If you think life with kids in the house is tough, try getting a cat. The precious bundles of fur with a lovely pair of curious eyes and a question mark tail can shift from the playful pet to ferocious predator mode in a flash: it’s written in their genes and all their owner’s love and gentleness can do little about it. But while reprinting the laws of Nature is a mission impossible, reverting your feline companion back to its meek mode in view of preserving peaceful cohabitation and safety of your furniture is easy – granted you have the know-how and a few props in your bag of tricks, that is.
Calm the Kitty with a Pheromone Device
You could easily picture cats reacting to pheromones the same way humans do – but then again, you’d be utterly wrong. Pheromone products such as pluggable diffusers, collars, and sprays can help calm down a nervous cat, and they are especially convenient in case the feline’s anxiety is caused by a change in its environment, such as moving home, bringing a new piece of furniture into the living area, boarding, or traveling. You have a fragrance oil diffuser at home? There’s no reason your feline couldn’t have one, too. (Besides, a pheromone gimmick costs much less than a brand new bed or couch.)
Sir Kitteh Scratch-a-Lot’s Very Own Post
Sturdy scratching posts are a must-have with a feline in the house. Kittens and adult cats need a place to take the edge off, and a tall, immobile scratching post is definitely a better option than your beloved sofa, a table leg, or that antique armchair you inherited from your grandma. Still, be very careful when choosing the spot for Sir Scratch-a-Lot’s post: plop it in a place where your feline companion spends a lot of time, such as the living room or kitchen. In case your cat seems to prefer its former shredding victim to the new scratchable object in the house, drench the post in catnip spray: that will instantly get those crazy claws slashing against the post’s surface.
Aluminum Simply Doesn’t Cut It for a Cat
In case Mr. Whiskers falls out of love with the scratching post and decides to go back to the nice, expensive couch for a furious clawing-and-dicing spree, grab aluminum foil and spread it across the piece of furniture they’ve set their mischievous gaze (and claws) on. Admittedly, the couch may look as if you are planning to shove it in the oven, but at least it’ll be safe from sharp claws until the cat rediscovers the wonders of the scratching post and other cool spots on which they can vent frustration. For an additional anti-cat protective dressing, sprinkle furniture with citrus oil: yes, that will only add to the bake-ready look of your living area, but you’ll soon find that it’s better for the furnishings to be safe and lemony-scented than shredded to bits.
Crazy Kitteh’s Batteries Running on Empty
If your feline companion seems to be a huge fan of fast and ferocious scratching sessions, it may be a wise idea to invest some active effort in depleting its batteries the good, old-fashioned way. Don’t expect from a cat to catch the drift right away and go all-out Mad Max on that pile of cat toys you’ve brought home all by itself and that it’ll lay in the perfect cat beds: your younger self had to learn how to play with dollies and tiny trucks, and your Garfield will need the same type of guidance, too. Take the chaser mouse, yarn ball, or wild tails, grab your cat’s attention, and let the games begin! (No, you won’t get bonus points if you manage to catch the mouse before your cat does.)
Soft Kitty, Little Kitty with a Claw Manicure
Should all else fail, try giving your cat a manicure. Soft Paws are a set of vinyl claw covers which you can apply to the master-shredder tools Fairy Godmother Nature so generously bestowed on your feline’s paws at birth. A kitty manicure is a less stressful alternative to declawing, but try to be gentle and patient or else your own person may easily suffer the fate of the abovementioned scratching post. Soft Paws will significantly reduce your cat’s furniture shredding superpowers, but you’ll need to repeat the application drill in about 4-6 weeks.
Egyptians worshiped cats, and you should show an at-home feline at least a tiny fraction of the respect ancient civilizations would’ve showered it with. The embodiment of unperturbed poise and a wild fiend in a single furry coat, a kitty has lots of love to give to its owner, even when it decides to launch a brutal shredding spree and wreak havoc on unwary furniture. Still, don’t go declawing your Lady Kittylove just yet: try to make do with toys, scratchers, aluminum foil, and other props before you call it claw-cuts. Taming a cat’s wild nature calls for care, love, and above all, extensive use of gimmicks and nerves of steel.