One of the biggest complaints we hear from cat parents is when their cats scratch furniture in the house. No one likes to look at a shredded couch or chair and many think that there’s no hope to get their kitties to stop this behavior. But there is.
First you need to understand that cats need to scratch their claws. Declawing your kitty should not be an option and most veterinarians will not perform this inhumane surgery anymore. When a cat scratches his claws it helps to sharpen them, build muscle strength, reduce stress and mark his territory. It’s a very important act for kitties, so we don’t really want to stop the behavior… we just want to redirect it to a more pleasurable area for all involved.
Full disclosure: We no longer mind cat scratches on our furniture. We used to use these tactics when we had nice expensive sofas… and maybe we will again one day. For now, however, we only get used furniture and let the kitties scratch where they may. Because we have so many alternative options for them to scratch on, they rarely use the furniture anymore though!
Here are 3 easy ways to help redirect your cats from scratching your favorite piece of furniture.
- Place a scratching post next to the furniture you don’t want scratched. Mind you, you’ll want to find a sturdy scratching post for this. Cats scratch furniture instead of the post sometimes because the furniture isn’t going to move so you’ll want to redirect this behavior to something similar.
- Put double-sided sticky tape on the area that you cat scratches. Cats don’t like the feel of the tape on their paws, so this will help them choose the scratching post over the furniture.
- Spray the furniture with organic orange extract and water. We do this to stop our cats from chewing and climbing the Christmas tree around the holiday. Most cats hate citrus, so you can mix a tiny amount of this extract in a spray bottle of water and put the scent on the furniture you don’t want shredded.
So if you have fancy furniture that you don’t want your cats to scratch, just redirect their behavior to a more pleasurable scratching area for all.