As much as you may love your furry purring feline, my guess is that you do NOT love their attempts at interior design and to remodel your prized sofa, new rug or custom made curtains?
So how do you get your cat to stop scratching the furniture?
First, you need to understand why your cat is doing it. Scratching is a very normal and necessary behavior and cats scratch for a number of reasons.
- To keep their claws healthy by removing dead layers
- To mark their territory and leave a calm signal that they are in a safe space. Cats have glands in their paws which leave a pheromone on surfaces when they scratch.
- To help ease muscle tension by allowing them to stretch out their back, shoulders and neck.
- To ease frustration – a bit like how we might use stress ball, or a work out at the gym!
Check out the below video from Purrfect Post for a good explanation (note they do not ship to the UK, but recommended products are below)
So ok – that’s great but what can I do?!!
Make sure your cat has something they can scratch!
This needs to be
- The right size
Can they stretch fully? A lot of cat posts I have seen in pets at home etc. are far too short. Your cat should be able to really stretch out when their claws are at the top.
- Is it stable?
I wouldn’t want to scratch on something that might fall onto me.. would you?
- In the right location
Is it in the hallway where everyone comes past? I would have one in the room where they have been scratching ideally around the area. So near the curtains/sofa etc.
- Is it the right kind of material?
Some cats prefer rougher material – is it smooth? Or do they have a stop-start motion?
- Horizontal vs. Vertical?
Some cats prefer horizontal scratching mats. You can find some cardboard versions of these in Sainsburys or other supermarkets or online – see below for links to recommended products. They are cheap but will need replacing every couple of months (often you can turn them over to get a few more months use out of it)
- How many?
If you have more than one cat you will need to have more than one scratching post or mat. Ideally one per cat plus one and not all in the same room.
Deter your cat from scratching the furniture by
- Providing a suitable scratching post – see above and recommended products below
- Use Feliway spray to help mark the furniture with a calming scent so your cat doesn’t feel the need to mark it themselves.
- Using double sided sticky tape – or cover the area with a sheet until the cat is using the scratching post regularly. Sticky tape is not very nice on their claws but won’t cause any pain
- NEVER yell or punish your cat. They won’t make the link between your yelling or worse spraying them with water and what they are doing, but instead will just be afraid of you. Punishment rarely works with any animal but especially cats!
Just click on the links below to go straight to Amazon.