How to Stop a Cat From Scratching Furniture

April 21, 2018 in Articles

If you’re a cat parent, like me, you may have searched for ways on how to stop a cat from scratching furniture.  In the past, my leather (or other fabric) couches had been scratched so badly that they had to be thrown away not long after they were purchased.  I have found some solutions to this problem and wish to share them with you!  

I’ve written this article because it is my intention to provide you with information as to why cats scratch furniture and to also make you aware of safe solutions for this issue you may be facing, in hopes that the ‘cat-scratching’ problem in your home, will be resolved.

Some cat owners have opted to use methods that are unsafe for their feline family members because they are unaware of alternate choices.  Please read on.

Cats just want to have fun!

 

Why You Should Choose NOT to De-Claw Your Cat

An ever-increasing number of individuals are finding out that declawing is unsafeinhumane, and absolutely unnecessary.  Some opt to declaw because they are unaware of alternate methods that can be utilized in the prevention of cat scratching in the home. When seeking solutions on how to stop a cat from scratching furniture, please explore the safe options that are available and which we will discuss later.

Important:  Declawing, as easy as it first sounds, isn’t at all a decent decision. It is ethically disputable, and unlawful in many nations. As a cat lover, I have opted not to declaw any of my four house cats.

It is important to understand that declawing a cat is NOT just the removal of the cat’s claws, but involves the amputation (or removal) of the digits, right up to where the first joint is.  Complications can arise during and after surgery, and it is also painful.  Once the claws are removed, your cat will not have balance as he or she did prior to this surgery.  Declawing produces pain while healing and when walking, too.

Pretty blue nail caps for me — no declawing!

 

Clays Mill Veterinary Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, made a declaration that it would never again offer to declaw. “After careful thought and much searching, we have chosen to stop declawing cats,” the clinic wrote. “We realize that even under the best of conditions, a declaw is a noteworthy and painful surgery … It is a removal of the end of the cat’s ‘finger,’ not only the removal of the claw itself. What’s more, notwithstanding when done perfectly, can have long-lasting complications.”

On account of this realization, urban areas and various states have been passing laws against declawing a previous couple of years. As the world turns out to be more claw-accommodating, individuals are becoming keen on alternate methods for sparing their furniture, carpeting, woodwork, etc., from their cats’ destructive scratching. 

Before we investigate how to stop your cat from scratching your furniture or carpeting, we should look at the reasons as to why your cat scratches things.  Have you ever wondered WHY they just want to scratch and scratch?  I have.

 

Why Do Cats Like to Scratch?

  • Claw Maintenance

The vast majority realize that their cats sharpen their claws while scratching. This is valid.  However, in the event that it was the main reason, you could (without a doubt) tuck the post away and just take it out, let’s say, once every week for nail care. In any case, there are more vital reasons associated with scratching.

  • Exercise

Cats get exercise while they scratch since they stretch their muscles and tendons from the shoulders to toes.  And, from my experience, if your cat’s “gym” is too far away, she will simply pick a closer match to scratch … like your couch.

  • Territory Marking

Scratching leaves visual imprints and a fragrance from the cat’s paw pads. As your cat would see it, these imprints cannot be left just anywhere.  Each location where they are distributed is vital to your cat.  This implies cats need to scratch in specific locations.  What’s more, they usually choose several locations in the home.

  • Stress Relief   

Lastly, it just feels good for your cat to scratch because it relieves stress for them.  It makes them feel relaxed and content after a good “scratching session”.  Ahhh!

 

Where to Place Cat-Scratching Posts

Ex. Of A Cat Scratching Post

 

Once you understand that your cat needs to scratch in different locations all throughout the house, it will make sense to get more than one scratching post. 

Place the scratching posts in various places in your home.  (Your cat would not have access to a storage room, so do not place them there, of course.)   Be sure to strategically put them in places that are accessible to your precious kitty for when the ‘urge’ arises.

Here are Good Locations:

  • Places where your cat scratches already  

By scratching in those “special” areas, your cat is already revealing to you where he needs the post to be.  You don’t have to understand cat language or know why your cat scratches in a specific location.  What difference does it make, anyway?

  • Near your cat’s activity spots

That is, put at least one post in each room where your cat spends a lot of time.  Multiple posts are preferable, particularly in central family-gathering rooms.  In the event that your cat takes a nap on the couch, position a post nearby for when she awakens.  On the off chance that a cat watches winged animals through a window, it’s conceivable he will require a scratching post or pad close by.

  • Near Pathways

Wildcats will leave scratch marks along their typical regular paths and particularly in places where they converge with the paths of other cats.  In a house, however, places like door frames, household items, and corners along the route from a resting location to the feeding station and (afterward to the litter box), are commonly marked.  So put a scratching post (or a few) along the route.  Wall pads work incredibly well for this.

  • Next to the home entrance

Not all, but many, cats mark along the edge of their domain.  In a home situation, this border is regularly restricted to the front door of the house.  It might be a smart thought to put a scratching post close to the passageway.  In this way, your cat will have the ability to leave scratch marks for guests to see and hop on a hoisted napping location to safely watch whoever comes in.

These four focuses should give you a clue of where to put scratching posts the way your cat wants them. In the event that you have a few uncertainties, it’s a good idea to present the greatest number of scratching posts that you can and put them all through the entire house, just to play it safe.

 

Varieties of Cat Scratching Posts You Should Choose

Scratching posts, generally, should not be too big and take up the greater part of your living quarters.  Obviously, you could have a substantial Cat Tree (see image below) in the cat’s most frequented area of your home; however, different spots can be filled with smaller posts and pads.

 

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Contingent upon your cat’s choices, the best cat scratching posts are covered with sisal rope, regular rope, or even bare wood.  

 

Concerning Form and Type, You Have 3 Options:

 

Click on Image to Purchase

1. POST ON A BASE

This is made with a single post and a toy attached to its top and end with an extensive post that has rope-covered pillars. It’s sensible to have a couple of bigger ones in some central spots of your home and smaller ones all throughout the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2.  SCRATCH PADS ATTACHED TO THE WALL  

This gives a vertical scratching area.  However, unlike a scratching post, it doesn’t consume space on your floor. Typically, these can be deliberately placed in specific locations through the house, and along the pathways used by your cat, placed at various heights.  

 

 

 

 

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3.  SCRATCHING PADS PLACED ON THE GROUND 

There are cats who very much want horizontal scratching, and most cats like it at least to some degree. Horizontal posts give an alternate scratching experience and are incredible if, for instance, your cat claws the carpet. In such a case, you can basically put the pad close or even over the scratched location.

NOTE:  The essential attributes of a scratching post or pad are their size and soundness.  Larger posts ought to give your cat the space to complete an entire body stretch. 

Stability is critical, on the grounds that cats are probably not going to scratch unbalanced surfaces.  They are awkward and futile for stretching purposes.  The same goes for hopping on cat trees; in the event that they are too flimsy, a cat won’t feel secure on them and will not want to make use of them.

 

How to Train a Cat to Use a Scratching Post

Getting suitable, good quality scratching posts and putting them in vital locations is one thing. Yet, getting your cat to utilize them.

NOTE: If you restrict your cat from utilizing one location for scratching, normally, he will search for another spot in a close-by region. However, this is great, since this new location could be the scratching post which you have just placed right beside the undesired location. is not ensured.

Ways to prompt your cat to utilize a scratching post:

  • Perfect Location

Nothing is as productive as using the right scratching post in the ideal place. Which object to scratch isn’t as vital for your cat as where to scratch. In the event that you think about where this “where” is, you are probably going to get away with no training.

  • Use An Interactive Toy

Begin by playing with your cat and giving him a chance to catch the toy while it sits on a scratchable surface. He won’t just get his hooks into the toy, but into the post as well. Due to the cat’s instinctual behavior, he will get the rest.

  • Scratch The Post With Your Own Fingers

The noise created by your finger scratching her post should cause your cat to become curious about the post.

  • Catnip The Post

Not all cats react to catnip, but rather, the ones who do are probably going to rub, chew, and scratch objects that possess a scent reminiscent of catnip. On the off chance that your cat gets her paws into the cat tree as a result of catnip, she is probably going to comprehend the advantages of the scratchable surface. Simply take a little pinch and rub it onto the scratching post surface. (Seal whatever remains of the catnip in an air-tight container.)

Try not to put your cat’s paws on the post’s surface by force. This won’t work, it will make your cat confounded and focused, and he will probably stay away from the negative experience in the future by not approaching the post… or you.

 

Below are Some Ways to Stop a Cat from Scratching your furniture

The fact that you figured out how to get your cat to use the scratching post does not ensure that he won’t utilize old spots, for example, your couch, carpets, or walls. What is necessary here is to make those spots physically out of reach or undesirable for scratching.

  • Use Double-Sided Sticky Tape

You can place some tape on top of the scratched surface; this way, your cat will lose enthusiasm for it because (as opposed to sharpening claws), the surface will now adhere to her claws.

Place a post in front of — or over — the scratched surface, and it’s quite possible that your cat will pick the scratching post rather than the great old couch.

  • Cover The Location With A Plastic Sheet

These are, by and large, utilized as table covers and can be found in many sizes and shapes. Simply put one on top or at the front of the scratched area, or attach it to the wall with tape, covering the scratched region. The hard and elusive surface is totally inappropriate to scratch and will be uninteresting to your cat.

  • Rearrange Furniture

Put undesired spots out of convenient reach of your cat. For instance, if your cat leans towards a specific area of the wall, you can temporarily put a seat in front of it.

  • Apply A Repellent Spray

I recommend this all-natural spray to keep your cats away from your furniture and to apply it on the scratched surfaces; your cat should abstain from approaching it. Be that as it may, the spray must be reapplied every now and again to your couches or other places that were scratched. This is an ALL-NATURAL Spray that is safe to use.

 

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Trim Your Cat’s Claws To Lessen The Damage 

The tips above are certain to stop your cat from scratching the furniture; however, nothing can guarantee that your cat will never, ever dig his claws into things other than a scratching post. In any case, you can lessen the severity of this problem by trimming your cat’s claws, which must be done, roughly, every 2 weeks to a month.

One thing that keeps cat owners from making progress with this is fear. You may be wondering, “How might I trim my cat’s claws without getting scratched?”  In any case, it isn’t as awful as it sounds. It is ideal to work at this gradually and familiarize your cat with being on your lap while you touch its claws and, bit by bit, working towards trimming them.

If you drive your finger in the middle of your cat’s claw pad, his claws will project outwards. You will see that your cat’s claw is, in part, transparent, and there is a vein inside it. Utilize high-quality cat claw clippers and trim the claw without trimming inside the vessel.  Do this carefully.  If you feel you cannot accomplish this on your own, then the answer would be to have your veterinarian’s office do this.

 

Utilize Vinyl Caps 

Colorful Claw Caps

 

In the event that you truly need your cat’s claws to remain out of trouble, endeavor to utilize vinyl caps. They can be placed right over your cat’s claws;  the caps should be reapplied about once every month.  If you wait too long and your cat’s claws have grown a bit, the caps will pop off.  (I know this, as it happens with my cats.) 

The soft cat nail caps have worked out well for my cats, with no issues. They normally come with an adhesive glue.  There are many colors to choose from when buying these, and your cat can be the most fashionable feline in the neighborhood.

Claw caps can be conveniently applied at home.  They are easy to apply, just as long as your kitty sits still for the time being.  I get my cat to become relaxed while sitting on my lap or on our couch and then I apply them, one at a time. 

It may take more than one or two tries to get both of his front paws capped.  It really depends on the demeanor of your cat.  

These new claw caps look very glamorous!

 

Conclusion

Now, would you say you are ready to stop your cat from scratching your furniture by trying one or more of the above methods? We bet you are!  Have fun and experiment with the different scratching posts and other suggestions mentioned to avoid damage to your furniture and other things in your home.

By implementing the above practices, your cat can certainly learn how to use (and have fun with) her or his scratching posts. I believe you will be happier, knowing that you took the above-mentioned measures for the well-being of your precious pet! 

It is my hope that you will choose not to declaw your cat’s claws.  According to the Humane Society of the United States, declawing a cat’s claws can be compared to cutting off a human’s finger right up to the last knuckle.

Thank you for reading this article, and I do hope you stop by again!  Many blessings ahead for you and your feline babies!

How to Stop a Cat From Scratching Furniture

6 Comments

    1. Jill says:

      Hi, thanks for the article about cats and their scratching. I couldn’t agree more about the de-clawing.
      Have you tried the wall mounted scratch pad? Do you think it would potentially risk the wall in any way?
      I also really like the nail caps. Are the cats still able to scratch with them on? Do they scratch with them on? They look so cute. Are they easy to apply? Thans again.

      • Cathy says:

        Hi, Jill!

        Glad you liked reading the article.  : )  Yes, I am very much against declawing cats!

        I haven’t tried the wall -mounted scratch pads yet, but will be getting them soon.  My cats have done a number on my walls so I will give them a try.  Many have reported that they work well!

        Regarding the nail caps, yes, they can still go through the same movements of scratching; the only thing is (positive!) is that the furniture and walls are not getting ruined.  : )  They are not hard to apply.  I have had some pop off when their nails begin to grow and push them outward.  So, they will need to be replaced with new ones as the current ones begin to fall off.  They do look very chic with them on!

        Thank you!

        Cath

    2. Rachel says:

      Yes, I am very against declawing a cat too. I mean, a cat’s instinct is to scratch. Declawing a cat is similar to removing the fingernails of a human. If anyone doesn’t like their fingernails removed, they shouldn’t declaw a cat either.

      I’ve only used scratching posts, but have never seen scratching pads around. Thanks for the new information. I’ll get round to do more research and see if they are more suitable than scratching posts in some cases.

      • Cathy says:

        I’m happy to hear that you are also against declawing a cat!  And, you are welcome!  Yes, there are more options other than the standard upright, free-standing scratching posts.  That is good that you are looking into possibly getting these.

        Your comments are appreciated.

        Cathy

    3. Hi Cathy.
      I absolutely love the cat cover ideas. This keeps your furniture and is very cute. But I have a couple of questions. Do they seems to annoy your cats at all? And if they happen to start chewing on them is there any chance of them getting them off and accidentally swallowing them?

      • Cathy says:

        Hello!

        Yes, the claw caps look very chic! As far as them annoying the cats, I can say that I haven’t noticed any of the cats I’ve ever placed them on trying to remove them. They seemed to be fine with them.

        With regards to swallowing them if they accidentally fall off, I have not had a problem with this, thank God! Actually, there are small pieces from my daughter’s toys on the floor, most of the time, and my 4 cats move them around with their paws (as if they are playing with them) but are smart to know not to eat any of these small toy parts. I kept a watch on this.

        So, with regards to the caps, I believe the same would be true, that they know better not to eat them. I have not read anything about cats swallowing them, which makes me happy! : )

        Thanks for the comment!

        Cathy

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