HELP- My cat scratches the furniture

Nov. 09, 2015

Scratching of the furniture is one of the most common complains of cat owners and is a common reason for cats to be surrendered. It is important to understand that scratching is a natural behaviour for cats. It is how they remove the outer sheath of their claws, to expose their new sharper claws. It is not a behaviour that you can actually stop but there are several things you can do to prevent your furniture being ruined.

  • Provide your cat with a scratching post alternative. If your cat does not have a suitable scratching post to ‘strop’ their claws, they will find an alternative such as your furniture.  I recommend at least two scratching posts in your house, ideally more. Cats tend to scratch when they wake so be sure to provide a scratching post in the area that your cat spends time hanging out in the morning.There are a huge variety of posts on the market and you may need to experiment to see what surface your cat prefers- many cats love sisal posts but some prefer to use carpet, wood or cardboard posts.The scratching post must be stable enough so it won’t rock or tip over and tall enough for your cat to fully stretch out when using it.
  • Teach your cat to use the scratching post – Cats do not always know what a scratching post is for so it is very important to invest some time into teaching your cat to use the post. Do this by playing games on and around the post. Get your cat to chase a moving object up and down the post – I find a feather attached to a piece of string usually does the job.. Do this several times a day until your cat starts using the post.
  • Trim your cat’s nails – this will not stop the clawing behaviour but will help reduce the amount of damage done.  Your vet can show you how to trim your cat’s nails as it is important to avoid cutting the blood vessel that runs along the nail. You can easily see this blood vessel in cats with pink nails and can trim on the other side of it.
  • Throw some slippery fabric on the couch – most cats do not like smooth or slippery surfaces as they are difficult to get a hold on. You can protect your couch by throwing something over it when you leave the house. When purchasing a lounge, carpet or wallpaper, go for a smooth rather than a very textured finish, and choose a tight rather than a loose weave.
  • Cover or remove other popular items  - cats hate anything sticky so you can put double-sided tape ion areas that they scratch.  Upside down carpet runner is a good deterrent.
  • With a little bit of time and patience it is possible to train your cat to leave your furniture alone and use those claws on a more appropriate item

Dr. Katrina Warren - Brand Ambassador & Petcare Expert

 Categories: scratching, pets, cats