Use Large Scratching Posts
Cats almost always prefer to scratch big surfaces – which means large scratching posts.
When scratching an object, the typical cat creates a visual mark thats about 10 inches long. You should leave some space on both ends of the actual scratched area, so opt for a total of 20-30 inches of open scratching surface on your posts.
And don’t forget stretching! The entire length of the post should be enough for your cat to stretch across in comfort. A shorter post is likely to be ignored.
Use Cat Surface Attractant
Utilise Feliscratch by Feliway to attract your cat to an appropriate surface. Feliscratch is a pheromone that has been clinically proven to decrease or stop unwanted scratching in the home, both on vertical and horizontal surfaces. Several studies have shown that when Feliscratch is applied to a post, the cat will gravitate to that post to scratch.
Scratching is so instinctive that even cats who have endured declawing still attempt to do it.
Do not shout or punish your cat when they scrape at the wrong spot as it may cause anxiety, potentially leading to other problems.
Be patient, try several techniques and substrates for at least a few weeks and reward him or her with play, treat, or pets when he or she scratches at proper surfaces.
Do Not Even Consider Declawing Your Cat
When your cat scratches or even destroys your precious furniture, it is understandable for you to feel frustrated, especially if you have tried all available options to prevent him. And out of your frustration, you might be thinking of getting your cat declawed. However, getting your cat declawed can cause more harm than good.
When a cat is declawed, he is practically declawed. The risk of death due to an adverse reaction to anesthesia is a considerable risk involved.
After the procedure, your cats foot may become infected. If the infection is not treated immediately, the whole foot may be amputated. In some cases, the foot can bleed profusely once the bandage is removed. Surgical mishaps can also lead to the growth of misshapen claws and shattered bones.
Aside from these physical side effects, your cat can become emotionally scarred. As previously mentioned, scratching is embedded in your cats psyche. Once declawed, your pet cannot reap the benefits of scratching and even perform some of the things that he likes to do like kneading.
Some declawed cats even avoid using the litter box altogether because scratching the litter reminds them of the pain in their paws.
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Keep Your Cat From Getting Bored
If your cat is scratching your furniture, it may be because they’re bored or stressed. Provide them with plenty of toys and playtime to keep their minds occupied, and consider adding a cat tree or other climbing structure for them to scratch.
If you give your cat different toys and activities, she will be much more likely to have fun and be happier. This will reduce problematic behaviours like scratching your furniture. Make sure to also keep your cat active to keep her happy and healthy- as well as keep boredom at bay.
What Can I Do To Stop My Cat From Scratching My Furniture And Carpets
Providing your cat with alternative surfaces to scratch is the first step to stopping your cat scratching the furniture or carpets. A general rule is that cats like to scratch on rigid surfaces that resist the pull of their claws, and they like their bodies to be stretched as high or as long as possible to get the full benefit from the exercise. Its very important not to punish your cat for scratching the furniture. Scratching is a perfectly natural, normal behaviour for a cat so they are not doing something wrong, they simply have no understanding of where it is acceptable or unacceptable to scratch.
Alternative scratching surfaces such as cat scratching boards and posts are readily available in all pet shops and online pet stores. They tend to be made of wood or heavy-duty cardboard and covered in a material such as sisal string or wood bark.
You can also buy multi-level pieces of cat furniture which allow your cat to climb, scratch, perch and even sleep on raised beds that form part of the structure.
If space is an issue, then flat panels with a rough surface can be fixed to walls. There are versions available to buy, or you can make something yourself using sisal, seagrass or coir matting.
Once a cat scratches on a surface, the pheromone scent and the marks they leave will encourage more scratching in the same spot so its best to try and provide suitable scratching surfaces as soon as possible.
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Tip : Take Action On Your Cats Claws
While it might be tempting to declaw your cat, declawing should be avoided if at all possible. Declawing is a surgical procedure that includes removing the last bone in your cat’s toes to prevent their claws from growing again. It’s a painful procedure that can result in complications like continual bleeding and ongoing pain. It can also lead to behavioral problems like aggression, anxiety, biting, and refusing to use a litter box. Cats need their claws for climbing, defense, grasping, and balancing. Here are some alternatives to declawing.
- Trim your cats claws.Regularly trimming your cat’s claws usually helps slow down the damage caused to your furniture. Choose high-quality and easy-to-use nail clippers. Cats’ claws are round, so clippers with curved edges are much more comfortable since they apply pressure evenly around the whole nail.
- Try soft nail caps.They glue on your cat’s claws and are safe, easy-to-use, and last for approximately 4-6 weeks. They will eliminate the damage of scratching and are painless for your cat.
- Put on cat socks or mittens.Cat socks work well for some cats, but your cat may become frustrated and keep removing them.
Ive Bought A New Scratching Post How Can I Encourage My Cat To Use It
If youve bought a new scratching post, make sure you are placing the new scratching surface in a location where your cat spends a lot of time or near where they have previously scratched.
Cats are naturally curious creatures, but they dont like to feel that they are being forced to do something. Your cat may take some time to explore the new object, but they will accept it more readily if they have decided when and how to use it on their own terms.
If you are keen to speed up the process, a simple game involving a rod and string that dangles a toy around the base of the scratching post will encourage their claws to make contact with the surface to let them know that it is there.
You could also try applying Feliway® FELISCRATCH to the scratching post. This synthetic pheromone smells like the scent that is released by the glands between a cats pads and will make it smell familiar.
If you have purchased a tall scratching post or multi-platform cat tree make sure it is rigid and doesnt wobble you might even need to attach the taller models with a bracket to the wall. You could try placing some treats on the different surfaces to encourage them to explore.
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Direct Your Kitty Towards Scratching Post Or Toys
Next time you saw your kitty damaging your furniture, simply apply this step, guide her towards her scratching post.
Its not necessary that you can only offer her a scratching post, toys will also work as she will get something to sharpen her nails.
You can also introduce her to a variety of scratching posts, toys that will keep her mind away from scratching the furniture surface.
Make it a habit of offering her scratching post so that her mind will get averted, and eventually, she wont feel like scratching her claws on any other surface except her toys or scratching post.
Trim Your Felines Nails
We cant deny the fact, cats need to scratch their claws, it is part of their grooming.
Cats scratch their claws to shed their old nails, and this not only gives her happiness but also sharpens her new nails.
So, if you take some interest and focus on your kittys grooming session, you will be able to get rid of her scratching issues.
Try to trim your feline pals claws on a regular basis, by doing so she wont have sharp nails and even if she tries to scratch furniture surface or any other object it will not get damaged as no marks will be there on the surface.
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Don’t Punish Your Cat For Scratching
Pam urged you should “never punish a cat for scratching or try to stop the behavior without supplying an allowable and cat-appealing replacement.”
Scratching is healthy emotionally and physically, so if you want cats to stop scratching furniture you need to provide a better alternative, she said.
Todd agreed that you should never punish cats for scratching furniture. In addition to scratching being natural behaviorâmeaning “they have to do it somewhere”âpunishing cats for the act risks causing fear or stress and “they may associate that stress with you,” the author said.
Make Furniture Less Appealing To Scratch
One of the possible reason your kitty like to groom her nails on furniture surface is that she might be attracted to the look of the furniture.
As we know, felines are good observers, and they like observing things closely. There is a high possibility that she likes that particular furniture of the house and likes to spend time and groom her claws.
We have a solution for you, make your furniture less appealing, cover it with old clothes, rough material. You can also put a scrapper on the surface, it will work as two-in-one.
First, your kitty will get a good hard surface to scratch her claws, and secondly, your furniture will not get damaged as no scratching marks will be there on the surface.
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Warning About Negative Training Methods
Negative training techniques are frequently ineffective. Several cat training techniques try to link negative consequences to bad feline behavior.
Heres a summary of the most commonly used:
- Spraying your cat in the face with water
- Scaring your cat with very loud noises
- Yelling, hitting, and any other similar strategy.
Trim Your Cat’s Nails
Although trimming your cat’s nails may not stop the furniture scratching completely, trimmed cat nails cause significantly less damage to furniture.
Furthermore, trimming your cat’s claws keeps them healthy, prevents ingrown nails and bacteria. Make sure you have the right nail clipper to clip your cat’s claws with ease.
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How Do You Keep Cats Off Furniture And Counters
Try the method that works best for your situation and/or that your cat responds to most positively. Apply sticky tape to the edge of the counter . Tape a strip of crinkled aluminum foil along the counter . Use clicker training. Eliminate the chair. Provide legal jumping targets. Keep your countertop clean.
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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.
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What Can I Use To Get My Cat To Stop Scratching Fabric
Use Apple Cider Vinegar. Cats also dislike the smell of apple cider vinegar, Jones says. Combine equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar and use a spray bottle to apply it over the spots where your cat usually scratches, she says. Again, apply to a small area first to make sure the spray doesnt harm the fabric.
Reduce Stress In Your Cat
A stressed cat is more likely to scratch furniture, urinate outside the litter box, or display other destructive behaviours. Here are some tips for reducing stress in your cat’s life:
Create a Comfortable Space for Your Cat
As anyone who has ever shared their life with a cat knows, they are creatures of habit. They like things to be just so, and any change in their routine can be unsettling. Its especially important to keep a routine and comfortable area if your cat suffers from anxiety.
It’s important to create a comforting space for your cat where they can feel safe and secure. When your cat feels safe, he or she is much less likely to scratch up the furniture.
Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Consider using Pheromone Products
Pheromones are chemicals that can help reduce stress in cats. You can find pheromone products at most pet stores or online retailers. Feliway Friends Diffuser Starter Kit is an odourless pheromone that is designed for multiple cat households.
This product is veterinarian recommended and clinically proven to reduce tension and stress.
Give Your Cat Plenty of Attention
Cats are social creatures and need interaction with their humans to stay happy and healthy. Spend time petting and playing with your cat every day. This will help keep your cat feeling stimulated and loved, which can reduce anxiety and stress that can cause furniture scratching.
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Redirect Your Cats Attention
Another possible way you can stop your kitty from scratching the furniture is by redirecting her to another location. In other words, divert your feline pals mind to another task or location.
For instance, you are chilling on your couch and watching your Netflix series. On the other hand, your kitty is sitting in one corner and grooming herself. What do you notice next?
Suddenly, she started scratching her claws on furniture, according to her, she is just grooming her claws, but actually, she is damaging your furniture.
Heres a tip for you for such a situation, just divert your kittys mind by playing with her or spending quality time giving her love. Or else, you can also direct her to another location like the backyard or something where even she scratch her claws on walls or any object it will not bother you much.
You can also divert your feline pals mind by offering her treats. In simpler language, bribe her to stop scratching your furniture, other valuable objects.
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.
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Make Your Furniture Less Appealing
Do your best to make their favorite scratching ground undesirable. This means using cat scratching deterrents in the spots they frequent most. One way to protect furniture from cat scratching is to cover it with a tight-fitting sheet or blanket. A nice throw blanket that covers their favorite spots can even be a nice decorative touch! For small surfaces, cover the area with something that is sticky, smooth, or slick, like double-sided tape. Aluminum foil can also be an excellent deterrent, since many cats dont like the noise it makes or the way it feels under their paws. Another trick to stop cat scratching is furniture spray repellant. Cats dislike certain smellslike citrus or vinegarand will steer clear of areas that have been sprayed.
Pro Tip: An odor neutralizing spray can also help fight your cats marking instinct. The theory is that it nixes the scent they left behind the last time they scratched. That makes them less likely to revisit the spot again.
Why Is My Cat Scratching The Furniture
Cat body language can be confusing, but scratching is a normal aspect of cat behavior. In the wild, cats scratch their claws to remove the dead layer of claw , which helps to keep their claws sharp for hunting. Scratching also lets them mark their territory. They have scent glands between their claws, and the scratch marks themselves are a visual sign to other cats that this area is occupied. Scratching and stretching also help them to keep their bodies in good shape.
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How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching The Sofa
Sometimes all your kitty needs is a good scratch and stretch! It feels good, it helps them sharpen their claws and makes them feel at home! But what can you do if your friendly feline has taken an interest in your sofa? Its not their fault – sometimes our sofas are just too appealing and they just want to dig their claws in! But thats often not ideal from a human perspective! Luckily there are a few simple ways to prevent your cat from scratching where they shouldn’t.