As Valentine’s Day is approaching, people are itching to find a companion to spend the day with.

Some people might even scratch their heads trying to come up with a perfect date for their significant other. While people are scratching their heads for ideas, there is also another scratching behaviour that people might want to think about too; unwanted cat scratching.

While cats are known to scratch at toys and posts, some cats perform excessive scratching where they mark up and destroy furniture in the house. As such, it is important to deduce why this inappropriate behaviour is happening and what methods there are to fix it.

One of the reasons as to why your cat is scratching your furniture is that they may have a build-up of old nails. Cats prefer to have their nails sharp and new, thus they will do everything they can to get rid of the old outer layer; such as scratching inappropriate surfaces. Another reason may be that your cat is trying to display territorial signs by leaving a visual and olfactory mark. This usually occurs with male unaltered cats and with several cats in the house. Moreover, cats are extremely prone to stress. By changing or introducing a new aspect in their life and household can easily stress them out and cause them to excessively scratch things that they are not supposed to. They perform this action as a stress reliever. A final reason is that your cat may not be getting enough exercise. Scratching is a form of stretching for cats; as such, if they are not getting enough exercise on a daily basis, they will scratch to exert the extra energy they have within them.

Trimming your cat’s nails regularly will allow new and healthy nails to grow, allowing your cat to be happy and not excessively scratch to get rid of old nail buildup. Providing adequate scratching posts will also deter inappropriate scratching form your cat. Allow for several varieties in shape and size can stimulate your cat’s interest and distract them from scratching objects that you do not want them to scratch. In addition to providing numerous scratching posts, allowing your cat to obtain their required amount of exercise will also reduce unnecessary scratching.

Playing with them throughout the day will cause them to exert energy and then not have excess energy to use for scratching your furniture. Finally, maintaining a stable environment for your cat will prevent them from stressing out and scratching inappropriate surfaces. For example, minimizing loud noise, do not introduce new people or animals into the household and allowing a place in the house that solely belongs to your cat; these will all help de-stress your cat in their environment.

While cat scratching can be a very annoying behaviour and problem in a household, the solutions to this behaviour are fairly easy to fix and also allows your cat to live in a happy and stress-free environment.