How To Stop Cats From Scratching Leather Furniture
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. It helps to sharpen their claws, stretch out their muscles, and keep them entertained. Of course, this is disastrous in the home, especially if you own leather furniture. Cats dont specifically target leather, but they dont avoid it either. Even faux leather can fall victim to a cat, which leads to an expensive and unsightly problem.
To deter cats from scratching leather furniture, start by offering more scratching posts. You may need to buy different models, sizes, and textures to make them more appealing to the cat. After that, begin training the cat to never step on the leather furniture, using positive reinforcement. You can safeguard your leather with protective covers, such as scratch guards, drop cloths, or slip cloths. That can be topped off with anti-scratch sprays or your own smell-based deterrents.
Trimming your cats nails will help prevent it from scratching up the leather by accident. Even walking over your furniture could leave tiny pocket marks, so keep your cats away from the leather whenever you can. Leather cant be completely repaired, but you can mask the damage. Using a colorant on small scratches will help disguise little pocket marks. You may eventually have to replace entire areas of the leather for straight scratches or have it reupholstered.
Provide Your Cat With Something To Scratch That From Their Point Of View Is More Desirable Than Your Couch Or The Legs Of Your Dining Room Table
Cats prefer to scratch tall, sturdy objects that allow them to dig their nails in and get a good grip. Thats why cats tend to scratch furniture. Most cats prefer a scratching post that is at least 32 tall, will not wobble when scratched, and made of a type of rope called sisal. Some cats prefer to scratch horizontally, in which case you can either place the vertical scratching post on its side or find a sturdy sisal-covered horizontal scratcher. Some cats like scratching corrugated cardboard as well. Another ideal scratching surface is wood, so if you are handy you can create your own scratching post or pad. Just make sure its tall or long enough and sturdy.
Figure Out Where And When Your Cat Scratches Deter Immediately
You have to know where your cat is scratching and be aware of when he is doing it. Trying to discourage unwanted scratching wont work unless hes in the middle of doing it. If you try to train your cat after the fact, he wont understand whats going on.
Cats tend to scratch when they are excited, when they want to mark territory, or right after they wake up, so pay attention to these specific times.
Recommended Reading: Normal Cat Heart Rate
Things To Try At Home To Stop Your Cat Ruining Your Furniture
Even if scratching is a healthy behaviour and necessary for all cats, it can be difficult to watch cats tearing your beloved furniture apart. However, simple solutions and home remedies to stop cats from scratching the furniture do exist.
Once a cat has started scratching in a particular location, it’s not easy to stop them. It’s very much like breaking a bad habit and we know how hard that can be.
For cats, the visible and invisible marks they leave on the places they scratch tell them this is where they scratch.
The first step in breaking an unwanted scratching habit is to remove the previous scratch marks and then to try to redirect your cat toward the new desired scratching location. That new location should offer another desirable option to scratch not your sofa preferably and remain visible in a location where your cat likes to spend time. This will maximize the chances of your cat using the new scratching location. Don’t hide your cat’s scratching post in a corner or behind the couch, as this won’t encourage them to use it. After all… out of sight, out of mind!
Using FELIWAY Classic to comfort your cat proven to work for more than 80% of cats.
You Were Prepared For Your Cat To Claw Their Way Into Your Heart But Not Scratch Up Your Favourite Couch Why Do Cats Scratch Everything From Your Couch To Your Carpet And How Can You Stop Them Petbarn Has The Answers
First off, its important to understand that scratching is a common and instinctive behaviour for cats and kittens that serves many purposes. Contrary to what you may believe, cats do not scratch because they hate your sofa, they are simply doing what comes naturally to them. You shouldnt discourage your cat from scratching, but instead train or direct them to only scratch appropriate items.
You May Like: When A Cat Head Bumps You
Use Plastic Nail Caps
Nail caps have a blunt surface that allows your cat to still scratch but prevents damage to surfaces, while still allowing the cat to go through all the motions of scratching, says Lilly.
Plastic nail caps are usually put on with a medium-lasting pet-safe adhesive. The disadvantage is they need to be replaced as the nails grow out, and if your cat puts up a fight when you try to touch their paws, then you may need to sedate them with help from a veterinary team, says Lilly.
If your cat is comfortable with you handling their paws, you can do it yourself at home. Whether you get it done at the vet or at home, Flynn says to be prepared to do it every month or so. Be sure to clip their nails first, and watch a tutorial video online so you learn the proper technique to apply them.
As the cat becomes more comfortable with nail trims, you can work your way up to doing one paw at a time and with time, all of them at once.
Furniture Protection From Cats
If you dont mind the look, you can try covering up your leather furniture with a scratch guard. These can be used independently or paired with a drop cloth or slip cloth.
Leather Scratch Guard
Scratch guards are composed of a sheet of thin plastic. They can be stuck or mounted to the sides and corners of your leather furniture. Depending on the brand, they will strictly adhere to the furniture with thin tape or be mounted with little pegs. No matter the case, they create a barrier thats more difficult for your cat to pierce with its nails.
Since these guards only attach to the sides and corners of your leather, they cannot protect the cushions. However, most cats target the corners and sides, as theyre the most abrasive parts of a sofa or chair. That makes them excellent for sharpening claws, but all the joy is taken out of it with the thin plastic.
You can buy these sheets or make your own by putting heavy-duty tape onto your furniture. They may need replacing if your cat is persistent, or they may last for years. No matter the case, one downside is that they are unsightly to some people, even if theyre see-through.
Drop Cloth or Slip Cloth
A drop cloth or slip cloth covers the full length of your furniture. This not only protects it from dust but also scratching claws. If youre concerned about aesthetics, this is the least invasive option. With a tight enough fit, you may hardly notice the cover .
Also Check: What Is A Cat’s Normal Heart Rate
Understand Your Cat’s Behavior
Once you know why your kitty is scratching up all your furniture and carpets, you can help protect your home from the ravages of your fur baby. Heres a little more insight into why cats scratch.
- Grooming and nail health: Scratching helps kitties sharpen their claws and shed dead skin. If your cat is scratching a lot, you may need to trim her nails or get her a scratcher.
- Communication: As much as you wish your kitty could simply open his mouth and tell you whats wrong, he cant. Sometimes your fur baby will scratch because he wants attention, wants to be fed, or needs to tell you something.
- Just like dogs, cats sometimes feel the need to mark their territory, and they do this by scratching.
- Expressing emotions: Sometimes, your little tiger will scratch if hes excited, stressed, or just feeling good. If you dont want your furniture scratched up, try giving your fur baby something else to scratch in these moments of high excitement.
- Stretching: Yep, sometimes your kitty is just scratching because she needs a good stretch. Who knew?
Introduce Lots Of Furniture That Wont Scratch
Instead of covering up all of the surfaces in your house in hopes that they will be ignored, introduce healthy scratch magnets throughout. Cat trees, scratching posts, and cat condos are great options . You may have to try several different types, materials, and sizes to see what your cat likes the most.
Also Check: Is Lavender Plant Safe For Cats
How Can I Stop My Cat From Scratching My Couch
Its essential that cats have somewhere to scratch, as this is an instinct that they cant control. Its simply something that they have to do! Take a good look around your house. Have you provided your cat with other surfaces to scratch on? If not, the couch is probably their only option!
We recommend a two-pronged approach to prevent your couch from getting scratched, which includes:
Its essential to deal with the first step, as without providing an alternative surface, your cat will still use the couch, even if you make it less attractive to your cat. Lets take a closer look.
Will Trimming My Cat’s Nails Curb The Clawing Habit
“Nail trims are good for your cat’s health, but they don’t take away your cat’s need to scratch!” Dr. Delgado said. That’s why it’s so important to have a few good scratching options. That said, trimming your cat’s nails can be helpful in reducing any damage done during scratching and preventing your cat’s claws from getting stuck in everything, she said. If you decide to trim your cat’s nails, Dr. Delgado suggests using treats to help your cat accept nail trims, going slowly, and reaching out to your vet if you have any questions or concerns.
Read Also: Blue Buffalo Cat Food Ratings
Cat Perches And Condosperfect For Scratching And Lounging
Providing a multipurpose scratching surface that also works as a perch from which your kitty can survey his domain, both inside and outside, is a great idea.
A good, sturdy, sisal-covered post that has a place for your cat to lounge will not only satisfy your cat but will also help protect your furniture.
Think about, in nature, how cats like to perch in trees that are “their” trees. They have marked them as their domain, and they have a great view of what is going on in their territory. A couple of examples of great posts are here: Purrfect View and the Mondo!.
Teach Your Cat Where To Scratch
If these methods dont stop the scratching, you must redirect the desire to scratch and teach her where and what to scratch instead, Dr. Barrack says.
Chronic scratchers may need a variety of scratching options strategically placed around the house. Some cats gravitate to vertical posts, likethis 33.5-inch scratching tower by Frisco, while others prefer horizontal scratching surfaces, like the Scratch Lounge.
I recommend buying a scratching post that is as tall as your cat when she is standing, Dr. Barrack says.
Scratching posts come in different shapes, sizes and materials. For kittens, active cats or multi-cat households, a scratching tree like this 57-inch one by Frisco, might be ideal. A scratching tree includes multiple perches and cat towers for cats to explore.
Once youve purchased your cat scratching post, you can teach your cat that its an acceptable place for them to fulfill their scratching urge.
It is best to place the post strategically, perhaps near where they have scratched in the past, Dr. Barrack says. Sit with your cat and play with the new post. Show her by sitting on the ground and encouraging your cat that she can scratch this posteven showing her with your hands.
Even if your cat ignores the new post in favor of your furniture, Dr. Barrack says not to give up.
Different cats like different scratching posts, so dont try to force your cat to like itjust try another style, she says.
Read Also: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
Have A Cat Scratcher In More Than One Area
Ive found having a few cat scratchers and placing them in different rooms of the house works wonders for discouraging destructive scratching. In addition to a scratcher or post in your main living area , put one or two in other rooms.
You can also buy a few inexpensive scratchers that can be hung over doorknobs. Cats love finding someplace to scratch in an unexpected place.
Cats Want A Variety Of Scratching Surfaces
One thing that we need to ensure with all of our pets is that they have plenty to keep them occupied and interested. Boredom is not fun and is not something we want any of our pets to experience. When choosing cat scratching posts from your cat’s point of view, keep in mind that he is interested in experiencing a good scratch and having fun. Choosing multiple different posts and a variety of materials will keep your cat busy and happy.
Helpful hint: Put a post with a pedestal in front of a window for entertainmentand maybe a little bit of sun.
Placing a cat scratching post with a horizontal platform on top in front of a window will allow your cat to scratch vertically, climb, scratch horizontally, sit and watch the action outside, and take a nap on a perch. A purr-fect way to satisfy your kitty’s desires and needs. Check out the Purrfect View. A cat scratching post can be moved near different windows in the home so your cat can watch something new.
Read Also: When To Change Bedding After Cat Gives Birth
Tips To Solve Cat Scratching On Furniture & Doors
The evidence is everywherethe sofa, curtains, and even your wallsyour favorite feline is a scratcher! For all the meows, purrs, and cuddles, a red flag is still raised when it comes to allowing your cat to cruise freely about the house. You may find yourself asking, “How do I keep my cat from scratching the furniture? Is it even possible?”
Why Do Cats Scratch Your Furniture And How Can You Stop It
Imagine your cat stretches long and lean. Their claws catch in the rug, but they dont seem to mind. You might inwardly groan as your cat picks at the carpet and then saunters over to the doorframe, claws outstretched. You know whats coming next.
Why DO cats scratch? You may wonder to yourself. Or, how can you encourage them to scratch something else like a scratching post?
First, it turns out that cats cant help scratching. Its a basic cat behavior. Its a biological need like eating or grooming themselves. Theres nothing wrong with your cat scratching as long as they dont destroy your furniture with their claws.
Scratching behaviors fulfill several needs for our furry felines.
- Lets them mark their territory
- Keeps the claws sharpened
- Its good exercise
As an informed cat parent, it helps to understand the psychology behind why cats scratch, and how you can train them to scratch where you want them to and not your favorite chair. Rest assured, cat scratches on your furniture have nothing to do with revenge.
Recommended Reading: Why Does My Cat Move His Water Bowl
How To Protect Your Furniture From Cats
Since leather furniture can be very expensive, it is important to protect it from cats. Of course, there is no way to entirely cat-proof your sofas and chairs. Cats may scratch up leather even by accident, just by walking on it. A certain amount of damage is guaranteed.
Even still, there are safeguards you can put in place. This can reduce the amount of damage and discourage cats from totaling your leather on purpose. Its a good middle-ground when you dont want to replace all the furniture or watch it get destroyed.
Can I Use A Deterrent Spray
Its not recommended to only use a scratching deterrent spray. This is because, when you are training any pet, the most effective method is to deter an undesirable behavior while providing an alternative, desirable behavior at the same time.
Just using a deterrent spray is ineffective because the cat still needs to scratch, so he will just move on to something else to scratch. Sprays are especially assaulting to a cats sensitive sense of smell. When he comes into contact with the smell, he will cough and sneeze.
Don’t Miss: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
How To Stop Cats Clawing Furniture
Before we list a few different products to help you move your cats claws away from the sofa and onto a scratcher, there are some basic disciplinary tactics you can use right now.
When they approach the furniture and begin to dig their claws into it, tell them sternly NO to get their attention away from scratching. You can also try spray them with water if you have a spray bottle this is fairly unpleasant for cats so theyll associate scratching with receiving a spritz of water which over time will deter them from scratching the furniture. If your cat actually likes a little spray of water, you can also try using a citrus mix which cats are repelled by. Simply squeeze some lemon juice into the bottle of water and spray when they start scratching.
Additionally, if you have a room that youd prefer stayed cat-free then section off the area by shutting the door. Your cat will soon learn that they arent allowed in the room.