things to consider when making the decision! Think before you declaw, do you know the procedure and the risks?  Important information from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). 



Scratching Furniture & Carpets from International Cat Care


How to Chose & Use Scratching Posts for Your Cat from International Cat Care


DDFL Cats: Destructive Scratching

Inappropriate Scratching in Cats-UC Davis Vet School Handout

How to Stop Scratching with Pheromone therapy with Feliway!

Feliway Pheromone Therapy
 is a great way to train your cat to not scratch on certain areas.  Spray six depressions of Feliway to the undesirable area that your cat is scratching once a day.  Apply for at least ONE MONTH and do not stop until the cat marks with his or her own facial pheromones (is seen to rub the site with his or her head).  Most importantly provide an alternative scratching post nearby.  Feliway is available at Deer Run, just ask us!

Cornell's Handout On Selecting A Scratching Post This resource will provide you with a quick overview of the pros and cons of different styles of scraching posts.

How to Manage Scratching Behavior in Cats an in-depth article on the subject written by Board Certified Veterinary Behavior Specialist, Dr. Debra Horowitz.


Training Your Cat Not to Scratch on Furniture  link to Veterinarian and Animal Behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin's Blog and website for a great video and tips on preventing scratching. 

Think Twice Before Declawing  By Steve Dale

Furniture Scratching Explained By Pam Johnson-Bennett

DDFL Aversives For Cats   An aversive is something such as a texture, taste, or smell that your cat finds unpleasant.  It can be used to discourage your cat from a particular action or place.  Aversives work best when you also offer a more pleasant alternative.

Cat Scatch Guards  An easy way to eliminate furniture scratching.  Follow up by offering you cat better alternatives with a variety of scratching posts.

Sticky Paws_ On a Roll (3)

Sticky Paws are specially formulated to have just the right amount of tactile feel cats can't stand. Conserve and protect your furnishings with a true original. Manufactured from inert and non-toxic materials.

Scat Mat ScatMat emits a mild, harmless static pulse when your pet touches it. It teaches a cat to avoid certain surfaces or areas.  Since even a mild static pulse may frighten a cat, this is probably our least favorite method.


Cornell Video on Trimming Cat Claws From Cornell University's Feline Health Center a how to video on how to trim your cat's claws at home. 

How to Trim Cat Claws a step by step pictorial on how to safely keep your kitten's or cat's nails trimmed. From the Washington State University Vet School's common procedures website.

Video on How to Trim Nails from the Soft Paws Website


Soft Paws Nail Caps for Cats are a great alternative to declawing. They do require periodic re-application and nail trimming.

All about Declawing and Its Alternatives


Cat Scratch Fever Click to learn if you are at risk. Learn the importance of flea prevention to help prevent this disease.


More info on Cat Scratch Disease