Cat scratching a sofa

How to stop your cat from destroying your furniture

Scratching has important benefits for your cat – it’s where and what they scratch that can be a problem.

February 18, 2021

Provide a scratching post

Scratching posts come in all shapes, sizes and materials. You may need to try a couple of different styles to find the perfect fit for your cat. Make sure the post is the right size for your cat and sturdy enough to take its weight.

If your cat has been targeting a certain area in the house, place the scratching post in front of the damaged furniture or carpet.

Redirect their behaviour

If you see your cat scratching inappropriately, gently redirect them towards the scratching post.

Give them plenty of attention

Scratching can be a result of stress so playing with your cat can help to release the stress and have a relaxing effect (for both of you!). It will also help with bonding.

Offer rewards

Although scratching is a reward in itself for cats, you can include some reward- based training. Provide an additional reward (such as food) after they scratch in the correct area.

Protect your furniture

While you are training your cat to scratch in the right place, put thick covers over your furniture for added protection. You can also attach double sided tape to the furniture. They won’t like the sticky feel and should stay away.

Never yell at your cat or hit them to discourage scratching, as this form of punishment will only teach them to avoid you.

Why do cats scratch?

  • They need to keep their claws healthy and conditioned.
  • To remove the dead outer layer of their claws.
  • Scratching also serves as a way to mark territory, to let other cats know to keep away.
  • Stress, anxiety or excitement can build up and scratching acts as an emotional release.
  • They scratch when they’re excited about something such as you arriving home from work.
  • Remember, cats don’t scratch furniture or carpet just to annoy you!

Source: RSPCA

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