How to prevent indoor cats from scratching furniture

There are so many reasons why cats and kittens scratch furniture and people in the first place, and these need to be addressed if training should be successful. First of all, do remember that your little baby actually fancies himself an invincible tiger who rules the world. Sofas, vases, shoes and picture frames are not objects to tip-toe around. Rather, they help make up an exciting jungle of an obstacle course that they must conquer!

You may have guessed the second thing that must be acknowledged – it’s just fun! If you could wreck things – break plates, smash windows, colour on the walls – you know you would! A cat does not understand that this should not be done. So how to tell your cat that it’s wrong, and ensure he will listen?

Well I have found that with cats in general, the ones that fancy themselves your babies (but not in a spoiled way) and really look to you and up to you, are the easiest to train. Cats have a much lower sense of shame than dogs, so knowing that you are displeased will often not phaze them, or simply incite rebellious behaviour, such as biting, swiping, hissing, avoiding you, or simply continuing (or seemingly, increasing) that same act you punished him for. The more a cat seems to ‘value your opinion’ as it were, the more affected they are when you act displeased.

Another interesting fact: When cats seem to be scowling, turning away from you, pouting, etc. after being scolded, they are actually showing submission. Humans often read this wrong because it looks an awful lot like a child pouting after being scolded, but in actuality the cat is trying to show you that you’ve won. They accept you as their superior, especially in this matter, have backed down, and would like for the fight to be over. Knowing this will help prevent any resentment from you and promote your realization that your pet IS listening to you and DOES respect you. This will improve your relationship to your cat which will in turn improve the effectiveness of the training.

There are many helpful techniques to ensuring that your cat understands that you have said "no" and that it knows to what you are referring. I prefer gently grabbing the offending paw, with claws out, by the sides with your thumb and finger (at about the beginning of the third knuckle) and squeezing. This gently forces the claws to retract. Doing this with a firm "no" and a serious facial expression will let the cat know what NOT to do, what TO do instead, and

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