Destructive Cat Behavior

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Cats can be very destructive in your household, and hopefully you want to eliminate some of these behaviors in order to live in harmony with these pets. Learn about destructive cat behavior with help from founder and CEO of 911 VETS in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Pet Behavior
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Dr. Steve Weinberg, your 911 vet, and today we're here to talk about destructive cat behavior and how to prevent it. Cats can be very destructive in your household, and hopefully you want to eliminate some of these behaviors in order to live in harmony with these pets. Cats have natural instincts that they exhibit their behavior within your house. Sometimes these behaviors are not so pleasant. I've been to certain houses on house call where I've seen the entire house shredded almost to the point where it looks like a style. Scratching behavior is natural, and the main purpose is to allow shedding of the nails, to mark the territory and to provide a stretching exercise for the cat. It's important that we trim the nails regularly and you should learn how to do that if you can't have your vet or a technician do that. If you want to make certain things that you don't want destroyed unavailable, that would be the best mode of action. So you do want to provide an acceptable scratching surface, such as a cardboard box type scratching devices, or something like a rope scratching pad or post like this. And what you may want to do is also make it more enticing to them by attaching some sort of toy or using cat nip to attract them to it. You may have to also use aversion techniques such as double-side, double-sided stick tape that you apply on the offending areas. You can also use tin foil, that's been successful. Cats don't like the feel of that. You can also spray these areas with a citrus smell. These are some things that cats do not like. Another possibility is there are new devices such as a motion sensor noise maker, so if the cat goes near that area you don't want scratched, it will make a noise. So, you do want to place these, these acceptable things near the unacceptable things. So it's in an area that the cat is familiar with and will transfer their attention to the acceptable device. If the destruction is due to anxiety, you may want to consider the use of certain things like pheromones. These Feliway diffusers are sometimes useful for those. You may find out that these things are not fully working, and your veterinarian may prescribe something like a Prozac like drug that is very effective in some cases. But all in all, it's important to handle the situation by trimming the nails, finding the right acceptable toys and surfaces, and with some gentle discouragement.

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