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Published: Apr 10, 2012

It may annoy you when your cat scratches furniture, carpets or other household items, but according to VCA Animal Hospitals, scratching behavior in cats is normal and healthy. Your feline companion may be scratching in order to shorten and condition her claws, or she may be trying to mark her territory with scratch marks and the scent she leaves behind.

Still, coming home to scratch marks on your favorite sofa is no treat. Fortunately, there are ways that pet owners can redirect the scratching behavior onto appropriate surfaces.  VCA reports that indoor cats are more likely to scratch, as felines that roam around outside may do all of their scratching outdoors. Cats that reside inside the home can benefit from a designated scratching area, which will allow them an appropriate outlet for this behavior.

Scratching posts are commonly sold at pet supply stores or you can make one from wood, carpet and cardboard.  If you are unsure of what type of post to purchase ask your veterinarian for advice. VCA recommends that pet owners set up at least one post near the cat's usual sleeping area, and to place posts in areas where cats like to scratch—for example, next to the couch or other prominent areas. Additionally, try to find a material that is appealing to your feline companion.