How to Stop Cats Scratching Furniture

Why do cats scratch furniture? It’s a question you would, no doubt, love to get to the bottom of. If you are wondering why your cat can't help themselves but cause damage to your couch or if you can train cats not to scratch furniture, or if there are products to stop cats from scratching furniture, everything will be covered here. Let's show you what you need to know, from the reasons why cats like to scratch, how certain products work, and what you can do to train a cat to stop scratching furniture.

 

Why Do Cats Like to Scratch?

As annoying as it can be, when your cat scratches, it is normal instinctive behaviour that they do for a number of reasons:

Exercise

Firstly, scratching is a great exercise for your cats because the physical act of scratching enables them to stretch out their legs, paws, and back. 

Maintenance

Very much like we pamper ourselves, when our cats scratch, they are filing, sharpening, and cleaning their claws.

Territory

Cats want to feel relaxed in their own space and use a number of methods to communicate their territory to other cats. Scratching is a way for a cat to mark their place in their home and signal their presence to other animals (marking behaviour). Cat’s have scent glands in their paws, so when they scratch they are not only leaving a physical sign but also a smell to say “I was here”!

Instinct

It is a natural urge for cats to scratch. If a particular surface feels good and meets their needs we may find it difficult to keep them away.This is why we should not try to discourage our cats from scratching, but provide suitable alternatives so they can focus their scratching elsewhere.

 

Why Do Cats Scratch Furniture?

While scratching is a natural instinct, the reasons why cats like to scratch furniture are partly to do with their affinities to certain surfaces and textures. When in the wild, cats will use logs or trees for scratching as they are solid surfaces, in which their claws leave nice visible marks. 

Furniture, such as your couch or the legs of your dining room table, has the same types of properties. Cats scratch them because the surface provides a natural ingrained complement to kitty’s claws - they can really get a good grip and scratch hard! So if you are getting frustrated with your cats scratching furniture, you must give them an appropriate alternative.

 

How Sprays Work to Stop Cats Scratching Furniture

Sprays are a very useful tool in helping your cat to stop scratching furniture. Cat sprays come formulated with synthetic pheromones, which mimic the same feel-good chemicals cats release when they scratch, so they feel safe and calm. 

Sprays to Stop Cats Scratching Furniture

There are different ways you can use sprays to stop your cat scratching furniture. Some contain catnip, which can help them to relax instantly and you can use these to make scratching posts more attractive. There are other types of sprays that have scents that act as a deterrent to keep your cat away Other options include sprays with a sound that sends out a hiss of compressed air to deter cats.  Sprays that contain pheromones  can be applied to furniture to prevent the remarking behaviour.

 

How To Get Your Cat To Use a Scratching Post

If your cat is not reacting well to sprays, it's important to remember that you can train your cats to gradually use alternatives. Kittens start to scratch when they are around 8 weeks old, so you can start training your cats by providing scratching posts or stands, allowing the cat to indulge in its natural behaviour. You can also use scratching posts in conjunction with sprays to ensure that your cat always has an alternative to your furniture. The location of the scratching post is also important.  Your cat may be scratching furniture near the front door because that is where it wants to scratch.  So when redirecting your cat towards a scratching post be sure to place it in the location they like to scratch.

The Best Cat Scratching Posts

When you are looking for the best scratching posts, the most important thing to bear in mind is that they should be tall so your cat can stretch on their hind legs to reach it. A scratching post should also be stable, so you should fix it to a surface or make sure it has a sturdy base. 

It's also important to choose a texture that your cats will like. You should always avoid artificial fibres but also look at the things that your cat likes to scratch. For example, if your cat likes to scratch carpets and sofas, picking a mini play centre with a range of textures will pique their interest more than a standard scratching post.  They need to be able to get a good grip in order to scratch properly.

Take the time to observe how your kitty scratches.  Your cat may like to scratch horizontally so you can turn a scratching post on its side or use something like a lounging and scratching bed option.

 

Using Sticky Pads to Stop Cat Scratching

Sticky pads are another option to stop cats scratching furniture because it creates an unpleasant surface for your kitty to touch. You can apply it directly to the furniture your cats like to scratch. This is even more effective if you provide an attractive alternative (scratching post) nearby.

Sticky Paw Supplies for Cat Scratching

There are numerous sticky pad supplies that you can use to stop your cats from scratching your furniture. Made from medical grade adhesive, Sticky Paws strike the balance as it is transparent and you can use it on any surface without compromising the look of your home.

 

Cat Scratching Training Tips

With perseverance, you can train your cats to stop scratching with a number of tactics:

Placing Cat Scratching Posts and Interactive Toys Around the Home

By giving them more scratching options as an alternative to your furniture, this can become a learned behaviour, so they will automatically go to the scratching post instead of your furniture. 

Making the Couch an Unattractive Place to Scratch

You can do this by adding Sticky Paws to the couch and spraying the couch with any deterrent, therefore using a combination method. 

Remember, redirecting the scratching behaviour can take a little time, depending on the age of your cat. Scratching is a natural part of who they are, so if you don't see changes right away, do not be disheartened. If you've had your cat for some time, it may take a while for them to learn to use scratching posts, but this can be where you can incorporate a combination of methods including sticky pads, scratching posts, as well as sprays to make the scratching post a more attractive option than your furniture.

 

Wrap Up

It is possible to stop your cat scratching furniture completely. However, we must remember that it takes time, effort, and focus. When your cat is scratching your furniture, it can be very frustrating, but it is part of their natural inbuilt behaviour that  won’t disappear overnight. With the right combination of tools and training, you can stop your kitty from causing any more damage.