Having cats as pets can be one of life’s greatest joys. However, when cats start scratching your furniture, it can be a source of major frustration. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, so it’s important to understand why they do it before trying to stop them. This article will provide you with tips and tricks on how to keep cats from scratching your furniture.
Invest in a Scratching Post
One of the most effective ways to keep cats from scratching your furniture is to invest in a scratching post. Scratching posts are designed specifically for cats to scratch, claw, and stretch their bodies. The surface should be rough enough that their claws can grab onto it, but not too rough that it causes discomfort or irritation. Sisal, cardboard, and carpet are all good materials for scratching posts.
Investing in a scratching post has many benefits. Not only does it give your cat an appropriate place to scratch, but it also helps keep their nails healthy and strong. It also provides mental stimulation as cats enjoy the challenge of stretching and scratching on different surfaces. And lastly, it gives them an outlet for their energy so they don’t take it out on your furniture.
Trim Their Nails Regularly
Regularly trimming your cat’s nails is another great way to prevent them from scratching your furniture. You’ll need a pair of cat nail clippers, which you can purchase at your local pet store. It’s best to trim your cat’s nails while they’re relaxed or sleeping. Gently hold one of their paws and press down on the top of the nail to expose the quick. Cut just below the quick and avoid cutting too close. You may want to have someone help you hold your cat still while you trim their nails.
If your cat has dark nails, you’ll need a black light to see the quick. When using a black light, make sure to keep the light source steady and the room dim. If your cat resists having its nails trimmed, try giving them treats or praise during the process to make it more enjoyable.
Use Double-Sided Tape
Double-sided tape is a great way to deter cats from scratching your furniture. The adhesive makes it difficult for cats to grip the surface with their claws, so they’ll likely avoid it altogether. Place the tape on areas where your cat tends to scratch, such as the arms of chairs or the sides of tables. Make sure to use tape that is specifically designed for pets and won’t damage the furniture.
To apply the tape, start by cleaning the surface with alcohol or vinegar to remove any dirt or debris. Then, peel off the backing and attach the edges of the tape to the furniture. Use your fingers to press down firmly on the tape to ensure it sticks. You may want to place a piece of cloth over the tape to protect the furniture from damage.
Discourage Unwanted Behavior
When you catch your cat scratching your furniture, it’s important to discourage this behavior immediately. Say “no” in a firm voice and redirect their attention to the scratching post. You can also use a spray bottle filled with water to deter them from scratching. When using the spray bottle, make sure to aim away from your cat’s face and eyes.
It’s important to remember that cats don’t respond well to physical punishment. Yelling or hitting your cat will only make them fearful and less likely to trust you. Instead, focus on rewarding good behavior by offering treats or praise when they scratch their scratching post instead of your furniture.
Reward Good Behavior
Rewarding your cat for scratching the scratching post rather than your furniture is an important step in keeping them from scratching your furniture. Offer them treats or praise when they scratch the post, and ignore them when they scratch the furniture. Over time, they’ll learn that scratching the post is more rewarding than scratching the furniture.
You can also use toys to redirect their attention away from your furniture. Playing with your cat for 15 minutes each day can help keep them mentally stimulated and physically active. This can help reduce their urge to scratch your furniture out of boredom.
Make Furniture Less Appealing
Making your furniture less appealing to your cat is another way to keep them from scratching it. Covering your furniture with blankets or throws can help make it less inviting. You can also find textures that your cat doesn’t like and place them on the furniture. Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and sandpaper are all examples of textures that most cats will avoid.
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, but it doesn’t have to ruin your furniture. Investing in a scratching post, trimming their nails regularly, using double-sided tape, discouraging unwanted behavior, rewarding good behavior, and making furniture less appealing are all effective ways to keep cats from scratching your furniture. With these tips and tricks, you can keep your cat’s claws off of your prized possessions.