Congratulations on your little bundle of joy! I’m not talking about a human baby, but your meowing, furry kitty. Your cat makes a wonderful pet and is a great companion, but he can also be an evil genius when it comes to knowing how to destroy your apartment. And since almost 38%* of the apartments in the US allow cats, there are lots of you out there that should read on!
Scratching I personally think that scratching is the most destructive thing that a cat can do, and some cats are very picky about what they want to scratch. I am also firmly against declawing your cat, for which you can read the reasons here. My cat, Calvin, who just turned one year old, prefers upholstered furniture, but does not particularly care for carpeted cat scratchers. So to save the sofa, I provide him with a cardboard scratching board and he loves to scratch that. I also have nail trimmers for him that I use to regularly trim his nails. I have been doing this since he was a kitten, so he tolerates it. One way that you can deter scratching in certain places is to purchase sticky strips and put them where you don’t want your cat to scratch. Cats don’t like their paws touching sticky things.
Chewing Something else Calvin loves to do is to chew on electric cords and cables. He also loves to chew on the Christmas tree when it is up, the blinds, and the list goes on. I don’t have any plants in my apartment; but if I did, I’m sure that he’d be chewing on those, too. (Please make sure you don’t have any poisonous plants in your home! Check out these poison control tips from the ASPCA). His chewing is very frustrating for me and dangerous for him. Seeing as I don’t want him to end up like Aunt Bethany’s cat on Christmas Vacation, I investigated ways to prevent this behavior.
Cats do not like bitter tasting things and cats do not like citrus. What I did was purchase a bottle of bitter spray at the pet store and sprayed everything Calvin chewed on with this stuff. Let me tell you, the stuff tastes terrible (I accidentally got some on my hands). It also helped a lot; he does not chew on cords anymore. I have also been successful with preventing this by providing toys he can chew on instead. One thing that can also help is to grow some pet grass from oats or wheat for your kitty to chew on.
Potty Breaks Sometimes cats don’t use their litter boxes as they should. I am thankful enough to not have this problem with my cat. However some male cats spray, and other cats sometimes go where they please. The easiest way to prevent spraying is to get your male cat neutered. While you’re at it, get your female cats spayed. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t, and you can read more about spaying and neutering your pets here. Make sure that you regularly clean out your cat’s litter box as well and use unscented litter. If you have multiple cats, you’re probably going to have to get multiple litter boxes as they are territorial creatures and won’t enjoy sharing their private space. If you find that there is no obvious reason as to why your cat isn’t using the litter box properly, or just starts this behavior, I recommend taking your cat to the vet to rule out any sort of health issue.
Shedding I cannot emphasize this enough: brush your cat. Brush him until you think that you can brush no more. He will love it and you’ll be getting excess fur off of him. There are tons of nice brushes out there, and I have found that wire bristles work the best for me. Regular brushing also helps prevent hairballs, which is also a plus. Calvin has long fur and brushing prevents mats. If you do find that your cat’s fur is matted, be very careful if you choose to cut the mat out, as cat’s skin is very delicate and is easy to cut. There are also mat-removing combs available to use, which is safer than cutting.
Boredom A bored kitty is a destructive kitty. Provide your cat with fun toys to play with. I have found that toys that dangle and small catnip mice are favorites for Calvin. This is one of Calvin’s favorite toys ever, and it is under $3. Also make sure that you cat can look out the window. If you have high windowsills, consider buying a cat perch for windows so they have a place to sit and look out. For extreme fun, take your cat outside. I don’t recommend letting your cat out to run free if you live in town or on a busy street. I do recommend using a cat leash, and yes I know you don’t want to be “that person” who walks their cat, but it provides them with exercise and you don’t have to go farther than your yard.
I hope that these tips help you and make your kitty less destructive in your apartment! Let me know if you have any other suggestions or if any of these tips worked for you!
*according to the data from our PlaceofMine search engine