Are you having problems with your pet cats leaving your furniture in a mess? While it’s completely normal for cats to scratch, you may find this issue quite frustrating, especially when you’ve visitors noticing your damaged sofa or couch. To solve this problem, you’ve to teach your beloved pet cats to stop scratching house furniture. But first, you need to understand why cats love to scratch.
Understanding Your Cats
Your little paw friend doesn’t always scratch for no reason. You’ll see here that they’ve got their own reasons for scratching. Below are some of these reasons:
- Scratching as playtime
Cats are playful animals. Playing is a way to communicate and enhance their social skills and movements. They’re also natural born hunters. So, playing helps a lot in developing their skills for hunting. There are times when they get carried away. This is especially true for young ones of various feline species. However, they’re misunderstood by people when they act rashly because they showcase hostility.
- Scratching as an exercise
Scratching plays an essential role in cats’ physical fitness. The muscular structure of cats is being developed while they’re scratching. When they scratch, the tendons from their toes, upper back, and neck are being stretched to make them well developed.
- Scratching to improve defense
Aside from exercise, scratching makes cats’ claws healthy and ready. Claws are the most important body part for cats. They’re used for jumping, climbing, and catching prey.
Although most cats nowadays are domesticated, the natural instincts to protect their territories still live in their blood. Without healthy claws, cats are defenseless, and it’ll restrict their movements because a majority of their movement abilities depend on their claws. If your pet cats lose their territorial dispute against their feline enemy, there’s a big chance they’ll run off to search for their territory.
- Scratching to feel good
Your pet cats may also scratch out of boredom. Cats were domesticated in ancient times and have come a long way in adapting to live with people. However, they’ve still got their natural instincts and scratching is a form of entertainment for them.
Why Do They Scratch Your Furniture?
Born as natural scratchers, you may see your paw friends scratching on almost everything. And you may wonder why they keep coming back to your furniture. Here are the two main reasons for this behavior:
- Marking their territory
Just like a dog urinating on a fire hydrant, cats do their territorial marking by scratching it. Whenever a cat scratches, the scent glands on their paws release their scent to mark the territory. This is also a way of communicating with other cats. This behavior doesn’t change even if you only have one cat in your home. So, your furniture is not safe from scratching.
- No other things to scratch and natural instincts
Cats are hunters, fighters, and survivors. They lived a free life before being domesticated. So, the natural instinct comes out even after owners feed them, care for them, bathe them, and do many other things a loving paw parent may do. When they cannot control their natural instincts, cats scratch on things just like they used to do in the wild. Sofa and furniture may be the best scratching points they’ll see because they can easily put their claws on them.
Stopping Cats From Scratching your Furniture
- Provide them scratching points
Setting up strategic scratching points around the house will be a great start to change their scratching habits. Having one or two scratching points for every room or parts of the house will make a huge difference in your cat’s behavior. Scratching post and barrel are must-try scratching points for your paw pets. Despite the higher price, go for scratching points made from natural material because artificial ones may contain chemicals that can harm your pet.
- Train them early and daily
Training them at an early age will make it easier for you and your pet because old habits may be hard to change for your cat at an older age. It can also be frustrating for you. When your cat shows no sign of interest, it needs extra understanding and patience from you. Although they say, “old cats can’t learn new tricks,” you can prove them wrong because your daily efforts and perseverance will be worth it in the end.
- Praise Them
The training won’t be easy for both the pet and the owner. Always keep in mind that your pet cat has zero intention to annoy you. Although cats are curious, they’re also honest if they’re not interested in an object. Guide them patiently, praise them, and give rewards when they exert effort. This will help the training progress faster.
- Make Your Furniture Less Attractive
If you’ve got a pet cat and are planning on purchasing furniture, you may consider ones with smooth surfaces. Cats love things with rough surfaces because the friction is perfect for them. They can easily put their claws on the surface and start scratching right away.
If you’re on a budget, you may cover the furniture with low resistance materials like leather and other soft upholstery.
Alternative Ways To Make Them Stop Scratching
If you’ve tried various ways to help your pet cat get over its scratching habit but have failed, or if you don’t have sufficient time, there are alternative ways to make cats stop scratching. Below are two of them:
- Catnip sprays have relaxing effects on cats. They can also excite the pheromones in cats which makes them happy and calms them down when they get the urge to scratch. You may spray it once a week on places you want your pet to scratch.
- Trimming their claws is the cheapest way possible to prevent them from damaging things like your furniture. Be extra careful and go to your trusted vet to get a demo on how to get it done. You don’t want to injure your cat.
Understanding your paw friend is the ultimate way to get them out of their scratching habits. You’ve got to train them with patience and care to help them throughout this transition stage. You and your pet may stumble upon some challenges, so keep in mind that your pet’s love is more important than material things like your furniture. Read the above-mentioned tips to understand your cat and help it to stop scratching your furniture.