Even though they are rather peaceful and relaxed beings, cats still have a tendency to scratch and bite, which can sometimes hurt you and even lead to infections. To avoid this kind of behavior in your pet, here are some techniques and tips to apply.
Scratching, a natural gesture in cats
Before you go after your cat and punish him for his scratches, first try to understand the reasons for such behavior. Getting angry is not the best solution and can even hurt your relationship. Know that scratching allows the good feline to mark the territory and to indicate to its congeners its passage. This is why cats have the habit of always scratching places of passage such as the armrest of the sofa. This gesture also helps to relax the joints and muscles. Moreover, as you will have noticed, your cat starts scratching after sleeping while stretching his muscles.
Feline aggressiveness can also be due to anxiety or stress due to a change of environment, too much noise around or the presence of strangers. The cat can also be the victim of a health problem and end up becoming defensive. Watch out for possible symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite or vomiting.
How to react to scratches?
If your cat has scratched or bitten you, your first instinct will be to avoid being violent, yelling at him or hitting him. He may be scared and may develop nervousness. Instead, try to walk away. Remove your hands then gently push it and stand up. Above all, don’t be tempted to stroke it again after it bites you. On the contrary, show your dissatisfaction. By cuddling him, he may not understand the malicious nature of his gesture. You must also educate him to change his behavior.
Cats are more receptive to rewards than punishment. So if he bites your hands, remove them and then replace them with a stuffed mouse. When your kitty starts to nibble on the plush, praise him. If the technique doesn’t work, use your voice, say a firm “no” and look him in the eye. In principle, felines fear looks which are gestures of authority for them.
How to avoid such behavior from your cat?
It is best to offer your cat a scratching post so that it does not attack you or damage your furniture. Also try to have time to play with him. Give him fifteen minutes of play daily to exhaust him. When he’s tired, he won’t come to attack you anymore. Also, give him as many toys as possible to prevent him from getting bored and ending up redirecting his excess energy back to you.
In extreme cases, castration may be considered. This practice helps to calm the animal and to optimize its sociability. Another thing, know that, declawing or onyxectomy, consisting of the removal of the claws, is illegal in France, although it is allowed in Canada and the United States. This operation causes behavioral disturbances in the animal, because scratching is a natural gesture, it will continue to do so even without its claws.