Approaching feline scratching nuisance behaviors

San Diego

In a recent dvm360® interview, Chris Pachel, DVM, DACVB, CABC, discussed the prevalence of cats scratching household items and offered up advice on helping clients prevent this nuisance behavior.

In this interview at the Fetch dvm360® San Diego conference, Chris Pachel, DVM, DACVB, CABC, lead clinician and practice owner of Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon, identified feline scratching as species-typical behavior and a form of communication, plus revealed potential solutions to relay to clients to help mitigate this nuisance behavior.

View the video below for the entire discussion. The following is a partial transcript:

Chris Pachel, DVM, DACVB, CABC: One of the most common nuisance behaviors that I get asked about is the scratching of furniture or household items, and that is something that [behavioralists] really want to take a look at because it is normal species-typical behavior and it is often a form of communication. So when we think about the hierarchy of behavior change procedures, the first sort of rung of that construct is making sure that we've confirmed that the animal is healthy and that we've met that animal's basic needs. So I want to make sure that there are appropriate items for that cat to engage with, and I also want to make sure that the animal is healthy.

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