How to keep cats from scratching furniture: Simple and safe tips
Cats are super cute and incredible pets. However, some frustrating surprises can occur. It is not a secret for some cat owners that you can find your favorite couch destroyed with sharp claws. So, why does this happen, and what can you do in this case? How to keep cats from scratching furniture?
Why do cats scratch furniture?
Don’t blame your feline friend for the deliberate damage to your furniture! Cat scratching is a part of natural behavior, and they never do it on purpose to irritate you.
There are multiple reasons why cats can scratch furniture:
- Keeping healthy claws
- In the wild, cats’ claws work for their safety and security. So, at the back of their mind, cats want to keep their claws sharp.
- Marking out territories
- Cats have scent glands in between their paws. While scratching, these glands release specific odors that help felines to mark their territory.
- To keep fit, cats need to stretch their muscles. So, scratching works as a regular stretching exercise as well.
- Stress relief and having fun
- Scratching is an anti-stress process for felines that helps to ease tension and prevents some other bad habits related to stressful situations. It works similarly to people when they hit a punching bag to relieve stress.
- In addition, cat scratching can be the result of boredom and excess energy. When your cat is bored and full of energy but has nothing interesting to do, then scratching can become a fun but bad habit.
- Managing claws
- Cat’s claws need regular managing, so felines can do it naturally by scratching them. Unmanaged claws can lead to health issues, as they can grow into the cat’s paw pad, and cause pain condition and even infection.
How to keep cats from scratching furniture?
You are lucky that cats can be easily trained to scratch at appropriate spots. So, you need just a little patience and the necessary items to train your little whiskered buddies.
There are several key points:
- Get the scratching items and place them in your home
- Put them in your cat’s favorite spots
- Attract your cat to the scratching spots
- Praise and encourage them to scratch the allowed spots
At the same time, you should distract your felines from the furniture every time they try scratching it again. Below there are some tricky tips on how to turn your cat away from scratching the forbidden areas.
What scent keeps cats from scratching furniture?
Have you ever heard that most cats detest citrus scents? So, it is one of the best tips on how to keep your cat’s attention away from the furniture scratching.
Such scents as orange, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, and some others are naturally averse for felines. So, the citrus fragrance can be your furniture protection from cat scratches.
#1. Scratching posts
The most popular and evident solution is to buy a scratching post for your cat. When having something to scratch freely, no fear your kitty will scratch your furniture.
At the age of two months, kittens start scratching. It is high time to provide your little furry buddies with scratching posts. Train your cat to use a scratching post from a young age, and you can never face scratching problems.
A good idea is to buy several scratching posts and place them strategically around your home. So, your cats will have the freedom to choose the best place to sharpen their claws. In addition, scratching posts usually come with various surfaces, and you can’t know for sure which one your cat will like the most.
Choose the best place
Correct placement of the cat scratching posts also matters. You may be thinking of the corners as the best places for that, but in fact, it is not the best idea.
Figure out the areas where your cat spends the most time, and that is key. Place the scratching posts close to the cat’s bed or the favorite lounge spot. If your cat takes a fancy to the specific furniture, place the scratching post near it.
Praise your cat
The cause-and-effect relationship works for cats as well. Every time your cats scratch the posts instead of your couch, praise them and encourage them with cat treats. This simple and fair tip reinforces your cat’s positive behavior.
Capture your cat’s interest
If treating and praising don’t work enough for your cat, then try some other ways to distract your cat from scratching furniture.
A brilliant idea is to use some catnip or honeysuckle bonus to attract your cat to the scratching posts. Sprinkle the scratching posts with some powdery catnip, or spray the honeysuckle essence to draw your feline’s attention. These scents can induce your cat to scratch the post instead of your couch.
Use a wand toy to attract your cat. Play with a wand toy near the post, and then attach it here, so your cat can discover a post and scratch it.
#2. Make your furniture unattractive for scratching
Get your cat to stop scratching your furniture with a help of these techniques.
Cat scratch spray
This tricky substance can make your cat think that chosen territory is already marked. You can buy this spray at the pet shop, or find a tutorial online and prepare your homemade version.
The main two things to remember are that you need to use this spray daily until your cats stop scratching chairs and couches, and never spray it in the same room with your cats.
As a variant, you may use a citrus-scented spray as well. As most cats naturally detest citrus odors, you can keep your cat away from the sprayed furniture.
Cat scratch tape
Cat scratch tape is a double-sided tape with both sticky surfaces. Apply it to the area where your cat likes leaving scratch marks. Cats dislike sticky paws, so sticky tape on the furniture is a good way to defeat this bad habit. You can stick this tape on fabric and hard surfaces as well. As an alternative, you may use an aluminum foil covering.
These are clear vinyl panels that you can install on the furniture that your cat likes scratching. They are available in many sizes, and usually come with screw pins, so they are super easy to install.
#3. Deal with cat’s claws
One more important way to stop the scratching habit is to maintain your cat’s claws. Not only it can save your furniture from cat scratches but is also essential for your cat’s health.
Don’t forget to trim your cat’s claws regularly! Generally, it is a good way to stop your cat from scratching. Opt for high-quality and easy-to-use cat nail clippers. As their claws are round, they are designed to press evenly around the whole nail. Make sure that nail clippers have curved edges. These special clippers are much more comfortable than usual ones.
Trim your cat’s nails every few weeks to prevent both scratching and overgrowing issues.
Soft nail caps
These are soft vinyl caps that are absolutely painless for your cat. Just glue these caps on the cats’ claws, and they will last for about 4-6 weeks. Isn’t it a great way to eliminate the claw marks on your furniture?
Cat socks or mittens
You can try to wear cat socks and mittens on your cat’s paws. However, this is not the best alternative, since it works just for some felines. Many cats get frustrated and keep removing foreign objects from their paws.
- Should I declaw my cat?
- Although scratching is a big trouble for some cat owners, declawing is not a good solution at all. Unless your cat has a rare case of a cancerous nail bed tumor, never accept this idea for your furry friend. The Humane Society of the USA opposes cat declawing as inhumane treatment.
- Declawing is a surgical procedure that means removing the last bone in each of your cat’s toes. As this bone bears a claw, this procedure stops it from regrowing.
- Declawed cats suffer from multiple health issues, including physical pain, lameness, bone spurs, nerve damage, and infection. Declawing brings some bad behavior issues to many cats, such as biting, cat anxiety, aggression towards people or other cats,and refusal to use the litter box.
- In short, it is a risky and painful procedure that is not worth doing. Instead of laming, it is always better to train your little furry friend to stop scratching furniture.
- What if my cat is too energetic?
- Some cats scratch when they are bored and have nothing to waste their energy. So, if your furry friend is full of energy but has nothing to do, there are high chances to face scratching problems.
- Play with your cat regularly. Cats are sociable animals, so they need your attention. It is a good way to spend your free time having fun and keeping your feline friend busy with good exercise.
- Provide your felines with enough toys and playing items for physical activity that will keep them busy and prevent boredom.
- However, sometimes the excess energy is related to the cat’s anxiety. Felines can scratch when they are too anxious, which is part of a health issue. A good idea is to get a calming cat bed. It can help soothe the cat’s anxiety and reduce the need to scratch.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to train your cat to stop scratching. Choose what is best for your feline friends, and you will profit with both happy pets and whole furniture! Wonder How to Get Slime Out of Carpet, read the article.
We hope this article is helpful for you. Have you ever had some more experience? Share your ideas in the comments!