How to Keep your Cat from Scratching up House
Your feline doesn't scratch the couch because he loves it, he's having fun, or he wants to annoy you; rather his actions are based purely on a biological and adaptive matter.
Whether it’s to mark his territory, because he’s bored or because he wants to sharpen his claws, felines may use any surface or object. Although they don’t have bad intentions or do it on purpose, the truth is that our furniture can be destroyed by his claws. In this article we’ll give you some tips so that your cat stops scratching the entire house:
Is it possible to keep your cat from scratching up the whole house?
All felines have the necessity to scratch different surfaces. In the case of wild cats, they’ll do so against a tree, a stone or a branch…But domestic cats don’t always have those things at their disposal. That’s why they seem to get angry with your furniture!
As we can’t change the animal’s instinct and certain primitive behavior, it’s essential to understand the many reasons why our pet scratches everything: it may be to maintain their claws, to shed dead layers of his claws, to communicate with others, to release stress or leave their scent and mark the territory that they believe belongs to them.
So, this means that your cat isn’t scratching the couch because he loves it, is having fun or just wants to annoy you. You must understand that his behavior is based on a purely biological and adaptive matter.
Tips to keep your cat from scratching up the whole house
You can scold him a thousand times…But he’ll scratch your furniture a thousand and one times. Of course you won’t allow him to continue to do so, but you should use certain strategies to keep him away from his favorite places to cause damage:
1. Learn your pet’s tastes
Although it’s most common that a cat scratches a couch, there are others that prefer a curtain, a mat or a table. This may be due in part to the texture or material of the object, or because of the place it occupies inside the house.
It’s also likely that he’ll choose the oldest piece of used furniture, and that he’ll leave his pheromones there to show you that you’re very important to him. In that case it might be best to cover the furniture with a thick covering when you’re not around.
2. Buy a scratching post
Another way of keeping your cat from scratching up the whole house is to offer him items or toys where it’s permitted. At the pet store you can find something called a “scratching post,” which you can also make yourself with string, cardboard and some imagination.
It’s necessary to be aware that at the beginning, he won’t pay much attention to the scratching post, as he needs to familiarize himself with it: in order for him to get used to it and use it, put it next to the couch or the object that he usually scratches. Don’t force him to use it, allow him to go near it and get used to it.
3. Cover it with aluminum foil
It’s not very nice to have the furniture wrapped up as if they were a Christmas present, true, but it can keep you cat from scratching up the whole house. Felines don’t like the sound that foil makes when it comes into contact with their claws.
4. Use home remedies
In pet stores there are sprays that supposedly dissuade the cat from scratching the furniture. However, its effectiveness is not proven and it will not be of much use if you don’t give your pet another object to sharpen its claws.
Some people recommend spreading clove oil on the items marked by the felines, as the scent it gives off prevents the cat from getting close.
Another option at your reach is using citrus fruits: you can use lemon or orange zest, or throw a few drops of juice with a spray.
5. Reward good behavior
If you surprise your cat while he’s scratching the furniture it won’t help to scold or yell at him, since you’ll only scare him. When that happens, it’s better to talk to him gently and guide him toward the scratching post. If he approaches the toy by his own means, don’t forget to reward him by petting him or giving him a treat.