Cats are great companions who often keep to themselves most of the time. However, you may want to intervene if you’ve noticed scratched and torn furniture around your home.
Here’s what you need to know about why they scratch and how you can stop your cat from scratching your furniture.
Why do cats scratch furniture?
It’s natural for your cats to scratch.
There are many reasons they may scratch your furniture, including:
- To express excitement or stress
- To mark the object with their scent (“marking their territory”)
- To sharpen their nails
- To remove dead nails
- To get a good stretch
Cats aren’t usually doing it to be “bad.” They scratch it in reaction to an instinct. As their pet parent, your job is to find them a safe place to scratch, so they don’t ruin your furniture or table leg.
Tips to stop cats scratching furniture
You can provide alternative objects in your home and train your cat to scratch them when they feel the urge. Here are our top five tips to stop your cat scratching furniture:
1. Get a cat scratcher
Provide them with a safe object or toy to scratch instead of your couch. Your local pet store sells pet scratching posts, or you can do some YouTube searches to find a DIY cat post. Place it in a place they often scratch. For example, if you notice they scratch the couch while you watch TV, place their scratch post next to the sofa so you can redirect them when they start scratching.
2. Keep their nails trimmed
If your cat is scratching because its nails are too long, take them for a mani-pedi to trim their nails. Keep them shorter, and they’re less likely to scratch.
3. Cover commonly scratched objects
As you begin redirecting their scratching to a scratching post, cover commonly scratched furniture with something like a tight-fitting bed sheet, making it less satisfying to scratch. They’ll learn that the couch is no longer fun to scratch, so they’ll discover the scratching post instead.
4. Have cat toys
Get some good quality cat toys to occupy their mind so they’re less bored. Place some brain-stimulating toys in areas they commonly scratch, hoping they’ll use the toys rather than scratching your furniture.
5. Reward good behaviour
Play with your pet and their new scratching post or toy. Reward them with small dry cat food. When you notice them leaving the back of the couch to go across the room to scratch their post, reward them with a treat. GO! SOLUTIONS dry food recipes for cats make for great reward treats. You can find a recipe that works for your cat’s unique diet or considers any dietary concerns your cat has, including weight management, joint care, food sensitivities, and digestion.
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Don’t declaw your cat
You might be tempted to declaw your cat to prevent scratching your furniture, but we recommend against it. Declawing can be very painful for your cat, who needs its claws to live a healthy life. They use them to play and climb, and if they’re removed, you may notice negative behavioural changes and health complications in the future.
Dedicate and stick with it
Your cat will not likely stop scratching overnight. It will take dedication on the part of both you and your cat. Work with your cat, provide appropriate scratching alternatives like scratching posts and toys, and reward them with the best high-quality cat food like GO! SOLUTIONS dry food recipes for cats.
With time, your cat will be happier and healthier, and you can rest easy knowing that your cat will not destroy your new couch.