As a cat owner I have witnessed on more than one of them of scratching the furniture or walls at some point in their lives. Even with scratching posts, pads, toys aplenty, they still love to scratch the furniture. So what gives? Why do they scratch the furniture?
Instinct is a Big Factor
Cats need to scratch in order to strengthen and sharpen their claws. It also helps shed to the outer layer which keeps them healthy. In addition the claw health, scratching helps mark their territory with visual markers and a scent that this is their domain.
They Love the Feeling
Most of the time when your cat scratches it is also because they are stretching. They love the feeling of stretching up and sometime out as they knead and flex their claws, especially after a cat nap. The fabric and texture plays a big factor as well. Cat are particularly fond of a scratching things that they can really sink their paws into like a course or textured surface. This is why they love furniture so much, it feels really good on their claws.
What You Can Do Stop It With Three Easy Steps
Since they are mostly about texture, putting something that is displeasing to them. Here are a few inexpensive things that you can try to help deter this undesired behavior.
- Give them places where scratching is appropriate. Get or make them a cat tree that has carpet or cardboard. If your cat is a fan, sprinkle it with catnip to help draw their attention to the new scratching area and away from your couch. It also helps to rub the new post on the furniture they love to scratch and transfer the scent from their paws.Then make sure to give kitty lots of praise and maybe even some treats for scratching in the proper place.
- Double sided tape or sandpaper over it helps deter them from scratching. After you change the texture of the furniture that they love to scratch they may want to avoid it completely. Sandpaper or tape won’t hurt their paws, but it is definitely not something they like to feel.
- Use a bitter spray as a deterrent. While this doesn’t always work right away, it usually does the trick after a while, especially when used with showing them where to scratch as well. Once they scratch the couch with a bitter spray, they smell and lick their paws only to find a terribly bitter scent and taste. Spray this over a texture they don’t like and you’ll have a two-fold fighting system on your hands. These deterrents and redirection will make them want your furniture less and their scratching post more.
What tricks do you use to get your cat to stop scratching your furniture? Leave us a comment and let us know!