Five tips to stop cats from scratching up the furniture
There are many tips out there on how to deal with cat scratching, so to help you out, we’ve chosen our top five tips.
You can’t stop cats from scratching, so don’t try. Cats scratch for several reasons. One being exercise, another is to mark their territory. They have small glands in their paws, and leave a scent that humans can’t notice. A third reason to scratch is that it feels good. Instead of stopping your cat from scratching, use your energy to help them find more suitable places to scratch.
To give your cat an alternative, you need to find something they can scratch that won’t drive you crazy. A scratch post is a good alternative, but make sure you get a post that’s solid enough to handle an adult cat exercising on it. If it starts wobbling, you can be pretty sure they’ll remember and stay away from it. Start by putting the post close to a place where they normally scratch, and if you see your cat get ready to scratch something other than the post, gently guide in the right direction. Reward with treats when your cat makes the right choice.
If you find you can’t keep watch all the time and your cat is pretty insistent on scratching a certain piece of furniture, try to cover that part with something they won’t like, use double-sided tape to make the surface sticky, or fix some aluminium foil to make the surface uncomfortable.
There’s much to be said on the subject of scolding cats, both verbally and physically, and generally it’s nothing positive. However, if you really need to give your cat a firm signal that scratching certain places is a no-no, a water spray bottle can come in handy. A short squirt of water won’t hurt, but it will give clear and quick feedback that scratching that object isn’t tolerated.
Be patient. Cats are creatures of habit, and you probably want your cat to stop destroying your furniture right now. However, if you push things too hard and get angry, it might affect your relationship, and not for the better. If the scratching issues continue, get your vet’s advice as other underlying conditions may be affecting your cat’s behaviour.