How To Stop A Cat From Scratching The Furniture

So you love your cat but you don't love the damage she is doing to your furniture. Cats scratching on furniture is a very common problem.

In fact it is actually necessary for your cat to scratch. The problem comes when they choose your furniture to do their scratching on. Cats scratch in order to shed the outer layers of their claws. It also helps them stretch their muscles as well as being a form of marking their territory. There are glands at the back of their paws. These glands release pheromones when the cat kneads on things.  That is why the cat kneads on you (she is telling the rest of the world "hands off!".

I know all of this information is good to know but how does that help your furniture?  It helps to understand why the cat is scratching, so that you can cover every front in training your cat (LOL)

The very best way to deter scratching on your furniture is to provide things they can scratch on, such as a scratching post or even a scratching toy that can be purchased at pet stores. Providing more than one scratching post or toy is a good idea. The trick is to get the cat to understand what is OK and what is not.  The best I can tell you, is to give rewards and try to use lures in order to convince the cat that she wants to scratch the post. Forcing the cat to scratch it will not convince the cat. In fact, it is likely to have the opposite effect. Just show it to her and when she uses it, praise her or give her a treat. Some cats can be enticed with a little catnip rubbed on the post.

The other line of battle in this war is to defend your furniture in ways that will deter the cat from scratching it until the cat develops new habits.

  • Double sided tape in the spots where she likes to scratch can help because cats do not like sticky things. 
  • You can also try Mixing some rubbing alcohol with some citrus essential oil and spraying in the areas you want her to avoid. 
  • Some cats are deterred by the scent of Bounce Dryer sheets rubbed on the furniture, carpet, or curtains.
  • I have found that making an obnoxious noise that startles the cat can stop the cat in mid scratch. Yelling doesn't really work though.
  • You can use a spray bottle or water gun to squirt the cat when caught, that way the cat identifies that spot as getting wet. Cats generally don't like to get wet.
  • There are deterrent products at the pet store you can try such as sprays, noise makers, etc.
  • Vicks vapor rub may deter the cat.
  • Trim the cat's nails
  • You can allow your cat some outside time if possible. Some will tend to claw outside and leave inside alone.
  • Tin foil can be used. Cats don't like the feel or sound of it
  • There are claw covers you can buy at pet stores and apply to kitty's claws.

Hopefully I have given you some ideas that you can implement until your cat develops good habits. Keep in mind that cats are unique and different just as humans are and so it is a matter of experimenting with a variety of ways until you figure out what works best.  One bit of advice is to keep on keeping on until Kitty decides to cooperate by not scratching your furniture. Stay tuned for next Friday when I will bring you more Cat whisperer tips!

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Michelle said...

Good suggestions.

Debra Howard said...

Thank you so much Michelle, Hope it helps!