Cat Scratching And Your Furniture

It’s a relatively known fact that cat’s love to scratch. It’s also a fact that they need to scratch as well and they can quickly wreck your favorite furniture if you don’t take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place.

The good news is that there are ways to help protect your furniture without resorting to the cruelty of declawing your cat. In order to accomplish this, you will need to try and encourage your cat to scratch on her scratching post instead of your furniture.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

There are many different reasons for why cats scratch.

  • Scratching is a way for cats to tone their muscles and exercise.
  • Scratching is a way for cats to stretch.
  • Scratching is a way cats scent and mark their territory through scent glands in their paws.
  • Scratching is a way cats clean and sharpen their claws.
  • Scratching just feels good to them.

Scratching is a natural behavior in cats. It should always be encouraged and supported as it helps to keep your cat both fit and healthy. Never use physical punishment if your cat is scratching your furniture. It does not work and will just alienate you from your cat.

When home you can at times stop your cat from scratching the furniture by raising your voice or clapping loudly, but this obviously doesn’t work when no ones around. So what does one do when you find yourself in this situation?

Tips To Help You Keep Your Furniture Intact And Your Cat Happy:

  • One of the most important things you can do to help protect your furniture is to buy a scratching post before you get your cat. If you have the post ready before you get your cat, the post will become an integral part of her environment when she arrives home. This is important because it’s very difficult to break a cats established behavior once it starts.
  • It’s best to buy multiple posts and put them in the areas that you believe your cat will use the most. At the very least put one near your cats sleeping area since cats love to stretch when they awaken.
  • The post you buy should be sturdy and not wobbly. If you buy a post that falls over while your cat is using it, she will very unlikely ever use it again as cats hate instability. The post should have a good solid base and feel well made.
  • You should always place a post in your main family area. Cats want to be a part of the family too.
  • In the beginning you will need to encourage your cat to scratch her post. To help encourage her to use her new post try rubbing some catnip on the post, or tie some of her favorite toys to the post. Try playing with your cat around the post as well so that she gets used to clawing the post.
  • Always make sure the post is large enough for your cat. A minimum of 3 feet is a good start, you will want your cat to be able to fully stretch on her post. When cats stretch, they love to dig in their front claws and arch their backs in order to stretch their front legs. If the post is too short, this makes it difficult for them to stretch properly and they will quickly find that your furniture is an ideal height.
  • Playing with your cat is important. Playtime helps keep her entertained, fit, and happy. And by playing with her around her posts, she will be less inclined to take it out on your furniture.
  • Since cat’s love to scratch rough surfaces, it’s best to find a post that is course and that your cat can happily destroy. Sisal rope, nylon backed carpet, and corrugated cardboard all make great post coverings. Cats can really get their claws into these materials really good.

Try to find a post that is similar in material to the furniture your cat likes to scratch and claw at. An alternative would be to try and make your own post if you can’t find one suitable to your cats tastes.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the advice, but we’ve had our cat nearly 8 years and have tried all these things several times and he just keeps coming back to our furniture and stairs. I’ve even tried double-sided tape and Softpaws but they were just alot of work and had dissapointing results. I’m hoping someone out there has some advice that can help us.

  2. I really enjoyed your site. Your advices are very helpful. I have a scratching post which is combined with a ball to play and catnip. The first 2 weeks my cat was very interested in it. Unfortunately he changed his mind and thinks our loveseat, diningroom chairs and bed are more interesting now.

  3. That is great information and right on target. I have found (I have 8 cats) being a long time cat lover and owner, that the best scratch posts are sisal covered. Sisal is a very durable material, and will last a long time. Also, if you rub a little catnip on the scratch pole, you can draw them right to it.