Estimated read time: 4 minutes
As cat owners, we love our furry friends. What we don't love is when they scratch up on our stuff, especially the furniture. It can be very frustrating having the favorite couch or sofa being ruined by the cat’s sharp claws.
What is important to know though, is that they are not purposely trying to agitate you by destroying the furniture.
Cats enjoy scratching and it is part of their instinctive behavior. It is a biological need just like eating or grooming themselves.
There's nothing wrong with your cat for scratching and you should not try to prevent your cat from scratching altogether but instead provide them with places where they are allowed to scratch and then teach them where they can do so and what is off-limits.
This is a lot easier than you might think and, in this article, we'll explain exactly how to do it.
But first, let's go over why cats scratch in the first place.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Before you teach your cat not to scratch your sofa (or other furniture), you have to understand why they do it in the first place.
Cats scratch to:
Mark their territories
Cats are territorial and part of their scratching behavior designates their claim. For this reason, your cat may scratch your door, carpet, litter box and furniture.
They do this to leave their claw marks and scent behind (called pheromones), so that other animals can see the scratch marks and smell the scent. This is so they know the area is already claimed.
Keep their claws healthy
Cat’s claws are composed of a protein called keratin (the same as human fingernails). Unlike our fingernails, their claws peel off in layers. Scratching helps them peel off those layers and leave a shiny and sharp claw.
Scratching is pleasant for cats. It relieves stress and makes them feel great. It is their fun way to play, climb or fight with other feline friends. Scratching also allows cats to ease tension. It prevents them from developing bad habits and behaviors.
Stretch their bodies
What Can I Do to Stop My Cat from Scratching My Furniture?
Here are the best ways to stop your cat from scratching and destroying your furniture:
1. Apply Furniture Scratch Protectors
Most cats have a favorite place for scratching. Sometimes, the corner or armrest of your sofa makes a great scratching spot for them. In this case, to protect your furniture, a simple and great solution is to apply a furniture scratch protector on the furniture.
Furniture scratch protectors prevent your cat from getting a grip on your furniture's surface and as a result it will make your cat lose interest in scratching the surface where the sheets are applied.
The great thing about our Furniture Scratch Protectors is that you don't have to worry about buying new furniture for the fear of it getting ruined as the protectors are 100% furniture safe and do not leave any residue behind.
Shop Furniture Scratch Protectors here.
2. Provide them an alternative place to scratch
Now when you have covered up your furniture and your cat no longer has the option to scratch them, you want to provide them with an alternative place to scratch.
You probably know your cat’s favorite scratching spots. Help them mark territory with a scratching pad or a scratching post as a replacement for your furniture.
Cats like tree bark, sisal rope, and even corrugated cardboard (especially if it’s infused with catnip).
3. Trim your cat's nails
Although trimming your cat's nails may not stop the furniture scratching completely, trimmed cat nails cause significantly less damage to furniture.
Furthermore, trimming your cat's claws keeps them healthy, prevents ingrown nails and bacteria. Make sure you have the right nail clipper to clip your cat's claws with ease.
4. Use Cat Scratch Spray
Since cats are territorial and they tend to leave their scent behind to mark a territory, using a cat scratch spray will trick your cat that it has already marked its territory. This will discourage them from scratching your furniture.
You can buy a spray or you can make your own. Mix vinegar, essential citrus oil, garlic and peppermint (if you have). Of course, this formula may or may not work on your cats since they have different instincts and behaviors.
5. Use Socks or Nail Caps
As an alternative to declawing, you can put cat socks (or mittens) to prevent scratching. These socks work for some cats but some will get frustrated and will only try to remove them.
In this case, you can try soft nail caps that glues onto their claws. This helps limit the damage should your cat decide to scratch where it should not.
Scratching is part of cat's biological behaviors. They do this to mark their territories, keep their claws healthy, express emotions and stretch their bodies.
Do not try to prevent your cat from scratching altogether but instead provide them with places where they are allowed to scratch and then teach them where they can do so and what is off-limits.
The best way to stop your cat from scratching your furniture is to apply furniture scratch protectors on your furniture and in places where your cat tends to scratch but you want to stop them from scratching and then provide them with an alternative place to scratch such as a scratching post.
Let us know which one of these tips worked for you in the comment section down below.