How to Keep a Cat from Scratching the Furniture

June 27, 2018
The possibility of cats scratching your furniture and other things in the house could be a big reason many people do some serious thinking before adopting a cat. However, there are tricks to help you keep a cat from scratching the furniture.

Cats need to scratch —it’s part of their personality. But let’s see why…

 

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Kitten laying on a scratcher: keep a cat from scratching the furniture.

It is instinctive. It’s not just them having fun, since all felines scratch things in their environment, whether it’s a natural habitat or a house, if they’re domesticated. They do it to remove the dead layers of tissue from their nails and keep them healthy. Let’s say it’s your cat’s way of giving herself manicure.

It is also a way of marking their territory. Scratching things is a way they communicate with other cats. A scratched surface is something that other felines will see and assume that this must be someone else’s territory.

Scratching is a cat’s way of releasing stress and stretching while keeping their joints in good condition. So, now that we have clarified why they do it, how do you keep a cat from scratching the whole house?

How to Keep a Cat From Scratching Everything

Scratcher

Any cat that does not have a scratcher will scratch things in the house. Therefore, the first step to keep a cat from scratching all the furniture in the house is to buy a scratcher that she’ll find attractive.

You will find quite a few different types on the market—there are even some with little hiding spaces. There are different colors, some of them have platforms and others are a simple column shape. There are literally thousands to choose from. You just have to think about which one suits your needs, your space, and your cat’s needs.

If you keep an eye out and pay attention to what furniture your cat normally scratches, you’ll have a better idea of which type of scratcher she’ll like. If you choose scratchers similar in color, texture, or shape.

For example, if you see that your cat likes scratching the back of an armchair, maybe a scratcher panel would be ideal. If, on the other hand, she looks for chair legs or the feet of your bed, perhaps one that is column-shaped would be best.

Another good idea might be to take your cat to the pet store, and let it walk around near the scratchers for a few minutes. It won’t take long for her long to pick one she likes.  Just make sure that you don’t lose sight of your cat, in case she wants to try more than one.

Cover the Furniture

We of course realize that you can’t have all the furniture in your house covered, but if you notice that your cat is obsessively scratching a certain piece of furniture or a particular leg, you can cover it with a piece of fabric.

This will make it less attractive to your cat. In the meantime, it might help her get used to using the scratcher, instead. This way, your cat will stop scratching that area in no time.

Keep Several Scratchers Around the House

Cat sitting on a scratcher

If your cat only has one, she may get bored with it. You know your cat better than anyone else, but sometimes it’s a good idea to have several small scratchers in different places of the house, and one large scratcher in a corner.

Do Not Yell at Your Cat

We understand how frustrating it can be if your cat scratches the furniture, but don’t yell at her. Keep in mind that this behavior is an instinctive part of a cat’s personality, and we can’t change something that is so innate.

Scolding your cat will only make her afraid of you. Just tell her “no” and take her over to the scratcher. By doing this, the cat will relate that place to scratching, instead of the furniture in your house.

As you can see, there are different ways to keep a cat from scratching the furniture. But please, whatever you do, do not have your cat declawed. Not only is it cruel, but it is an amputation.