How to stop cats from scratching furniture? Possibly this is one of the most asked questions from cats owners. Cats have to sharpen their nails and need to stretch, besides being naughty and trying to play with their teeth and claws.
To prevent cats from scratching furniture, cats owner can train their cats to use scratching posts instead. Otherwise, they can use natural products that repel cats from furniture, use protective materials on the surfaces the cats love to scratch the most, and in some instances, trim their nails.
Let’s see all the strategies and techniques that can be used to prevent a cat from scratching furniture.
WHY DO CATS SCRATCH?
Cats use to scratch on surfaces with their nails because it is an instinct. They have to sharpen their claws, and scratching is one way to do it. They also need to stretch to keep their bodies healthy, and sometimes they scratch because they are playing or marking territory, and they are happy to see their owners.
Claws are vital for a cat’s survival. They have to be able to climb trees, hunt, and protect themselves from predators. Their nails are essential to perform all of these activities. Therefore, cats keep their nails ready by scratching from time to time.
Cats also like to mark their territory by scratching in specific spots that are significant to them. In some cases, I have seen my cats starting to scratch as soon as they see me, in a sigh of happiness. On the other side, some cats are also very anxious, and scratching can release some anxiousness. To summarize, cats scratch because:
- To make their nals sharp
- To mark territory
- They are happy to see you
- They are anxious
- To stretch themselves
In general, cats can take care of their nails properly, and if they need to scratch, cats owners should provide alternatives to the house furniture.
HOW TO STOP CATS FROM SCRATCHING FURNITURE?
So, after all of this, how to stop cats from scratching furniture? Unfortunately, not all cats have the same personality. Some cats can be easier to train than others, and some cats may refuse to follow instructions, and in this case, cats owners have to find alternative solutions to prevent furniture scratching.
But, cats owners should realize that cats have to scratch somewhere, and preventing it is not good for cats’ health. Here are some of the best ways to preserve furniture scratching:
1.TRAIN YOUR CAT
Cats are not the easiest candidates to train to follow instructions. However, I was able to educate my first cat to use scratching posts only, and he became so educated that when he had to sharpen his nail, he would go straight to the posts. After that, I never had a problem with destroyed furniture.
How did I do it?
Well, when he was a kitten, I bought a sort of cat house, which I had to put together. It was full of scratch posts, toys, and places for him to hide, sleep and play. I could build it in two or three levels, and there were scratching posts even on the second level.
Here it is:
He started to use scratching posts very early in his cat house. And since that time, he would not try to scratch other places in the house. So what, I got out of it?
a. Provide cats with scratch posts earlier in life.
b. Teach them how to use it as soon as possible.
c. Direct your cat to the scratching posts gently if you see scratching somewhere else.
Here is where you can get your own cat’s house:
You can also try placing scratching posts near the places your cat uses to scratch the most to get him to use them and help him switch.
If you are trying to transition your cat from scratching furniture to using scratching posts, make sure to let him know when he is doing the right thing or when he is doing the wrong thing. For example, tell him “NO” when trying to scratch the couch or other, and direct him to the scratching post. Over time, he may learn and get used to it.
2. PROTECT THE FORNITURE SURFACES
If training is not an option, the wisest thing to do is to protect the furniture surfaces with protective materials so that cats can scratch on them without damaging the existing furniture or preventing cats from scratching.
Those materials can be found transparent and can be applied to look good but at the same time effective in saving your couch or other furniture.
Here are some examples of materials that can be used:
Sometimes cats are not going to listen and will not respond to training. Cats owners should be prepared for it when they adopt a cat and use other ways to protect their furniture without being too hard on the cat.
3. USE NATURAL ANTI-SCRATCHING SPRAYS
One can also try to use natural products that can deter cats from scratching. The only problem with commercial products is that they may contain ingredients that could be harmful to cats. For example, while citrus is used in many types of sprays, it is toxic for cats.
If you want to find natural alternatives as scratching deterrents for cats, you can read: 5 NON-TOXIC ESSENTIAL OILS TO KEEP CATS OFF FURNITURE.
In the alternative, if you want to try some of the anti-scratching sprays, make sure to read the labels first to make sure there aren’t harmful ingredients. Here are some you can try:
4. OTHER METHODS
Other methods can prevent scratching on furniture, which does something with the cat’s claws. However, I do not want to recommend any of those. I can see that some cat owners want to trim their cat’s nails, but this is as far as I can suggest.
Cats do not need human helps to take care of their nails. They have always done it successfully. The scratching is the thing that keeps their nails sharp and healthy. Trimming can be a good idea for some indoor cats if the cat owner can do it without being “killed” by their cats.
Otherwise, nail caps are not a good idea for cats. They need their nails and the possibility to scratch. Even indoor cats may need it if something happens. Cats with nail caps or socks may feel weird about it and try to get rid of them.
Some cat owners get to the point of declawing their cats, which is cruel. When adopting a cat, cat parents should know the pros and cons of having a cat. Cats do scratch, poop, pee, and shed, amongst other things. If one can’t deal with it should not adopt a cat.
Spraying water on a cat is not a good practice either. Cats do not like it, and I am not sure that using such a method can reach a result or be educational,
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What home remedy will keep cats from scratching furniture?
Home remedies to keep cats from scratching furniture can include essential oils, vinegar, barriers, and adding many scratching posts to the environment to give cats many alternatives.
How do you keep cats from scratching furniture with vinegar?
Typically, using vinegar to keep cats from scratching furniture is necessary to use a bottle spray filled with water, add a bit of vinegar to the water, and spray over the surfaces you do not want your cat to scratch.
Can you train a cat not to scratch furniture?
Yes, it is possible to train a cat to scratch furniture with a lot of patience. A cat owner can associate a command to action, for example, “No” and “Yes” when they do a good or bad thing.
For example, “No” would be associated with the action of scratching furniture. In this case, a cat would be stopped and directed onto a scratching post. Cats owners who build a good relationship with their cats have a higher chance of educating their cats.
What can I spray on the carpet to stop the cat from scratching?
Do cats grow out of scratching furniture?
Yes, cats can grow out of scratching furniture. You have to teach them to use scratching posts and do it as early as possible. Cats are not like a dog, and the training requires patience, but it can be done.