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How to make your cat use its scratching post


This article contains: cat scratching

Q: I've had both my cats for a long time. One of them uses their scratch post, but the other uses my (now virtually non-existent) carpet instead, and meows constantly. Can you help?

A: Some cats prefer to scratch horizontally, whilst others scratch vertically, so this probably explains why your cats differ in their behaviour. I suggest that you try putting a scratch mat over the carpet area that your cat is using to see if that helps. To make the mat more attractive to her, use a wire brush to scratch it a few times (in the direction that she normally scratches), to help 'get it going' for your pet. I would also rub the upper side of the scratch mat against the scratched carpet for a few minutes, so that it picks up some of your cat's scent.

With regard to the constant meowing, some cats learn that they receive attention when they meow, and this is the reason why they do it. However, as your cat is older, I recommend that you get her checked over by the vet as there may be an underlying medical problem. For example, cats who are suffering from hyperthyroidism can become very vocal indeed.

Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist


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sue
one of my cats seems to have a bit a a problem with his ear. I noticed today one ear is slightly down and he is reluctant letting me touch it, he is shaking his head on one side as though there is something in it. He's a house cat he's fine other wise
Petplan
Hi Sue, We asked Brian Faulkner, Petplan’s Vet of the Year to look into your query and he came back to us with the following advice: This could be caused by many things - but it sounds like whatever the precise cause it is leading to an inflammation of the ear canal. This is something that a vet needs to check out to make sure that it doesn't end up as a perforated ear-drum Brian Faulkner, Petplan Vet of the Year 2010
Petplan
Hi SueWe've also spoken to Scott Miller, TV vet and author. He's come back with the following advice:There certainly could be something in your cat's ear, though infection leading to inflammation and pain could also be a possibility. Cats are generally very hardy creatures and don't complain much, so if he is clearly distressed then book him an appointment to see your vet today.
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