Many cats do not like closed doors at all. As soon as a door is closed, they begin to scratch it and sometimes complain loudly. The behavior can be very annoying, especially at night.
Scratching a cat’s door can not only strain the nerves of the pet owner, it can also cause damage. For example, if a cat frequently scratches the apartment door, it can show considerable scratches, which can be extremely expensive, particularly for tenants.
It is quite possible to stop the room tiger from scratching the door. First and foremost, this requires consistency. In addition, some rules of conduct can help you train your cat to scratch the door.
Why do cats scratch on closed doors?
Cats scratch for different reasons. Often, these are completely natural behaviors that serve to mark areas or care for claws. If your cat scratches the sofa or wallpaper, this can be explained with the natural behavior and should be redirected to objects such as the scratching post.
This is different when scratching the door. As a rule, these are not natural basic needs, but there are usually other reasons for behavior.
Most velvet paws scratch on closed doors because they want to get to the pet owner. Therefore, this behavior can often be observed at night when cat owners lock their bedroom door.
Other cats also show behavior during the day when, for example, the bathroom or front door closes and they can no longer get to the pet owner.
Still other four-legged friends have a particularly strong aversion to closed rooms. As soon as a door is locked, they start scratching and meowing. In the situation, the animals are very unsettled and can even panic.
How to stop cats from scratching doors?
Your cat is scratching the door? It would certainly be easier at this point to always keep the doors open so that your room tiger can get anywhere at any time. In reality, however, this is difficult and don’t need to. Because with training you can stop the cat from scratching doors:
1. Get the cat used to closed doors
In this first step, you get your cat used to enclosed spaces. To do this, go into the room with your velvet paw and close the door. Your cat will then receive a reward, for example through a positive response, petting, playing or a treat.
This first step should be repeated several times a day over a period of one week. Be sure to do the training in different rooms.
Soon your cat will no longer only experience the closed rooms negatively, but will connect them with something positive. If your cat stays noticeably quiet when closing the door and may even be expecting her or his reward, you can slowly take the second step.
2. Get the cat used to a closed room without a pet owner
In this training step you proceed as before, but only your cat is in the closed room. With the door you separate it from yourself.
Your cat gently and slowly get used to the new situation. Therefore, only close the door for a few seconds, then open it and the cat will receive its usual reward.
Over time, you can increase the intensity of your training by increasing the amount of time your cat has to stay alone in the enclosed space. If it is only a few seconds at the beginning, your cat may endure a few minutes behind the closed door after a few days. Make sure that it does not meow or scratch during this time.
Training was successful if your cat stays calm behind the closed door. If you close the room and your cat scratches the door, repeat the training and slow down.
Behavior when scratching the door at night
The training should also make nightly door scratching unnecessary. Because your animal understood that a door opens again and that locked room doors don’t have to be bad. If it happens that your cat scratches the door again at night, don’t give in under any circumstances.
The scratching and whining should never be rewarded by opening the door. If your animal is not supposed to enter the bedroom at night, there can be no exception to this rule.
You can provide your animal with food for the nightly appetite. In addition, it often helps if the cat is more busy during the day. Extensive games in the evening can help to ensure that the nocturnal animal does not get bored at night and therefore tries to get to the animal owner.
Balls or special activity toys are particularly suitable for this. However, toys such as cat fishing with long lines or the like should not be left unattended to the animal, since the risk is too great that your animal will be injured.
Tips for successful training
For successful training, it is not just a matter of adhering to various training steps, but it is also important to consider other basic training elements. These include in particular:
Consequence: It is important so that your animal can rely on your behavior. He or she has to understand that his/her behavior is stuck. If you give in once, you have to start training again and have a harder time getting the unwanted behavior out of the cat.
Patience: The consistent training should take place over a longer period of time. This can require a lot of patience from the pet owner. However, it is worthwhile to be calm and patient, because afterwards your animal will also behave more calmly.
Small training steps: Do not put too much effort on your cat and adjust the pace to the individual receptivity of the animal. Small steps lead to success better than training that is too fast and impatient.
Positive reinforcement: scolding leads to nothing in cats. This can even worsen behavior and negatively affect the relationship of trust. It is better to work with positive reinforcement. If your cat behaves correctly, show it with rewards. Improper behavior is ignored, which will teach your cat that this will result in nothing.
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