Scratching objects like furniture is a natural behaviour for felines, and they do it for several reasons. Here are a few reasons why your cat might be scratching your furniture:
- Cats have scents glands in their paws, and as such, they use scratching as a way to physically mark their territory and leave their scent behind.
- Another reason why cats scratch objects like furniture is to release pent-up energy, relieve stress and anxiety and express various emotions.
- Scratching is also how cats remove the outer layer of their claws and keep them sharp.
It is important to understand that scratching is natural and cannot be completely eliminated. As the owner, it is up to you to train and regulate this behaviour. Following the tips expressed in the next section, you can prevent your cat from scratching your furniture.
Top Ways To Keep Cats From Scratching Furniture
Provide Appropriate Scratch Posts
A scratching post is a vertical structure made from materials such as carpet, sisal rope, or corrugated cardboard designed for cats to scratch on.
Not only do scratching posts prevent your cat from damaging your furniture, but it also provides your cat with a bout of advantages that improves their quality of life. It is, therefore, important that you choose a scratching post that fits the needs of your cat.
Here are a few tips on how to find the perfect scratch post for your cat.
- Make sure that your scratching post is tall enough to allow your cat to extend while scratching fully. Your cat needs to stretch their body to ensure health and flexibility fully.
- Ensure that the scratching post you use is sturdy enough to handle your cat’s weight. Cats are shown to prefer sturdy scratching posts. An unsteady scratching post is extremely unsafe as it can easily topple over, potentially hurting your cat.
- Avoid stretching posts made from carpet, as the loops of the carpet tend to catch claws and yank on toes.
Nail Trimming And Soft Paws
As previously mentioned, one reason why cats scratch furniture is to maintain the sharpness of their claws.
Trimming the tips of your cat’s nails will reduce the sharpness of their claws and prevent them from causing damage to your furniture.
You can also use soft vinyl caps that fit over your cat’s nails and provide a soft, flexible barrier between their claws and your furniture. This prevents any damage that the cat might do to your furniture.
Both nail trimming and Soft Paws can be performed at home, but we recommend that they be performed by a professional to reduce the likelihood of harm to the cat.
Nail trimming and Soft Paws are best used with other techniques, such as scratching posts and redirecting scratching behaviour, to prevent future furniture scratching.
Deterrent Sprays and Double-Sided Tape
Cat scratching deterrent sprays are designed to deter cats from scratching furniture. They often contain bitter or unpleasant ingredients to taste and smell, creating an unpleasant sensation when the cat comes into contact with a surface it is sprayed on.
It aims to teach the cat to associate scratching with the unpleasant sensation, which will cause it to stop scratching on the item on which the deterrent spray is used.
It is important to use deterrent sprays in moderation because some of them contain ingredients that can be toxic in high quantities.
Organic deterrent sprays exist too, but if you would like to create your own, here are a few ingredients you can use.
- Add twenty drops of lemon essential oil, twenty drops of rosemary essential oil, and one teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to a spray bottle.
- Fill up the bottle with distilled water.
- Shake the bottle
- Test spray on a small part of your furniture to make sure that it does not damage your furniture
- If you have determined that it does not damage your furniture, you can spray the areas where your cats tend to scratch.
- Ensure not to spray directly at your cat, as essential oils can be toxic to cats, so be careful when spraying.
Another inexpensive option, double-sided tape, can help prevent cats from scratching furniture by making the surface less appealing to scratch. The sticky texture of the tape creates an unpleasant sensation when a cat tries to scratch the surface, discouraging them from doing it.
Use Vinyl Shields To Protect Your Furniture.
You can also cover your furniture with transparent vinyl to prevent your cat from scratching it. Screw pins make these panels easy to install, and they come in a variety of sizes. Cat claws cannot penetrate hard vinyl, so these stylish covers provide undetectable protection.
Even if you can’t prevent your cat from scratching furniture completely, these tips will reduce the risk of damage to your home.
Are cat scratching posts effective in keeping cats from scratching furniture?
Yes, scratching posts are an effective means of preventing cats from scratching furniture. It is what they are designed to do.
In addition to saving your furniture from scratch marks, scratching posts also provide a place for your cat to rest and play. This improves your cat’s quality of life and gives them the exercise they need.
Can I do the cat scratch post-training, or is it best to get a professional?
You can do the cat scratch post-training, but it is best to get a professional if you are unsure how to do it. A professional will know the right way to do this, and they will also have the equipment needed to make this process easier for you.
What should be done with an old scratch post if your cat has moved on from it?
If your cat has moved on from their old scratch post and is no longer being used, there are several options for what to do with it.
If the scratching post has been gently used, you could donate it to animal shelters. They will gladly accept your scratch posts for their cats.
If your cat post is made from materials that can be recycled, you should recycle it. This reduces waste and helps the environment.
If you are handy, you can upcycle the old scratch post into something new, like a plant stand, bookshelf, or even a piece of furniture.
If the scratch post is beyond repair, recycling, or upcycling, it is okay to throw it away. It is important to dispose of it in an environmentally responsible manner.