Tips To Stop Your Cat From Scratching
If your cat has got in the habit of shredding your furniture and belongings and is showing no signs of stopping, it may be time to put an end to this bad habit once and for all. It starts with understanding why your cat is scratching to correcting the behavior and finding safe alternatives to satisfy their need to flex those claws. We have a line-up of surefire solutions for you and your frisky feline to try out.
Of course, we all love our feisty little fur babies to pieces but those razor-sharp claws can add up to a lot of frayed furniture, clothing, and other items. Your cat isn't scratching to be bad or naughty, in fact, cat's scratch for multiple reasons. This can be anything from the need to remove the worn-out layer of their claws, the instinctual need to mark their territory, or to simply stretch out their paws.
You might see that your cat prefers to scratch a stable, vertical surface so they can fully stand and arch their backs. This is what makes that furniture of yours such as tables and couches, so appealing to them as a scratching post. Yet they only choose to scratch the couch because they don't have many other options. If given the right choices and deterrents in place, your cat is more likely to avoid scratching the places that you wish they wouldn't simply because it's less entertaining and doesn't suit their needs as well.
We suggest 3 main elements to stop your kittie's destructive scratching. You can provide alternative scratching surfaces, make your furniture a less appealing scratching surface, and maintain and care for their claws. Once you've addressed all three of these areas, you and your cat should be much more content.
1. Provide Alternative Scratching Surfaces
Now that you have a little more background as to why they scratch, it's pretty understandable why they want to. It's part of their instinctual nature, and c'mon, everybody likes to stretch. It's simply about having the right surfaces available for scratching, that's when the furniture seems like a fine spot to them.
Try A Scratching Post
Scratching posts are definitely one of the most common and popular solutions for cat-owners looking to keep their pet's from attacking their belongings and furniture. The best posts are made of thick, rug-like material like rope or burlap. You'll see how fast your cat moves over to these fun-to-scratch materials instead of the soft, cushy sofa seats they might be used to from tearing up your furniture. Most cats prefer that vertical position that allows them to stretch while kneading their claws into the rugged surface so make sure it's a tall enough post for your cat to fully extend. Ensure your post is sturdy and won't tip over when leaned on b your cat. Encourage your kitty to investigate the post by hanging toys and treats from the top or scenting it with catnip.
Try A Scratching Pad
Scratching posts may be the most widely recognized but they certainly aren't the only option to satisfy that need to scratch. If your cat prefers a horizontal or angled scratching surface, consider a cat-scratching pad instead. There are often an abundance of different types, shapes, and sizes but they all basically contain a pad made of a rugged, cat-friendly material such as sisal or durable cardboard. Some pads do dobule as beds so your kitty can also stretch out for a cozy nap when they're ready too.
Once you've decided on the most appropriate post for your cat, pick out several and place them throughout your home so your cat always has an option to scratch wherever they may be in your home. We recommend stationing them near the furniture they're tempted to damage to directly nab their attention away from it.
2. Teaching Your Cat
There are several clever and low-cost DIY solutions for keeping cats from scratching your furniture and making them less interested in it. You may need to try a few to find the ones that work best for you and your cat.
It's a pretty common characteristic among cats, they hate aluminum foil. Whether it's the strange sound it makes, the smooth feel, or shocking shine, felines abhor when you unroll a sheet of the stuff. You can use this distaste for aluminum to your advantage. Try wrapping it around one of the legs of the furniture that your cat is into scratching or tape a sheet to the surface. Before long you will be able to remove the foil and your cat will be trained to avoid this area for good. Keep the aluminum foil place for as long as it takes for your cat to consistently using one of their appropriate scratching posts.
Imagine how surprised you would be if you went to grab a regular item and you got stuck to it? Image how your cat would feel? That's the exact surprise and shock you instill by putting tape onto furniture and items that your cat frequently scratches. Your cat will be surprised by the stickiness and will want to get their paws off it immediately. The tape will prevent them from scratching the furniture so it serves both as a training tool and a protective barrier. After a few unsuccessful scratching attempts from your, it's likely they'll be turned off from it and learn that scratching in that place only lands them in a sticky situation they don't want to deal with.
There is a variety of pet-safe anti-scratch sprays available that keep cats away from the furniture and don't ruin your furniture either. While the odor is pleasant to us, cats aren't a fan and it replaces their territorial markers. This makes it so they avoid those areas. You can continuously spray as long as your cat continues to go after the furniture but after a while, they will learn the places they are allowed to scratch and the places that they aren't.
3. Practice Quality Claw Maintenance
Even though our cats are pretty well-renowned for being the best self-groomers, they do need some assistance from time to time. One of the grooming chores you can help them out with is their claws. If your cat isn't adjusted to having their claws clipped, you should approach this process very slowly. You may only be able to clip a few of their nails at first but easing into it is just fine, and the best way to do it.
Once you implement cat behavioral training to curb the clawing, you can feel confident they will no longer long for your furniture. Declawing your cat is never the answer as it's unnecessary and can cause other medical issues or make the cat more likely to bite. Instead, with a few rounds of repetitive training techniques and some well-deserved treats for good behavior, your cat will likely finally leave your things alone and regain his stature as your household's most well-behaved furry friend.