Save the Couch: Keeping Your Cat from Scratching the Furniture

How many pieces of your furniture has had a sorry fate in the hands–I mean paws–of your cat?

Scratching is not only a cat’s way of defending himself or herself; it is also a way to communicate, to mark their territory, and a way of feeling secure.

Cats find it relaxing when they run their claws on surfaces. However, when they start to make your favorite furniture their favorite scratching post, that’s not so relaxing for you now, is it?

Mournful as it is for your furniture, you can’t stop cats from scratching. They have to scratch for their mental health, and to help remove old layers of nails.

As a pet owner, you don’t have to curb this habit altogether, but you can train them to divert their scratching fancy away from your beloved furniture.

Setting up Scratching Posts

If your cat has a favorite scratching area, you may consider putting up a scratch post in that particular spot. Scratching posts feel better than furniture, so eventually, your cat’s fancy could gravitate towards the post, and away from the furniture.

Scratching to Communicate

Sometimes, cats use scratching as a way to express themselves. Whenever they are excited or enthusiastic, they might scratch. Most of the time, it happens on only one spot, but sometimes they do it in places where they like to play. Take note of this when choosing an area to set up the scratch post.

Making Furniture less Appealing

If your cat is attracted to a specific piece of furniture, it is advisable to make that piece less appealing to him or her. Putting tin foil over the cat’s scratch area is a good idea. The noise the foil would make when scratch would deter him or her from scratching it next time.

Cats also have a dislike for citrus scents. Spraying your furniture with citrus-y scents might dissuade your kitty from even getting near that area.

Making Scratch Posts more Appealing

Making your furniture less appealing to your kitty might divert her attention towards the scratch posts. Make these posts more inviting to them by crushing catnip between your fingers and rubbing it on the post.

You can also add to the positive reinforcement method by planting treats near the scratching post or petting him or her—yeah, the cat version of a pat on the back—every time he or she scratches the post.

Cutting the Need to Scratch

As we have mentioned before, cats scratch to help remove old layers of nails. You can cut down on her frequency and need to scratch by trimming her nails.

Remember, neither you nor your furniture need to live with your cat’s destructive habits. Sure, it might need a lot of patience, but it will be worth it in the long run.

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