If You're Itching To Bring Your New Cat Home, You Should Read This First

by - October 26, 2018

Often, dogs have the upper hand when it comes to the ‘best pet’ status. They’re hailed as our best friend’s, after all. Dog owners can’t tell you enough how much their pooch is a part of their family. And, don’t get us wrong; those puppy dog eyes and wagging tails have charm enough for anyone. Still, you have a young child in the house and, frankly, you’ve got enough on your plate. The idea of adding a four-legged bundle of joy to the party is too much to bear.

The good news is, that doesn’t mean pets have to be off your cards right now. If you’re looking for a furry friend who demands far less attention, it may be worth hopping into the cat camp. Whether you’ve considered it before or not, feline friends are more self-sufficient than their pooch counterparts. Your cat can take itself out for a walk. With a cat flap, you won’t even need to worry about letting it out to do its business. Instead, you’ll be free to enjoy furry snuggles for nothing more than the time it takes to put down a plate of food.

Of course, before you go committing to a cat, it is worth noting that there is one thing cats and dogs have in common. Sadly, they can both do a pretty good job at destroying furniture. In fact, cats probably come top when it comes to pets which turn into homewreckers.  It’s in their nature to claw at things, after all. Those little needles can shred through the fabric at a faster rate than you would ever imagine. As if that weren’t bad enough, young male cats spray items in their territory. So, not only could your furniture end up shredded, but it could also soon be dripping with pee.

Again, that shouldn’t be enough to keep pets out of your household forever. If you want to keep things looking nice, though, it’s worth considering the following.

Take safety precautions

The first step for pet prevention should always be the safety precautions you take. Pet proofing your home is essential whether you’re getting a hamster, dog or; you guessed it, cat. Preparations like these usually involve basics such as covering holes and securing rooms. Your cat prep should also include steps to protect your furniture. On a basic level, that may mean securing fences around furniture until you’re able to train your new addition to leave it alone. Equally, laying tin foil around the areas your kitty could reach can stop them from being able to get a grip. You can’t keep these things in place for all time, but they stop shredding from happening straight away. If you’re looking for a male cat, it’s also well worth investing in cat diapers to stop spraying. By taking time to read the product details offered by companies like Pet Parents, you can invest in an option which will fit any cat you have your eye on. Again, these are temporary measures which can stop you from regretting your choice the moment you get your cat home.

Think twice about your furniture

Though it may seem extreme to buy furniture with your new cat in mind, this may well be a step worth taking. The urge to shred is especially strong for cats exposed to textured materials. The mere sight of a sofa like this will have them itching for destruction in no time. Aside from being unfair on your cat, you can bet this wouldn’t end well for your furniture of choice. While there are no guarantees here, some materials seem less appealing to cats than others. For the most part, fabrics should be off your cards right now. But, smooth materials like leather may not quite attract the same attention. Admittedly, this isn’t an exact science. There are plenty of cat-damaged leather sofas in the world, too. Still, this is one of your best chances at nipping this problem in the bud. You’ll undoubtedly find that this smoother type of material lasts out much longer. If you want to see success with your smooth furniture, it may even be worth going all out with additions such as wooden floors. It’s not just furniture which gets those clawing impulses going, after all. If you aren’t careful, a textured carpet could end up the same way.

Invest in cat-scratching alternatives

As we’ve already mentioned, scratching and shredding is a natural behavior for any feline. There’s nothing you can do to change that, and you shouldn’t want to. It’s far better to love our pets with every natural quirk they bring to our homes. Bearing this in mind, though, your best bet for keeping furniture in one piece may be to distract. If you offer things that your cat can scratch, there’s less chance that their claws will end up where they shouldn’t. This way, everyone can remain happy! Before your cat comes, then, think about buying them something which attracts this behavior. Scratching posts are fantastic for this, as are cat trees and textured toys. These have just the right amount of grip to satisfy your kitties. By placing at least one item like this in every room, you may find that your cat heads here rather than causing mischief. Bear in mind that scratching preferences aren’t universal for all kitties. Some prefer soft surfaces, while others like the rough stuff. If your cat doesn’t get along with one option, then, try another. Over time, you’ll come to recognize their preference. If you find that they don’t play with these toys, it may also be worth encouraging them with a pinch of catnip. You can bet that they’ll soon get stuck in when they realize these things are around.

Power through to prevention

All the above pointers look at what you can do before your cat arrives in your house. But, tackling this issue doesn’t stop once your feline friend is home. As such, you shouldn’t start freaking out if your preparation doesn’t hold up to those needly little claws and spraying tomcats. Instead, all you need to do is power on through with some prevention techniques. When it comes to trouble with spraying, your best would be to take your cat to a vet to get spayed. This is essential anyway, as it improves your cat’s health and ensures you don’t end up with a commitment to unwanted kittens. It also so happens that spaying is about the best way to put a stop to spraying. Without hormones, you’ll find that your cat no longer feels the urge to announce themselves. Of course, even this doesn’t help with scratching. In that instance, your best prevention option would be to keep your cat’s nails trimmed. At least they lose their shredding power that way. It’s true that even blunt nails can cause a fair bit of a snagging, but this will slow that destruction down a little. Bear in mind that you will need to do your research before getting stuck in with this. While you can buy kitty nail clippers in any pet store, it’s crucial you don’t cut down to the quick. If you’re uncertain, it’s worth asking your vet to do this and show you the process. If even that doesn’t stop the issue, consider investing in plastic caps for your cat’s nails while they’re in the house. It’s an extreme measure, but it could be the only way to save your sofas.

Get hands-on

If you’re at the end of your tether and feel this sure this problem will never end, you’ve come to the right point in this post. If all else fails with stopping that scratching, it’s time to get hands on. By this, we obviously don’t mean that you get physical with your cat. That’s never an acceptable way to deal with pet problems. Instead, get hands-on by finding deterrents for this behavior. Something as simple as a sharp burst of water from a spray bottle would work well here. Cats hate water at the best of times, and the shock factor is sure to see them abandoning their pursuit. Bear in mind that, for training like this to work, you do need to be on hand for spraying at any time. Only once your cat associates that unpleasant result with their scratching attempts will this have any impact. Take a weekend out, then, and keep a spray bottle close to hand the whole time. You can bet your cat will never be so keen to scratch again.

No one said that pet ownership would be easy. Over time, though, you may find that even your best furniture pieces stay shiny and new for longer. It’s all about getting on top of this straight away. That will ensure every chair in your house doesn’t end up looking like a scrap of rags. Though you may want to hold back for the time being, you could bring designer furniture home again in no time.

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