Ask Lyle - Why Can't I Scratch on the Couch?

Ask Lyle - Why Can't I Scratch on the Couch?

Ask Lyle is our weekly cat-to-cat advice column from Modern Cat (and ridiculously outspoken gentleman), Lyle. Submit your questions to, and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the questioning cat so that we can post it with the advice!

You can also follow Lyle's adventures on Twitter and Instagram, @lylestagram. 

Dear Lyle,
My mom recently bought a new scratching area for me, a beautiful leather apparatus with big soft comfy cushions. It's made of this wonderfully supple leather that I just can't wait to dig my claws into, but every time I start to wind up for my scratch, she shoos me away! What is the deal here? I know she bought it for me, I mean, have you seen me? I am extraordinarily cute. The other weird thing that has been going on at my house is that mom decided the other day that she would trim my nails. What a rookie. Clearly, if she would just let me use the leather scratching pad, trimming wouldn't be necessary! Can you shed any light on to this strangest of situations?
-Itching to Scratch Nibbles
Dear Nibbles,
Hi there! Before I get to your question, can I just say that Nibbles is an amazing name? Well done, Nibbles' mom. Ok, let's get down to brass tacks here. I understand the need to have a good scratch, for sure. It helps us shed dead layers of our claws, allows us to mark our territory, and is great for stretching our backs and shoulders. Hang on a second.
Sorry, I had to go have a scratch of my own. It just sounded too good. I think the problem in your house is that the leather scratching area you describe is actually your mom's couch. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was expensive, and she probably didn't intend for it to be a scratching area. I am also willing to bet that she has bought you another piece of furniture, specifically for scratching. Is there a post nearby, covered in carpet? Does she give you tonnes of pets when you walk anywhere near it? Does she sometimes put her own paws on it pretending that she is using it (looking like an absolute fool in the process)? If so, that might just be your very own scratching post. You should feel free to go absolutely crazy on it! See how quickly you can shred the material! 
I know it can seem like our moms and dads have a screw loose sometimes, but in the human world, a leather couch is more valuable than your scratching post. I know, I know! Where is the logic in that world?! There is none. Just play along, and if you are able to resist scratching on her toy, she will think you are the smartest cat in the world. 
Let me know how it goes!

Read more of Lyle's sage advice here:

My Human is Obsessed with Me! from Bolivar

A Cat's Sixth Sense from Elroy

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