Chewing on household items or scratching on the sofas, carpets or fly screens are completely normal feline behaviours but nobody wants to have their furnishings destroyed by over-active claws and teeth!
Cats will commonly chew on items to soothe their gums during teething, to exercise their natural instinct to use their back teeth, to alleviate boredom - or just for the pure enjoyment of it. A cat with gum disease, nutritional deficiencies or a digestive issue may also gnaw or drool on items, indicating something is amiss. It is important to visit your veterinarian for an thorough examination so that any underlying medical issues can be ruled out first.
Items that cats chew often include strings, wires and cords, plants, household fabrics, leather furniture, ribbons and tinsel which may cause hazards such as choking, intestinal obstruction, toxicity or electrocution.
The simplest solution is to put these items out of reach but this is not always practically possible.
There are a number of reasons why cats do this but the main reasons are sharpening the claws, marking territory, security and alleviating boredom. Rather than getting angry or reprimanding your cat, providing an alternative place to scratch and have access to mental stimulation can help.
Boredom can be resolved by providing a regular daily routine of play and exercise for your cat.
For more information on training your cat to use a scratching post, visit: