5 Tricks to Stop Cats From Clawing Your Furniture to Shreds

how to cat proof your houseGetting your cat to stop scratching is about as pointless as asking a bird to stop chirping or eating worms. Whatever birds do. Scratching is a natural part of cat behavior, just like exploring, knocking stuff over, and peeing in a location that is so not their litter-box.

When cats scratch, the reasons are two-fold. One, they are trying to dull their nails. Two, they are essentially IM-ing everyone in the house. Scratching is their way of letting everyone know where they are and what they're up to.

You love your fluffy guy or gal, but sometimes you feel like you're at your wits' end. You've bought lotions and potions and gadgets and nothing seems to work. Allow me to turn on this fan that will accentuate the fluttering of my superhero-like cape -- because I've got tips that could help and they won't cost you a single cent.

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In order to cat-proof your house, you've also got to learn how to understand your cat. They're different than dogs, and the way they express what they need isn't always obvious. Here are 5 easy, free ways to cat-proof your house and understand your feline friend a little bit better.

1.) Don't Free Feed

A lot of the bad behaviors cats exhibit, like peeing outside of the litter-box, meowing late at night, and a general bad attitude, can be attributed to free feeding.

Your cat is like you -- they need food at specific times for specific reasons. Jackson Galaxy, cat expert and star of My Cat From Hell, suggests "playing hard" with your kitty a few hours before you are ready to sleep. Then they get to eat. Getting that exercise is everything a cat needs, even though they might seem lazy. Put them on a schedule; they will love you for it.

2.) Make Your Own Spray Bottle

No, this isn't for spraying your cats -- it's for spraying the rugs, sofa, and curtains they might be mauling. Did you know that cats hate the smell of lemons, rosemary, and cinnamon? Well they do! Combine these with a bit of vinegar and spray on the stuff you want them to avoid. They'll get the message and your house will smell great.

3.) Treat Them Like a Baby

You wouldn't NOT put locks on those lower cabinets that a baby could reach, why not employ this logic for your cat? It keeps them out of dangerous places and away from food and mischief in general. If your cat keeps wandering in and out of rooms because he's figured out how to open the door -- this might be worth investing in.

4.) Create a Kitty Fun Zone

Of course your cat wants to sit -- and scratch up -- your sofa! It's comfortable and warm and cozy. If your cat's scratching and snoozing and you'd rather they weren't, create a den all their own for them.

Is your beast drawn to fleece? Take that old worn out jacket and re-purpose it as a bed for kitty. Old running shoes need replacing? Dangle them from the doorknob and your cat will soon turn its attention (and nails) to this fun new toy.

5.) Clear, Elevated Surfaces Are Your Friend

Cats love to be up high. Not surprising the way they are always looking down on us. Make your life a little less stressful -- find another place for Grandma Edith's rare vase collection and give your guy a mantel or windowsill that's all his own.

What cat-proofing do you do around your house?

 

Image via Amanda/Flickr

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