Cat Q&A

How do I get my cat to stop scratching my pillows?

How to Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Pillows

Having a pet cat can be delightful and entertaining, but some behaviors can become a problem. One common challenge is dealing with cats scratching your pillows. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your cat break this habit and protect your pillows.

Make Your Pillows Unappealing

Cats are natural scratchers, though they also tend to scratch certain materials more than others. To make your pillows less appealing to your cat:

  • Cover the pillows with a cloth material your cat doesn’t like, such as leather. Leather, vinyl and sisal are especially unappealing.
  • Sprinkle citrus-scented air fresheners around the pillows. Cats don’t like citrus.
  • Spray the pillows with a mild citrus-scented deterrent spray.

Encourage Good Scratching Behaviors

When cats scratch pillows, they’re releasing instincts such as territorial marking and conditioning their claws. To meet their scratching needs, while still protecting your pillows, here’s what you can do:

  • Provide an Alternative: Provide your cat with a scratching post that’s tall, sturdy and covered with an appealing material, such as sisal rope. Place it close by to the pillows so your cat can easily find it.
  • Reward Good Behavior: Whenever your cat uses the scratching post, reward your cat with treats, toys or other forms of positive reinforcement.
  • Discourage Off-Limits Scratching: Whenever you catch your cat scratching the pillows, make a loud noise, such as clapping or saying “no,” to startle your cat and make them stop. Then lead them to the scratching post and give them a treat.

By following these strategies, you will gradually teach your cat that the pillows are off-limits and that their scratching post is the preferred option. With consistency and patience, you can help your cat learn a better scratching habit and protect your pillows in the process.

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