How can I Keep my Cat from Scratching my Furniture?
Cats are amazing and lovable companions for humans yet sometimes their favorite activities like scratching can leave a stain on our furniture. Don’t worry there are some tried and tested methods that can help you keep your cat from damaging your furniture while they stay active on the objects they consider acceptable to scratch.
A scratching post
Purchase a scratching post for your cat. Choose a sturdy post that is tall enough for your cat to stretch and scratch, some like a flat surface while some like an upright one. Place the post in an area where your cat likes to spend time so that they are more likely to use it.
Using a reward system
Whenever your cat is using the scratching post, encourage positive behavior with treats or verbal praise. You might even want to give them a catnip spritz on the post as an extra lure.
Making furniture a no-go
Sometimes cats can be quite persistent, even if rewarded for not scratching the furniture. To ensure your furry friend understands your rules, you might need to take more drastic measures. Place double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the furniture to make the surface unpleasant for scratching, and when your cat begins to use the scratching post instead, reward their positive behavior.
Giving them an outlet for scratching
If a scratching post isn’t enough or your cat ignores it completely then try offering them other objects. Cardboard boxes, burlap sacks and rolled carpet tubes are all popular, while some cats like to scratch on hardwood floors. You’ll need to experiment to find out what your cat likes and make sure they have access to it.
Regularly trimming your cats claws can help save your furniture. Trim them just enough to remove the sharp tips that are most likely to cause damage.
Try teaching your cats ‘leave it’ or ‘off’ commands, this can be done by tapping them lightly when they go near the furniture, saying the chosen word, then rewarding them for obeying the command. With enough practice your cat will learn to stay away from the furniture.
If all else fails, remember to be patient and consistent. Teaching a cat to scratch in the correct way can take time and there will be occasional scratching accidents, but with a little patience and, of course, lots of treats, your cat will soon learn to scratch only the acceptable places.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Provide a scratching post and reward positive behaviour.
- Ensure furniture is less attractive to your cat.
- Give them an alternate outlet.
- Trim claws regularly.
- Train them to stay away from the furniture.