How to stop your cat from scratching the furniture

How to stop your cat from scratching the furniture

The astonishing causes cats are destructive — and how to get them to knock it off

(Christina Gandolfo for The Washington Put up)


To start with, the poor information: You are not going to stop your cat from scratching completely. It’s a purely natural behavior for felines, and they do it for quite a few causes. It’s a way to continue to keep their claws in tiptop shape and to mark their territory, both equally with the visual cue of scratch marks and with pheromones they deposit as a result of their paws. In addition, as you have possibly found, scratching features an chance for a superior extend. You have obtained to let your cat be a cat, after all!

But do not despair. There are methods to keep your sofa or rug harmless. The important is to redirect your cute minor destroyer to a different focus on. Here’s how.

Declawing your cat is 1 1990s development that ought to never be resurrected. Turns out the procedure is pretty cruel. It requires amputating the knuckle from the close of the cat’s paw, and it can trigger prolonged-lasting suffering, suggests Zazie Todd, an animal actions expert and creator of “Purr: The Science of Building Your Cat Pleased.” “There is no advantage to the cat,” she states. “If you consider of scratching as a standard actions, you do not want to stop cats from being in a position to do some thing that is standard for them.”

A developing amount of veterinary procedures are refusing to declaw cats, says Sara Everett, a medical assistant professor at the College of Ga College of Veterinary Medicine. Many others do so only in severe circumstances (like if the owner could usually give up the animal).

Much more than a dozen U.S. towns, together with New York and Maryland, have handed bans on the procedure.

Layout inspiration can appear from anyplace, together with your cat

The excellent place for your cat to use her claws is on a scratching put up. But not all of them are created equally, and it could possibly acquire some trial and error to come across a article that your cat loves.

One important issue to consider is texture. Some cats like the knobby feel of a carpet-protected scratching article, even though other people desire cardboard or sisal. “You could possibly just have to provide them a minor scratching publish cafeteria or buffet and see what they pick out,” says Amy Pike, a veterinary behaviorist and the operator of the Animal Conduct Wellness Middle in Fairfax, Va.

There is also the problem of vertical compared to horizontal. Most felines love tall scratching posts, but some want a surface area flush with the ground. If you are heading vertical, make guaranteed you get a thing durable. Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist and writer of “Complete Cat Mojo,” states that portion of the appeal of home furnishings is that it doesn’t idea about when cats pull down for the duration of a very long extend. If you are hunting to supplant a sofa or chair, then you are going to need to have to uncover a steady scratching publish with some heft at the foundation.

Put the scratching submit in the suitable location

Obtaining the excellent scratching write-up won’t make any difference if you disguise it absent. Your cat has not been heading to city on your favored chair as an act of revenge, but simply because you commit a lot of top quality time there. Busy areas of the household are likely to be “areas wherever they get superior consideration from their entrepreneurs, like petting and cuddling and enjoying,” states Everett, so cats want to mark those spots as their territory. (When you set it that way, it is variety of sweet.)

That usually means inserting a scratching put up in a seldom applied area won’t perform: “They never care about scratching regions of the dwelling that are not useful to them,” says Everett. Instead, place the post close to the furnishings that your cat is ruining so she’ll extra readily see it as a substitute. You can add catnip to the put up to make it even a lot more desirable.

Some entrepreneurs go to extraordinary lengths to accommodate their finicky cats

Do not punish your cat for scratching

This section kind of seems like it was published by a cat, but it is accurate: Punishment does not function incredibly perfectly for our feline close friends. Your cat likely will not connect your harsh words or tone with the scratching, so the only thing you’ll carry out is earning her nervous.

As a substitute, test worthwhile your cat for the conduct you do want. “If you see them using their scratching publish and you hold out until finally they end and then you extremely quickly get them a take care of, that will make them more probable to use that article in the foreseeable future,” suggests Todd.

Shield your home furnishings from cat scratching

There are numerous means you can guard the sofa, though some methods are extra aesthetically satisfying than others.

You can wrap your furniture with a merchandise like Sticky Paws — basically double-sided tape that tends to make scratching come to feel significantly less-gratifying for many cats. Galaxy utilizes these forms of products and solutions as a instruction instrument: “It does not signify for the rest of your life with this couch or cat you are likely to need to have to retain that things on there — they are going to understand.” He also stresses that this tactic only is effective if you give an additional outlet for scratching.

Other choices include things like including toss blankets to safeguard a scratch-vulnerable spot, or wrapping a substance like sisal all-around the lower part of a chair or sofa to safeguard it.

If you’re purchasing for new home furniture, feel about the textures your cat likes to scratch. If she loves bumpy fabrics, opt for parts upholstered with smoother materials, like velvet or leather. New home furniture also supplies a clean possibility to practice your cat, says Todd, mainly because it doesn’t have your pheromones on it still. “If you are bringing property some thing new, it is going to scent diverse, and that would be a superior point to make certain that you have bought your scratching publish lined up and in the right location,” she states.

They acquired a blender. Three months later, their cats go on to hold it hostage.

Some cats are more tenacious and harmful than others. If you continually come dwelling to ruined home furnishings, you could possibly want to take into account a solution this kind of as Soft Paws — minor caps that you put about a cat’s organic nails. These let your cat to interact in normal scratching without creating so a lot destruction. They previous about a month to 6 weeks, and although they can be a little bit cumbersome to use, Everett says some veterinary practices will set them on for proprietors. As a enjoyment bonus, they appear in a array of colours, so your cat will glimpse like she’s experienced a dazzling manicure.

Often you have to let the cat get

On situation, you just have to surrender. Pike, for instance, has 1 chair in her home that turned a scratching article for her cat “and we depart it as such,” she suggests. When cats express this sort of a potent desire for a piece of home furniture, it’s kinder to leave it as an selection for them than to get rid of it entirely, she states. (This is also correct of a scratching put up that you might feel has achieved the conclusion of its daily life.) By ceding the chair, Pike has mainly protected the relaxation of her home furnishings.

“When we have business, we take it absent and we shift it so it doesn’t seem so disgusting,” she says, but usually the chair now belongs to the cat. “It’s turn out to be a cat scratching submit that an individual can sit on from time to time.”