How to Prevent Cats from Scratching Furniture

March 31, 2021 11:41 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Cats provide a lot of joy to pet owners, but one of the big drawbacks of having them roaming around your house is their proclivity for scratching furniture. The good news is you can train cats to not scratch your furniture—it just takes a bit of time.

First, if you’re going to be successful in training cats, you need to understand why they want to scratch. Sometimes it’s just an effect of them stretching out and exercising. In other cases, they scratch to mark their territory, as their paws contain scent glands that release odors. They might also scratch to maintain their claws and shed some nail husks, or just because it feels good.

The one step you should absolutely not take to stop scratching is declawing your cat. This involves amputating parts of the cat’s digits, which is cruel and painful and completely changes how your cat walks, balances and interacts with the world. Instead, consider following these steps for preventing cats from ruining your furniture in Hilo, HI, which you can spread out over the course of a week or so:

  • Posts and toys: First, make sure you’ve provided your cats with items they actually can Scratching posts and various types of toys are designed to give cats pleasurable scratching surfaces. Any post you choose should be tall, sturdy and covered in a material cats like to scratch, such as carpet or burlap.
  • Placement: Make sure the scratching posts are placed strategically in areas where cats enjoy spending time, such as near windows or in the family room. Rather than tucking the post away in a corner that is rarely used, put it in a prime area so the cat can claim some high-quality real estate as their own. Praise and give the cat some treats when you see it investigating the posts.
  • Discourage: Find ways to discourage the cat from scratching the couch. You might consider using double-sided tape or aluminum foil on frequent scratching areas (cats hate the feeling of those materials), or spray the couch with a citrus-scented spray (cats hate citrus smells).
  • Incentivize: Find ways to incentivize your cat to use the scratching post or scratching toys. Spraying with catnip or honeysuckle sprays can make the scratching post highly tempting. You might also consider using a wand toy near the post, and then sweep the toy so the end drapes over the post. This can help the cat “discover” the post and how good it feels to scratch it. Sometimes all it takes is some gentle encouragement to make the cat a frequent user of the post.
  • Have fun: Once you’ve managed to train your cat to use their post or scratching toy regularly, enjoy sitting back and watching them play with it. Cats can be highly entertaining when they get into a playful mood, and you’ll be able to watch from the comfort of a scratch-free couch or chair!

For more tips about preventing your cats from ruining your furniture, contact Yamada Furniture or visit our furniture store in Hilo, HI today.

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