How to Stop Cat Scratching Furniture – Do you have a cat that loves to scratch your furniture, carpets, or curtains? Are you tired of spending money on repairing or replacing your damaged items? Do you want to know how to prevent your cat from ruining your home and your budget?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you. In this article, we will explain why cats scratch, how to provide them with appropriate scratching outlets, and how to save money by using some simple and effective solutions.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Scratching is a natural and normal behavior for cats. It has many benefits for them, such as:
- Keeping their claws healthy and sharp by removing the old outer layer of the nail
- Stretching their muscles and relieving tension in their body
- Marking their territory and communicating with other cats by leaving visual and scent cues
- Expressing their emotions and releasing stress
Scratching is not a sign of bad behavior or spite. It is something that cats are genetically programmed to do. Therefore, it is not fair or effective to punish your cat for scratching. Instead, you should try to understand their needs and provide them with suitable alternatives.
How to Provide Your Cat with Appropriate Scratching Outlets
The first step to stop your cat from scratching your furniture and carpets is to provide them with alternative scratching surfaces. These should be:
- Sturdy and stable, so that they don’t move or wobble when your cat scratches them
- Rigid and rough, so that they offer some resistance and texture to your cat’s claws
- Vertical and horizontal, so that your cat can choose their preferred orientation and posture
- Placed in strategic locations, such as near your cat’s sleeping area, near the windows, or near the entrance of the room
Some examples of scratching outlets are:
- Cat scratching posts or trees, which are usually made of wood or cardboard and covered with sisal, rope, or carpet
- Cat scratching boards or pads, which are usually made of corrugated cardboard or wood and can be attached to the wall or placed on the floor
- Cat scratching mats or rugs, which are usually made of sisal, hemp, or coir and can be placed on the floor or under the furniture
- Cat scratching toys or balls, which are usually made of sisal, rope, or fabric and can be hung from a door knob or a ceiling hook
You can buy these scratching outlets from pet shops or online stores, or you can make them yourself using some DIY materials. The important thing is to make sure that they are safe, durable, and attractive for your cat.
To encourage your cat to use the scratching outlets, you can:
- Sprinkle some catnip or silver vine on them to make them more appealing
- Praise and reward your cat with treats or toys when they scratch them
- Play with your cat near them to stimulate their interest and curiosity
- Rub some of your cat’s scent on them to make them feel more familiar and comfortable
How to Save Money by Using Simple and Effective Solutions
While providing your cat with appropriate scratching outlets is the best way to stop them from scratching your furniture and carpets, there are some other things you can do to protect your items and save money. These include:
- Covering your furniture and carpets with protective covers, such as slipcovers, throws, blankets, or mats. You can choose covers that are easy to wash, durable, and match your decor. You can also use double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap to deter your cat from scratching certain areas.
- Trimming your cat’s nails regularly, using a cat nail clipper or a nail file. This will reduce the damage that your cat can cause with their claws and also prevent them from getting caught or infected. You should trim your cat’s nails every two to four weeks, depending on how fast they grow. You should only cut the tip of the nail, avoiding the pink part called the quick, which contains blood vessels and nerves. You should also reward your cat with treats or toys after trimming their nails to make it a positive experience.
- Applying soft nail caps to your cat’s nails, using a special glue and applicator. These are plastic or rubber covers that fit over your cat’s nails and prevent them from scratching. They come in different sizes, colors, and designs, and they last for four to six weeks. You can buy them from pet shops or online stores, or you can ask your vet to apply them for you. You should check your cat’s nails regularly and replace the nail caps when they fall off or grow out.
- Using a spray bottle or a water gun to squirt your cat with water when they scratch your furniture or carpets. This will startle your cat and make them stop scratching. However, you should only do this when you catch your cat in the act, and not after the fact, as your cat may not associate the spray with the scratching and may become fearful or resentful of you. You should also use this method sparingly and only as a last resort, as it may not be very effective or humane.
Scratching is a natural and normal behavior for cats that has many benefits for them. However, it can also cause damage to your furniture, carpets, and other personal belongings, and cost you a lot of money to repair or replace them.
To stop your cat from scratching your items, you should provide them with alternative scratching outlets that are sturdy, rigid, vertical, and horizontal, and placed in strategic locations. You should also encourage your cat to use them by using catnip, praise, rewards, and play.
In addition, you can protect your items and save money by using protective covers, trimming your cat’s nails, applying soft nail caps, or using a spray bottle. These are simple and effective solutions that can help you and your cat live in harmony and happiness.