How to Keep Cats from Scratching Furniture

How to Keep Cats from Scratching Furniture
 
 
 
 

If you haven’t already noticed, cats love to scratch and can leave irreparable damage on your furniture if not properly trained. This behavior comes to them naturally, and it's necessary. If want to keep cats from scratching furniture and the potential damage they will cause, this post is for you.

Why Do Cats Scratch Furniture?

According to animal experts, there are various reasons why cats demonstrate their scratching behavior. From excitement, during play, when stressed to marking their territory. They also scratch to sharpen their claws or remove frayed, worn-out claws to expose new, sharp ones.

So, what can you do to keep your cat from scratching furniture, carpets, drapes, and anything else valuable in your home? Read on to find out.

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Train Your Cat to Stop Scratching Your Furniture

There are various approaches that you could use to keep your cat from scratching furniture:

Offer Them Scratching Posts

The best strategy to keep your cats from scratching your couch is not to try to stop them. Instead, train them where and how to scratch. Scratching posts offer excellent alternatives to couches and furniture.

Most cats prefer scratching posts made from rough material that they can shred. The best ones are made of sisal, but you can try out ones made from cardboard, rope, or carpet.

You can invest in a vertical or horizontal scratching post, and test which one works out best. Cats that scratch furniture legs or the corners of your couch may prefer vertical scratching posts while those that scratch carpets and rugs may prefer a horizontal scratching post.

To get your cat to use the scratching post:

  • Rub catnip or spray catnip oil onto the post to make it more inviting.

  • Treat the cat every time she uses the scratching post.

  • Show your cat why the scratching post is there using your own fingernails.

Keep in mind, you may need to invest in several scratching posts and place them strategically around the house, close to areas they like to scratch.

Use a Spray

Unfortunately, not all cats adapt to scratching posts, particularly if you didn’t start training when they were younger. In such a case, you might want to create a spray that repels cats. Certain harmless herbal sprays will keep your cat from scratching unwanted surfaces or areas.

You can create your own cat spray by mixing equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture to spots that your cat frequents to keep it away.

Cats hate citrus-based odors. So, you can also use a mixture of lemon juice and water, and add essential oils, like orange oil or eucalyptus oil.

Use Tape

Cats abhor sticky surfaces and will avoid such areas. Try covering your cat’s favorite scratch surfaces using double-sided sticky tape, like Sticky Paws. These products work effectively at deflecting your cat’s couch obsession.

Alternatively, you could use plastic caps that fit over your cat’s claws, sheathing them. However, it's going to take some patience, and your cat must be calm to let you or a veterinarian put them on.

Some cats would tolerate them, while others will take them off. It's worth a try to see if your cat can keep them. The caps can last anywhere between four to six weeks and won't interfere with the normal claw retraction.

Discourage the Behavior

You can do this by covering the areas your cat frequents using aluminum foil or tucking a sheet around the scratched section. Removing this pleasurable aspect will eventually condition your kitty to avoid those surfaces.

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Can I Declaw My Cat?

Most cat owners mistake declawing for an easy fix to a cat’s scratching behavior. In reality, declawing your cat can cause serious, long-term issues. This action is considered cruel and is even illegal in most cities in the United States and Canada.

The cat won't be able to climb a tree, defend itself, and might cause chronic pain. Other reasons not to declaw your cat include:

  • Infection. Declawing not only causes pain but may also lead to life-threatening infections.

  • Nerve damage and bone spurs. Removing the claws is amputating your cat’s last toe bones. It's like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle. As you can imagine, the cats will experience painful bone spurs and nerve damage.

  • Lameness. The long-term pain and complications that may arise may render the cat lame for life.

So, as you can see, declawing your cat isn’t good and is cruel against animals. Remember, cats were created with their paws for a reason, and they need them as part of their normal functioning.

You can train your cat at an early stage not to scratch furniture. Or, you can buy scratching posts and teach your cat to use them instead of your precious couch.

Any thoughts? Let us know your comments!

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