How to Prevent Your Cat from Scratching the Furniture

Cat stretching

We all love our cats but we appreciate our furnishings as well. It can get really expensive if we find ourself having to replace the sofa every year because the cat tore it up. It is natural for cats to stretch and scratch. Yelling at them or spraying them with water for scratching your carpet or chair is not the solution. How to prevent your cat from scratching the furniture. Is perhaps having your cat declawed the answer to your problem?

Cats, even ones strictly indoors, need their claws. They actually use their claws to assist them in their full body stretches. Many veterinarians and animal behaviorist are against having cats declawed. Many times the procedure of declawing can lead to physical, emotional and phycological problems in your cat. Many cats who get declawed eventually stop stretching all together. This can lead to muscle deterioration. If you can help it, take other steps before you consider declawing your cat.

Cat scratching post ropeGetting a scratching post or pad is a good first step in discouraging your cat from scratching your furniture. If you can not afford a scratching post then lay some scrap carpet on the ground or hang some on a doorknob. Be sure to give him or her a treat and praise them for using the post and not your furniture. They also sell cardboard scratchers at the pet store that you can set up as well. You should sprinkle some catnip on the cat designated scratching areas so that your kitty knows those areas are theirs.

As for your furniture, you can either buy furniture covers or you can cover them with a sheet or blanket until your cat gets the idea that the scratching post is for him or her and not the sofa. They also sell tape at the pet store that you can use. Tape the areas that your cat tends to scratch such as corners and on the bottom of the sofa or chair. This should prevent your kitty from scratching there. The sheet and tape can be removed once you have trained your kitty to use his or her designated scratching areas. Cats are intelligent creatures and will usually get the idea.




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2 Responses

  1. Jackie sawyer says:

    One of my cats is only 8 months old, but I have tried since I brought her home not to scratch my walls or door frames, but nothing works. Do you have any suggestions on how to stop this
    Thank you

  2. Rayna Phillips says:

    Hi Jackie! It is a natural behavior to scratch. Even declawed cats will go through the motions of scratching. However, when they start to scratch items that you do not want damaged, such as walls and door frames as in your case, this becomes a problem.

    It sounds like you have multiple cats. I’m assuming that you all ready have a scratching post(s). This is usually the first thing that you should get. You want to encourage them to use the post and not your furniture, walls, etc.

    What you need to do is re-direct the bad behavior of scratching your walls and door frames. You need to provide an enriched environment of things to do besides climbing the walls. Again, since you all ready have multiple cats you probably have an array of toys for them to play with as well as each other.

    Try another type of scratching post such as those cheap cardboard ones. Your 8 month old might enjoy sinking his/her claws into one of those instead of your door frames and walls.

    You might also try a deterrent on your walls and door frames. Try putting double sided tape on the areas that he scratches. Another deterrent you can try is spraying the door frames and walls with a product called Feliway. This spray emits a pheromone which is suppose to reduce stress and act as a marker. Many times cats will either scratch when they are stressed out or for territorial marking purposes. Feliway is made to mimic their own pheromones therefore, they don’t need to mark it with their scratches.

    Hope this helps you tame your wild 8 month old. Keep me posted on your progress.

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