13 Ways to Save Your Furniture from Cat Scratching
By Petar Petrov
The cats are great pets. They love to play, they love to cuddle
when you are watching TV or sleeping, and they purr for no reason other than
being near you. But they also love to scratch. Unfortunately, the things they
love to scratch are often the legs of your antique table, your upholstered sofa,
or your expensive carpet.
Although many humans do not appreciate when their cats
scratching, you have to know that kittens and cats do not scratch to make us
angry, they just need to scratch. Scratching is a natural hardwired behavior in
cats, just like breathing and purring, and every cat owner must know WHY THE
In the wild, cats scratch around their immediate environment to
signal their presence to other cats and to claim the area in question. The
marking takes two forms: visual and olfactory. The visual is in the form of
clawing marks and is so obvious that even we humans can recognize it. The
olfactory mark is subtler, involving the release of pheromones. These are
substances secreted from the body to be picked up by the number of the same
species, causing them to alter their behavior.
Scratching has additional function too. It removes the nail
sheaths, outer layer of dead cells from the claw. You might thing your cat
scratches to sharpen her claws, but it more likely it provides her with a form
of physical therapy for the muscles and tendons of her paws.
There are two groups of target for every cat. The first one is
when your cat target one or two areas in the home, usually near important
territorial areas such as: sleeping area, litter tray, hunting or play areas.
The second one is your cat undertake more widespread and destructive scratching
in highly visible sites such as: doorways, windows, prominent furnishings - like
WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOUR CAT SCRATCHING YOUR FURNITURE?
1. The easiest but the most painful method for cat is declawing.
Faced with cat scratching problems, many people consider declawing surgery. But
many veterinarians believe declawing is a painful and unnecessary surgery and
refuse to do it for humane reasons. Instead, they advocate training your cat to
use a scratching post.
2. Make sure there are multiple scratching opportunities. Cats
often like to scratch after eating and sleeping, so be sure there is something
to scratch near where they eat and sleep. A scratching post is an excellent
investment for your cat. It will allow her to scratch, stretch and exercise all
at once. If you want to provide your cat not only with scratching surface, but
and places where she can climb, perch and sleep you should consider cat tree.
3. Cover the furniture with something your cat does not like:
double sided tape, some plastic or aluminium foil. Some cats dislike the feeling
and sound of foil, and most cats hate things that stick to their fur.
Double-sided sticky tape used in carpet installation works well, but be sure the
tape won't harm your cat or furniture.
4. Keep your cat mentally stimulated and offers her plenty of
opportunity for exercise, and she will has less opportunity to be destructive in
your home. If your cat is frustrated and bored, she may scratch your furniture
or tear your drapes. Give her enough play time. Cats are motivated by smell,
sound, texture and movement. The toys you use should aim to cover all these
aspects. Discover your cat's preferences by presenting a variety different sized
toy made from different materials and watch her reaction to gauge her
5. Cutting the nails regularly may help keep a cat from
scratching the furniture, or at least reduce the damage done by its scratching.
Get your kitten used to having its nails clipped while it is young, praise her
while you clip the nail and reward her with a treat.
6. Booby trap the furniture with a soda can with some pennies in
it, so that if cat scratches, it makes a noise.
7. Use a doorknob alarm on your curtains. When pinned to the
drapes, the alarm will sound every time your cat tries to use curtains as a
8. Consider a window perch for your feline friend. It will give
your cat hours of entertainment - especially if you place a bird or squirrel
feeder in the garden outside the window. Be sure the window is closed so your
pet won't fall out.
9. When you catch your cat scratching furniture, try squirting
her with a water pistol or squirt bottle and use a firm 'no'. Of course, this
won't stop your cat when you are not around.
10. If your cat is gaining access to a high bookcase by leaping
from a nearby chair, move the chair. Without her launchpad, your cat will no
longer be able to reach her perch.
11. You can also try taping inflated balloons to the problem
areas. When your cat pops one with her claws, she will avoid scratching there
again. However, try this only when you are at home, so you can pick up the
balloon pieces before your cat tries to eat them.
12. There are training devices that keep cats off forbidden
areas by making annoying sounds. They are available at pet supply stores,
catalogs and websites.
13. If your cat still scratches in appropriate places, use some
sprays like bitter apple or actual orange peels, which are good deterrents.
All forms of physical punishment should be avoided since they
can cause fear or aggression toward the owner, and at best, the cat will only
learn to stop the scratching while the owner is around.
It does not matter which method you will choose to prevent your
furniture destroying, every cat owner mush know that it is impractical and
unfair to expect cats to stop scratching entirely.
The author Petar Petrov is founder of
CozyCatFurniture.com. His site together with the cat furniture that
offer, try to help people to make their cat's life better. Visit the
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