Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
How to Get Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post by Dr. Dana Cini
February 17, 2015
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats allowing them to maintain their nails, scent mark and stretch their muscles. Unfortunately, this normal behavior can leave your furniture in shreds. Before you resort to the extreme of declawing your cat try training your cat to prefer a scratching post or pad. Declawing should never be considered lightly, it is a painful procedure that can result in chronic paw pain for your cat.
First consider where to place the scratching post. It should be somewhere the cat enjoys hanging out. Don’t hide the post in the basement or a dark room. Often cats like being where people are like the living room. They also enjoy windows with lots of sun. If your cat has already picked a corner of your couch to demolish try placing the post in front of this area. This is a temporary spot, once your cat is using the post you can slowly move it to an area you prefer. You can discourage scratching of the furniture by covering it with double sided tape or tin foil. Cats don’t like the feeling of these materials on their paws. Encourage them to use the post instead by rubbing cat nip on the post and feeding treats by the scratching post. Never force your cat to use a post by holding their paws making a scratching motion, this will only set-up a negative association with the post.
Next you should determine what type of material your cat prefers to scratch on. There is a large variety of scratching posts available, the most common being made of carpet, sisal rope and cardboard. Some cats will prefer to scratch on a log, mimicking a tree trunk. You may need to try a few different types until you find your cat’s preference. All scratching posts must be very stable and sturdy. If a post topples while a cat is scratching it may scare them or at the very least not allow them to get a good scratch sending them back to your couch. Some cats will prefer to scratch on a horizontal surface so they can grip the scratch pad with their back paws while they scratch with their front paws.
Destructive scratching of furniture is a very common and frustrating problem for cat owners. By training your cat to use a scratching post you will not only save your furniture but enrich your cat’s environment allowing them to exercise their natural cat behavior. If you have further questions about training your cat on the scratching post, please contact our Bolton veterinary team!
How do I know if my dog's problem is due to separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety describes dogs that usually are overly attached or dependent on family members. They become extremely anxious and show distress behaviours such as vocalization, destruction, or house soiling when separated from the owners.
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.
1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!
2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE
Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call 905.857.5057. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE
If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.
4. OPERATING HOURS
We are OPEN with the following hours:
- Monday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm - Tuesday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm - Wednesday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm - Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm - Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm - Saturday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm - Sunday: CLOSED
NEW PET OWNERS
Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!
- Your dedicated team at North Hill Animal Hospital