How to Stop Cats from Scratching the Furniture
Are you tired of choosing between your cat and your furniture? Fortunately, steering your feline away from your favourite couch is totally within reach. Here’s how to retrain your kitty to scratch elsewhere for a happy, intact home.
Most pet owners would prefer a scratch-free pet, though sadly, it’s not in the cards. That’s because scratching is a natural cat behaviour that’s best redirected. Whether it’s to stretch their muscles, mark their territory, maintain their claws or release tension, your kitty is practising healthy behaviour.
Keep in mind that scratching is likely to happen after naps or in your pet’s favourite places. Spots like the lounge, cat beds or sunny windows are prime real estate for scratching alternatives. While you don’t have to love the behaviour, encouraging it elsewhere can save your sanity.
Giving your cat an alternative scratch pad is one way to channel the activity. Browse your local pet store for scratching posts, trees, or boards as cat accoutrement. If your cat scratches in a few areas, offer them just as many scratching solutions. The more options they have, the better off your furniture will be.
Another way to pique your pet’s interest is by adding toys to the equation. Make the scratching posts even more enticing with colourful ribbons, mouse decoys or other eye candy. Sprinkle your cat posts with catnip or treats to establish interest early on. Create as many positive associations as possible to lure them in.
Giving your cat options is half the battle, though breaking bad habits is often more challenging. Discourage the behaviour by creating artificial barriers of entry. For example, tie a sheet around your cat’s normal scratching area to block access and deter scratching. If you’d rather, add aluminium foil or double-sided tape for added annoyance.
If your pet is sensitive to smell, try introducing a citrus spray. Cats don’t like the scent, which may stop them from repeated scratching. Try spraying it directly on or around your furniture in search of a more pleasant smell or scratch post.
Thinking back to the science of scratching, the activity itself helps maintain healthy claws. Proper grooming, like regular nail clippings, keeps their claws shorter and more manageable. Your cat might still scratch your furniture though, the damage isn’t likely to be as noticeable.
Cats might not know which furniture is off-limits, though you do have the tools to train them. By redirecting their natural inclinations and providing alternatives, you’ll be well on your way to sparing your sofa.
Got any other pet questions on your mind? If so, we’d love to help. Drop us a line for all your feline queries and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Thanks so much for stopping by and we hope to see you soon!