People who take care of cats already know the big struggle — it sometimes means having your home furniture destroyed. The couch, tables, chairs, and doors may become your cat’s scratching post. Fortunately, there’s a reason cat’s scratch furniture, and you can learn how to stop a cat from scratching the couch and other kinds of furniture if you know why they do it.
In order to train your cat to stop harming your furniture, it’s important to decode the reasons for this behavior.
Cats are solitary predators by nature. They often scratch to help trim their nails, which are useful during hunting. In the wild, they usually do this on trees or logs. Unfortunately, your domesticated cat might have taken a liking to your poor furniture.
Cats are also territorial. They use the scent secreted by the glands on their paws to mark their territory by scratching.
Cats may also scratch to remove dead skin cells that can also accumulate on their nails and paws. Scratching helps in removing these to keep them in better condition. It also helps them stretch their bodies after a cat nap.
Imagine cats as big balls of energy. They need to be able to release it properly. To do that, you can play with them through cat toys or allow them to roughhouse with other felines. If they don’t have an outlet, they may release their energy by scratching on furniture, like your couch.
Cats can also get really excited and this emotion can lead to overstimulation. As a form of release, they may scratch on doors or on the edges of the couch.
Felines need the most conducive environment to stay healthy. Otherwise, they will become stressed or even sick. All these will result in agitation, aggression, and anxiety. Cats may then bite or scratch their owners to protect themselves and release stress. Others may exhibit changes in behavior, such as scratching table legs, doors, and couches.
Can you learn how to prevent cats from scratching furniture? Yes, you can, and there are plenty of ways on how to do it:
Get to the root cause of their behavior, or whatever you do to remedy the problem will only become a Band-Aid solution. They may stop scratching, but only for a while. Your vet or a cat trainer can help figure out these issues for you. Usually, it may be due to the following:
Let’s face it, lounging on a tattered couch doesn’t feel great. If you want to learn how to stop a cat from scratching the couch, then you need to provide them with an alternative, such as a scratching post.
Scratching posts are usually made from wood or cardboard, which are tactile materials for cats. To discourage them from scratching your furniture, you can stick anti-scratch tapes on the affected areas and place the post nearby, so they’ll know where to scratch.
Now, where to buy a scratching post? You can get one in stores or online, but whichever you choose, make sure it’s the proper fit for your cats needs. You should invest in a good quality brand so that it holds up to being used for a long time. This cat scratching post is contoured so your cat can stretch their body properly.
Do you always end up searching for the solution to how to stop my cat from scratching me? One of the best solutions to this is to play with them. Hero Pet Supplies has great toys to choose from!
You can also buy a laser pointer (just make sure you don’t point it in their eyes) or try out different games you find on YouTube or Pinterest.
If you need to leave your house for work every day, you can still keep cats entertained by getting them plush toys such as Knit Knacks or a three-way cat tunnel, especially if you have multiple felines in the house. You may also put up some shelving where they can climb.
You can also consider using a spray to stop cats from scratching furniture. It emits a foul smell (but not harmful) so they learn to stay away. If you’re wary of using this, then you have other options:
Catnip and silvervine plants induce psychoactive effects to cats, which can help them relax. Meanwhile, pheromones mimic the smell that cats release when they’re marking territory. Felines, therefore, believe that the place is safe once they recognize the scent, and this will help reduce anxiety and unwanted behavior.
Do all cats scratch furniture? No, they don’t, but most cats do. That’s why some pet parents declaw their cats out of exasperation and desperation. But this isn’t a safe and humane thing that you can do for them.
Declawing is not similar to nail trimming, which only involves cutting the endpoints of the nails. Nail trimming is essential since it can keep the claws healthy and an appropriate length, and prevent them from scratching their faces or other pets.
Declawing is a medical procedure that is a choice, not a necessity. It removes not only the nails but also some of the phalanges and bones. It is not only risky but also painful. Some of them may even feel pain long after their surgery. Imagine this procedure as removing your own fingertips up to your knuckles!
It doesn’t offer any medical benefit, and cats can lose many abilities, including balance and self-defense.
The bottom line is, this isn’t the solution on how to stop cats from scratching the couch. You’ll only be making their lives miserable.
Cats scratching furniture is normal, but it may need some form of correction in order for it to stop. You can begin with some of the ideas above. It may take a while to see results, so be patient and consistent. As long as you do them correctly, your efforts will pay off. Both you and your cat will live more peacefully and happily.