Cat Q&A

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

How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Your Pillows

Cats love to scratch, and pillows often get in the way of that. It’s important to understand why cats feel the need to scratch and find ways to accommodate their needs while protecting your furniture and soft furnishings. Here are some tips to help you get your cat to stop scratching your pillows.

Provide an Alternatives

One of the best ways to prevent your cat from using your pillows as a scratching post is to provide them with an alternative. If you want your cat to leave your pillows and blankets alone, provide them with items specifically designed for cats to scratch and play on.

  • Cat Trees: A cat tree provides a safe, comfortable environment for your cat to scratch and climb. Look for a sturdy model that will withstand scratching and a soft, upright surface for perching and playing.
  • Cardboard Pads: A cardboard scratching pad is a perfect alternative to give your cat a place of their own to scratch. The rough texture helps sharpen their claws and since it’s up off the ground, it won’t interfere with your furniture.
  • Scratching Posts: A scratching post is another great option for cats that need to scratch. Look for posts that are tall enough to allow your cat to stretch their full length, and made from rough material like jute, sisal or cedar.

Trim Your Cat’s Claws

Regularly trimming your cat’s claws can help keep them from being sharp and damaging your furniture and upholstery. It’s a good idea to get them used to the process as kittens, by wrapping them in a towel and gently trimming their claws with a sharp pair of cat nail clippers. Make sure to only trim the clear part of the nail, not the pink section which is the living area.

Train Your Cat to Stay Off

If your cat has already taken to your pillows, it will take some training to get them to stop. When you see your cat attempting to scratch your pillows and blankets, use a loud noise like a whistle or clap to startle them and redirect their attention to one of their approved scratching surfaces. When they redirect their attention, reward them with a treat. After a few weeks of positive reinforcement, your cat should learn that their bed is the only place for scratching.

Cover Your Pillows

Covering your pillows with a washable fabric like denim or canvas can help protect them from your cat’s claws. You can also tape a double-sided sticky tape on the edges where your cat likes to scratch, as they won’t like the feeling on their paws.

By providing your cat with alternatives and trimming their claws regularly, you can help keep them from scratching your pillows and keep your furniture looking good. Positive reinforcement and regular training can also be useful in teaching your cat where they can and can’t scratch.

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