How to Stop Cats Scratching Furniture, Cat Scratching Solutions That Work
All of us who own cats have at some time come across this problem from time to time to a greater or lesser extent, particularly if your cat is an indoor cat. Our cats are outdoors a lot of the time and get their scratching done their.Precious furniture and drapes shredded for, to us anyway, no obvious reason. This may apply to almost anything. Leather sofas, material chairs, wooden doors, window coverings, wallpaper. The list goes on and on.
To understand how to stop cats scratching furniture we must first look at why cats scratch furniture (or indeed anything else for that matter).
1) Cats enjoy scratching. it is impossible to know what goes on in a cats brain really but it must be a assumed that if it was not pleasurable then they would stop doing it.
2) It gives the cat some exercise. The stretching and flexing of muscles is a bit like a work out for the cat.
3) A cats claws are its weapons for defense and catching prey. Instinctively they must be kept in top condition and sharpening is part of the scratching process. Scratching removes dead/dry material and keeps the growing claws sharp.
4) Marking territory is also almost certainly part of the reason, which is why cats tend to have favored areas to scratch.
So you see it is not some malicious act that they are carrying out but merely an inbuilt behavior that you need to find a solution to.
Cat Scratching Solutions
How to Stop Cats scratching Furniture
1) Find an alternative for the cat to scratch. Scratching post: Various materials are advertised as being suitable for cat scratching posts but the most popular is still sisal. This seems to fulfill all the requirements for a cats scratching needs. A tree is probably the only better alternative.
- It must be tall enough to allow your cat to fully stretch
- It must be stable. If it falls over or wobbles too much then your cat will not use it
- It mus be the right material. As above sisal is the most popular
2) Put the post where the cat normally scratches. The idea is to provide a more attractive alternative. Once your cat starts using the post then you can move it gradually away to a more convenient spot.
3) Make whatever they were scratching before less attractive. There are various ways to do this. Hanging foil over furniture is one way. It will only be temporary until your cat gets used to the new post. Cats have an aversion to lemons so a citrus smell would put them off too.
4) Discipline to stop cats scratching furniture is not so easy. You can only do this yourself if you are there at the time (see How to Discipline a Cat). Punishment after the event is counterproductive.
Use something that the cat does not associate with you if necessary. a water spray for example is a useful method. There are commercial products that produce a harmless spray automatically and these are excellent for keeping a cat away from a particular area when you are not around. And products such as Feliway found on Amazon are very effective.
5) Make the post itself even more attractive. Rubbing on catnip for example is a great way of doing this.
Cat scratching solutions to stop cats scratching furniture are much easier if you start out with a kitten. Gentle encouragement and early deterrence can prevent the problem from ever arising in the first place.
A final few words. De-clawing is in my opinion and in the majority of the veterinary world a cruel thing to do. How would you like to have your fingernails cut right off down to the roots? it can lead to all sorts of changes in the way a cat walks, with subsequent joint and muscle problems. There is never any excuse for declawing a kitten or cat.
To sum up then. How do we stop cats scratching furniture.
1) Understand that it is a natural instinct.
2) Provide a better alternative to the furniture.
3) Deter your cat from scratching where they should not.
These cat scratching solutions do work and if followed will ensure that you can stop cats scratching furniture.