While puppies may have a reputation for chewing up your furniture and precious belongings, cats and kittens can actually be just as destructive, particularly if they get bored.
Your feline friend isn’t actually on a deliberate mission to destroy your prized possessions, even though it may sometimes seem like it. They are simply following their instincts to scratch, bite and spray. Or there may even be a medical reason for your cat’s “bad” behaviour, so do make sure you have your pet checked by a vet if you are concerned. Most of the time, however, destructive behaviour is simply a result of boredom, and can be easily remedied with a few tips, tricks and solutions.
Types of destructive behaviour your cat may exhibit
Every cat is different, just as every person is different. We don’t all have the same bad habits! However, there are some common unwanted feline behaviours which your cat may exhibit around your home.
One of the most common problems cat owners have is trying to prevent their pet from scratching the sofa, rugs or carpets, which can leave claw marks around the home. Kittens may also display chewing behaviour, with certain breeds being more prone to this than others - although they tend to grow out of this as they get older. Plus, you may find your cat nibbles on your houseplants, particularly if they are an indoor cat, and some cats may mark their territory by spraying around your home.
How to solve these common behavioural problems
Cats may be harder to train than dogs - that’s just one of the reasons we love them! However, there are definitely tips, techniques and some solutions you can use to make sure that your cat is deterred from destroying your home.
As scratching is an innate behaviour, just like grooming themselves, or covering up their own waste in the cat litter tray, this can be the trickiest issue to resolve without the right strategy.
However, if you note the areas where your cat likes to scratch, you can place cat scratching posts in those places. You can make scratching fun for your pet by choosing a post with an attached toy. Opting for a variety of scratching posts in the areas where your cat usually scratches can be the most effective way to protect your home.
If you notice that your cat likes to scratch while standing upright, then our All Pet Solutions hanging scratching pad will be the best option, but if they prefer to scratch your rug or carpet, they may prefer a scratching solution which lies vertically such as this Trixie cat scratching tunnel.
To attract your cat to use the post rather than your furniture, you can reward with plenty of strokes and praise, as well as leaving tasty cat treats and some King Catnip loose catnip leaves close to the scratching post. You could even try a catnip spray on the post to make sure it gets their attention! It will also help to keep your cat’s claws well groomed using cat nail clippers.
For a really effective approach, you could combine these methods with spraying a repellent on the furniture and areas you don’t want your cat to scratch. Just make sure you choose a non-toxic cat repellent.
Cats are naturally repelled by the scent of citrus so a lemon oil spray can also be an effective way to prevent your cats from marking their territory around your home or nibbling on your houseplants. To stop your cat from eating potentially toxic plants, you could also provide a tray of cat grass, which you can grow yourself from seed.
However, the best way to prevent destructive behaviour can be to redirect your cat’s energies. There are a huge range of cat toys you could choose to suit your pet’s personality. Playing with your cat will help to relieve boredom, as well as allowing them to use their innate feline hunting instincts. That way, you can prevent your cat’s destructive behaviour, while having fun together at the same time.