Your Cat to Give Up Scratching Your Furniture

Terry M. Cervantes 

Do you know the horror of seeing your cat turn the arms of his favorite comfortable chair into ribbons? We feel your pain. We also know why cats scratch themselves-and how to redirect their behavior to good places.

Why do cats scratch themselves?

Why do cats scratch furniture and carpets? Even worse, why do cats scratch their walls at night? We used to mumble these questions all the time, and if you’re reading this … probably understand it.

The good news is that there are logical reasons why cats dig their claws into the soft surfaces of your home. Once you understand them, you can find ways to make this classic feline behavior less painful for your furniture.

Cats love to mark their territory, and this is exactly what their home is for them. Each stroke with your cat’s nails leaves scratching marks and pheromones coming from the scent glands of its paws, which allows each feline visitor to know exactly who it is — you know, just in matter you start letting the neighborhood cats visit your salon. Even if it doesn’t make much sense for domestic cats, it is a natural behavior that enriches them and makes them happy.

Scratching is also good for the body health of cats! Cat claws lose their outer layers as they grow, and scratching helps to peel off the old layers, leaving the claws underneath sharp and ready to use. We all also know that cats like a good stretch, and when they reach the top of the cat tree, that’s exactly what they have. A good Stretch-n-Scratch can even be a way to show your satisfaction — which may be the reason why your cat scratches when you pet it.

The fact is that the scraping is good. The goal is not to prevent them from scratching completely (and certainly not to scratch them, which is painful, unnecessarily peril and incredibly painful for a cat). Instead, we are going to show you how to prevent cats from scratching furniture by working with their natural instincts.

How to deal with cat scratching

Redirection to approved scraping sites

The truth is that you will never prevent a cat from scratching – you can’t action instinct! Instead, the key is to encourage your cat to scratch scratching posts and other human-approved places (i.e. not on your couch).

Get them a variety of Cat trees and cat trees-try vertical and flat poles and an assortment of materials like rope, cardboard and wood. (Consider skipping the carpet posts, as it could be confusing if your cat can scratch the carpet there, but not in the rest of the house.)

Place the poles near (or even block them) your current favorite scratching points.

Place other poles in your favorite places to hang out — at the litter box, next to your usual space on the couch, or at your nap spot for a good stretch when you wake up.

Make the posts attractive by rubbing them with catnip and accessorizing them with your cat’s favorite toys.

Avoid scratches on the wrong places

Once you’ve come up with better places to scratch, the next step is to make your old destinations less attractive. Some cats can easily switch to their scratching posts, but these tips are essential for cats who scratch everything except the post.

It is important to note that we do not recommend screaming, scaring or spraying your cat if it scratches. You can move them away from the place if necessary, but if you are the one who insults them, they might associate the scary things with you instead of scratching each other. You can stop googling homemade Sprays to prevent cats from scratching furniture and take a much less invasive approach!

  • Remove or block your usual scratching surfaces whenever possible. For example, if you scratch your speakers, temporarily turn them against the wall.
  • Cover the scratched areas with an unpleasant texture, such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil. If it doesn’t feel good to scratch, you won’t scratch it.
  • Use dented mats or crumpled aluminum foil to make the places where you would normally plant your feet to make your scratches less comfortable.

Don’t worry, you won’t have a sofa covered with aluminum foil forever. These changes are all temporary and you can wean your cat off them if he breaks his old habits and starts scratching in better places.

Take care of these claws

It’s a good idea to reduce the damage caused by scratches by keeping your cat’s nails short and smooth. You can use cat nail clippers or a nail sander to cut the nails. Read our full guide on how to trim your cat’s nails here.

You can also try applying cat nail caps after your nail-cutting session. These soft plastic covers are glued to each claw and fall off naturally when the top layer of the nail falls off. They are painless and prevent most of the damage caused by scratches, but some cats do not like their claws to be covered and will do their best to immediately pull this kitten manicure. You must test your cat’s tolerance and respect his limits if he continues to protest after a few tries with the nail caps.

By making compromises between what you want and what your cat needs, you can have a better relationship with your pet and the furniture so spotless and scratch-free that visitors wouldn’t even know you’re in a feline home – you know, if it weren’t for all that fur.

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Terry M. Cervantes 

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