How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Your Shoes
Even the most well-behaved cats can sometimes end up scratching our precious possessions, including our shoes. If your cat is ruining your favorite pairs of shoes, here are some tips that may help you to deter their mischievous behavior.
Provide an Appropriate Scratching Station
Cats are natural scratchers and they need an object to scratch on to satisfy their instinctual needs. You can buy a scratching post and offer your cat some alternative points of focus. Make sure the post is tall and sturdy, covered in a suitable material such as sisal rope, and presents a fun challenge for them to conquer. Provide rewards for when your cat chooses to scratch their post instead of your shoes, such as treats or a special toy.
Protect Your Shoes
Sometimes cats are attracted to the materials that shoes are made out of, such as leather or canvas. Protecting your shoes with a spray or tape may help to deter your cat from scratching them.
Redirect Your Cat’s Attention
If your cat is attracted to pouncing on or pawing at your shoes, providing them with an alternate object may help to distract them. Offer them a toy that resembles an animal they can chase, such as a small mouse or ball on a string.
When your cat behaves in a way you would like, it is important to give them positive reinforcement. Give them a tasty treat, cuddle them, or offer them a toy as a reward for their good behavior.
What Not to Do
Punishing your cat for scratching your shoes can be counterproductive. Shouting at them may intimidate them, but is unlikely to stop the behavior. Hitting them is never an appropriate response to any behavior.
By following these tips and providing your cat with an appropriate scratching station, you can help to minimize the amount of damage they cause to your shoes. With patience and positive reinforcement you may eventually be able to keep your shoes looking as good as new!