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Pet Training & Behavior Topics

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Feline Scratching & Clawing

Welcome to Diana Guerrero's Ark Animals Training & Therapy. This section is dedicated to pets, companion animals, and topics related to their care and training. Destructive feline behaviors of scratching and clawing are discussed here.

Cat Behavior Problems: Scratching & Clawing

Behavior problems such as feline scratching or clawing, can be addressed quickly and easily. This can be done with simple strategies, or by a combination of different methods. Unfortunately, pet owners often avoid dealing with situations that involve behavior problems. They mistakenly think that the problem will just disappear or solve itself; most often those problems get worse and will escalate in intensity. Then the problems become much harder to address.

Most animal behavior problems, even in some severe cases, can be addressed in an eight to twelve week period. Targeting what the cause is that contributes to the behavior problem is important. Once the reason underlying the symptom (problem) is determined, the situation can be resolved. There are a variety of reasons why a cat will begin to engage in clawing and scratching behavior. Here are a few of those reasons to help you pinpoint and understand the motivation behind the behavior so you can pick the right solution:

  • Improper learning or training
  • Lack of environmental needs
  • Physical need
  • Marking territory or display
  • Boredom or attention seeking
  • New home or furnishings
  • New animal introduction

Consistent and persistent effort is what solves the problem and redirects the animal into another activity or more appropriate actions. If dealt with in the early stages, behavior problems can be eliminated quickly and easily--usually within a few days. It seems that often, rather than deal with these situations early, pet owners will wait and then consider drastic measures that may hurt, maim, or psychologically impact their animals for life.

Consultants in animal behavior see the negative repercussions of such extreme actions. This is because pet owners call us for help on all types of animal behavior problems. What can be seen following such procedures such as declawing varies. Many times declawed animals will suffer from litter box avoidance, psychological trauma, and day-to-day frustrations that prevent them from marking territory, protecting themselves, and helping them to align their spines. Many declawed cats begin to bite more and have a difficult time with other animals because they have lost one of their first tools for protection.

If you are experiencing this behavior problem help is just a phone call away! Hire Animal Expert

About the columnist: Since 1978 Diana L. Guerrero has worked professionally with both wild and domestic animals. Guerrero has been affiliated with, and certified by, a variety of animal programs in the USA and Europe. Based in California, she writes, consults, and speaks. Information on her animal career programs, training courses, and her books {What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality (SkyLight Paths, 2003), Blessing of the Animals (Sterling, 2007), Help! My Pet is Driving Me Crazy (Guerrero Ink, 2007), Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners & Pet Professionals (Guerrero Ink, 2007)} can be found in this web site and in the shop. Questions for Guerrero should be submitted via the blog comments or membership forum.


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