Cats are lovely creatures that make our lives happier, but sometimes their scratching habits can damage our furniture. Instead of resorting to painful and unnecessary declawing surgeries, there are several simple ways to protect your furniture from your cat’s scratching habits. In this article, we will discuss 13 different ways to save your furniture from cat scratching.
Table of Contents
1. Avoid Declawing Your Cat
The easiest but the most painful method for a cat is declawing. Faced with cat scratching problems, many people consider declawing surgery. But many veterinarians believe declawing is a painful and unnecessary surgery and refuse to do it for humane reasons. Instead, they advocate training your cat to use a scratching post. Declawing can also lead to several other problems like behavioral issues, pain, and even infection.
2. Provide Multiple Scratching Opportunities
Cats often like to scratch after eating and sleeping, so be sure there is something to scratch near where they eat and sleep. A scratching post is an excellent investment for your cat. It will allow her to scratch, stretch and exercise all at once. If you want to provide your cat not only with the scratching surface, but also places where she can climb, perch, and sleep, you should consider a cat tree.
3. Cover Furniture with Something Your Cat Dislikes
Cover the furniture with something your cat does not like: double-sided tape, and some plastic or aluminum foil. Some cats dislike the feeling and sound of foil, and most cats hate things that stick to their fur. Double-sided sticky tape used in carpet installation works well, but be sure the tape won’t harm your cat or furniture.
4. Keep Your Cat Mentally Stimulated
Keep your cat mentally stimulated and offer her plenty of opportunities for exercise, and she will have less opportunity to be destructive in your home. If your cat is frustrated and bored, she may scratch your furniture or tear your drapes. Give her enough playtime. Cats are motivated by smell, sound, texture, and movement. The toys you use should aim to cover all these aspects. Discover your cat’s preferences by presenting a variety of different-sized toys made from different materials and watch her reaction to gauge her preferences.
5. Trim Your Cat’s Nails Regularly
Cutting the nails regularly may help keep a cat from scratching the furniture, or at least reduce the damage done by its scratching. Get your kitten used to having its nails clipped while it is young, praise her while you clip the nail, and reward her with a treat.
6. Booby Trap the Furniture
Booby traps the furniture with a soda can with some pennies in it so that if the cat scratches, it makes a noise.
7. Use a Doorknob Alarm on Your Curtains
Use a doorknob alarm on your curtains. When pinned to the drapes, the alarm will sound every time your cat tries to use the curtains as a ladder.
8. Consider a Window Perch
Consider a window perch for your feline friend. It will give your cat hours of entertainment – especially if you place a bird or squirrel feeder in the garden outside the window. Be sure the window is closed so your pet won’t fall out.
9. Use a Water Pistol or Squirt Bottle
When you catch your cat scratching furniture, try squirting her with a water pistol or squirt bottle and use a firm ‘no’. Of course, this won’t stop your cat when you are not around.
10. Remove the Launchpad
If your cat is gaining access to a high bookcase by leaping from a nearby chair, move the chair. Training devices that emit unpleasant sounds are also available in the market to keep cats off the forbidden areas. These devices can be found at pet supply stores, catalogs, and websites. The sounds they produce are annoying to cats and serve as an effective deterrent.
11. Use Balloons to Deter Your Cat from Scratching
You can also try taping inflated balloons to the problem areas. When your cat pops one with her claws, she will avoid scratching there again. However, try this only when you are at home, so you can pick up the balloon pieces before your cat tries to eat them.
12. Use Training Devices to Keep Cats Away from Forbidden Areas
Training devices that emit unpleasant sounds are also available in the market to keep cats off the forbidden areas. These devices can be found at pet supply stores, catalogs, and websites. The sounds they produce are annoying to cats and serve as an effective deterrent.
13. Use Deterrent Sprays to Prevent Your Cat from Scratching
If your cat still insists on scratching furniture, you can use some sprays like a bitter apple or actual orange peels as deterrents. These sprays have a strong smell that cats do not like and can be applied to the furniture to keep them away.
Cat scratching is a natural behavior that can be quite destructive if not managed properly. By following these tips, you can save your furniture from cat scratching while still allowing your cat to engage in its natural behavior. Remember, declawing should never be an option as it is a painful and unnecessary surgery. Instead, focus on providing your cat with plenty of scratching opportunities, mental stimulation, and playtime. With a little patience and persistence, you can train your cat to use a scratching post and spare your furniture from further damage.
- How can I train my cat to use a scratching post?
- Start by placing the scratching post near the area where your cat usually scratches. Encourage your cat to use the post by rubbing catnip on it or playing with a toy near it. Praise your cat and offer treats when it uses the post.
- Can I use vinegar to keep my cat from scratching furniture?
- While vinegar has a strong smell that cats do not like, it can also damage your furniture. It is best to use products that are specifically designed for cats.
- Will a cat stop scratch furniture if its nails are trimmed regularly?
- Trimming your cat’s nails can help reduce the damage done by scratching, but it is not a guarantee that your cat will stop scratching altogether.
- Is it possible to retrain an older cat to use a scratching post?
- Yes, it is possible to retrain an older cat to use a scratching post. It may take more time and patience, but with positive reinforcement and consistency, your cat can learn to use the post.
- Can I use duct tape to cover the furniture to prevent scratching?
- Duct tape is not recommended as it can be harmful to your cat’s fur and skin. Instead, try using double-sided tape or other products specifically designed to deter cats from scratching furniture.