For many cat owners, the age-old battle between their feline friends and their carpet has no clear winner. If your cat frequently needs to sharpen its claws or has difficulty with litter box training, your carpet can sustain a lot of damage. So, can cats and carpet coexist in a household? The short answer is "yes," but it can take some work.
Putting Away the Claws
For a long time, the simple solution to cats clawing carpet was to declaw them before it posed a risk. Over time, declawing has come under heavy scrutiny as a procedure equivalent to removing a person's toe at the last joint. While it is outright banned in a number of countries, it should only be considered as an absolute last resort in North America.
There are a number of choices that don't involve surgery. Regularly trimming your cat's claws every few weeks will keep scratching to a minimum. Strategically placing scratching posts around your home is a must. If your cat starts to scratch the carpet, issue a firm "no" before placing them by a scratching post. When they use the post, be encouraging and offer them a treat. Don't yell or punish them since that could make the behavior worse.
Litter Box 101
This is where things get truly ugly. Cat urine not only wreaks havoc on your carpet, but it can soak through all the way into the floorboards if it's bad enough, leaving an unpleasant, lingering smell. If a cat misses the target, you will need to quickly clean the carpet.
To keep your carpet protected, you must keep the litter box clean. Frequently scooping and changing the litter is a must. It might seem like a hassle, but it takes very little time if done frequently, and your cat and carpet will thank you for it. Be sure to place the box away from eating or sleeping areas, and encourage litter box use just like the scratching post.
Keep Your Cat and Your Carpet
If you're looking to get new carpet, do a little planning in advance. If you're also getting a new cat around the same time, consider holding off on the carpet until you know your cat has made a habit of good, carpet-friendly behavior. That way, your old carpet or flooring can be like training wheels for your new carpet.
No cat owner should have to choose between their pet and the carpet they want. Putting in the time and effort to keep your pet happy and your carpet pristine is worth it.
Filed under: Pets