6 Tips to Prevent Your Cat from Scratching Your Furniture
One of the most commonly asked questions by cat owners is how to stop their cat from scratching the furniture. It’s a frustrating side effect of the wonderful experience that is cat ownership! Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep your cat from scratching your furniture. Read on to learn more.
Why Do Cats Scratch Furniture?
To solve the problem, it helps to know why it happens. Here are four of the main reasons cats scratch furniture:
1. She wants to stretch.
Scratching allows your cat to stretch her entire body, from toe to toe. It also gives her the chance to flex her feet.
2. She’s maintaining her claws.
Claw health is essential to your kitty’s overall health. Overgrown claws can embed themselves in her paws. Scratching allows your cat to get rid of the dead outer layer of nail.
3. It’s a stress reliever.
Just like playtime, scratching allows your cat to work off excess energy.
4. She’s marking her territory.
Scent glands can be found in your cat’s paws, and the act of scratching helps her mark her territory around the house. If you have several cats, it’s a way of communicating, but even one-cat homes tend to find this behavior.
How to Prevent Your Cat from Scratching Your Furniture
There are several ways to keep your feline friend from her destructive scratching:
1. Introduce Cat-Scratch Posts and Toys
If your cat doesn’t currently have any cat scratch posts or toys, she will naturally be attracted to your furniture! It’s important to give her her own space for scratching, or she will quickly turn on your couch for the reasons above. Even if you use the other tips in this list, this one is a must.
Scratch posts and trees are wonderful solutions and can provide your cat with extra enrichment too, like dangling toys and cozy places to sleep. Another option is a cardboard box specifically designed to be a scratching tool. It can be placed on the floor or hung from a doorknob.
Placement absolutely matters when it comes to introducing cat-scratch toys, especially if your furry friend has never tried them. Try adding them in front of her favorite furniture spots, so she associates the new items with scratching. Don’t hide them away. If your cat scratches to mark her territory, she’ll want to scratch something that’s in the middle of it all.
If your cat seems especially wary of the new household addition, encourage her to use it by putting cat nip on the post or toy. But be patient: It may take time for your cat to begin using the cat post or toys. Consider rewarding her with treats when she does use the correct item, rather than your couch or chair.
2. Use Products like FELISCRATCH
One item we recommend at Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital is FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY®. Scratching posts, as recommended above, can be extremely helpful to redirect scratching, but some cats are a bit reluctant to use them.
FELISCRATCH works by encouraging your cat to scratch in the correct places and will help her understand exactly what the scratching post is for. Application is simple, making this a very easy way to help keep your pet away from your expensive furniture. If you’re having trouble getting your cat to use the scratching post, talk to us about FELISCRATCH.
3. Deter Your Cat with Tape or Aluminum Foil
Cats tend not to be fans of tape and aluminum foil. If you’re working on getting your cat to stop scratching the furniture, enlist the help of one of these household items!
Place double-sided tape or tin foil on your cat’s favorite area. She will not enjoy the sticky feeling or the texture and may start to avoid the area.
4. Protect Your Furniture
Consider covering the tempting furniture with sheets you don’t mind getting hairy or ripped while your cat learns to use a scratching post. Tucking the sheets in tightly to prevent your cat from getting under them and scratching away anyway.
5. Spray the Surfaces
Just like tape and aluminum foil, cats turn their noses up at some scents. Using a scratch-deterring spray can help keep her clear of her favorite upholstery spots. Always use a cat-friendly spray, as some sprays and scents can be harmful to your pets.
6. Trim Your Cat’s Nails
Trimming your cat’s nails can help reduce her need to work off the dead outer layer of her claws. Using the right tools (Never use human nail clippers!), you can trim off the sharp end of her claws every week or every two weeks.
Getting your cat to stop scratching your furniture is a process; it won’t happen overnight. Declawing your furry friend may seem like a quick and easy solution to your furniture-scratching problem, this procedure is actually detrimental to your pet. The process involves amputating her digits to their first joint, which is comparable to cutting off your fingers at the last knuckle. This procedure has the risk of complications during and after and could even change your cat’s behavior and habits.
Thankfully, there are many effective and humane methods to stop your cat from scratching! The first step is always to introduce a cat-scratching post or toys and encourage her to use it. Combined with other tricks, such as double-sided tape, trimming her nails, and scratch deterrents, you can work towards getting your cat off her couch-scratching addiction.
If your cat’s nails need a good trim, our professional groomers can help! Call Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital at 281-693-7387 to make an appointment. We can trim your companion’s nails, make sure she’s in good health, and offer suggestions for cat-scratching solutions.