What can you do with scratching?

Scratching is regular cat behaviour to mark their territory – with scent from their paws and that shredded look. So, how do you save your furniture?

How to Avert the Scratching

You may have tried to tell them off. Maybe you shooed them away for blatant disregard for your things – but you probably solved nothing, right? Your kitty may have learned to not scratch in front of you but chances are they think you’re crazy for interfering with their ‘work’! After all, to them it feels natural and good – how could it be wrong?

If you think this article is going to tell you how to stop your cat scratching, don’t read any further – you can’t! However, you can redirect their scratching to another surface. Having plenty of cat furniture in your home is vital. Most cats tend to prefer those that are tall – long enough for them to fully extend their body. The surface must be secure so that it will never fall over no matter what Fluffy does. It must be rough – like the reverse side of rugs or pretend tree bark (most surfaces are either carpet or rope, both of which work fine) and can be placed either vertically or horizontally to provide variety.

One of the most important things to do however, is don’t stop with one scratch post. Remember, one of the major reasons for scratching is to mark territory and they want to advertise their home from as many points as possible.

Teach Them to Love Their Own Furniture

Where should the cat trees and scratching posts be placed? Place the new surface next to furniture that has been scratched - don’t hide it away in the spare room! A post or tree near sleeping areas is a good idea since most cats like to scratch when they wake up. As a general rule, the more posts you have, the safer your furniture is!

Tempting your feline with new kitty furniture is one thing but you also need to discourage them from using the old furniture which will still be alluring for two main reasons – habit and scent. You can try to move the furniture a little bit away for now and spray pet deodorizer on the surface. You can also attach tinfoil or double sided tape where they once scratched your furniture or just plain old cover it up. Both of these will make Fluffy think of finding a new spot. Don’t expect an overnight response though – you will need to entice them to paw the new trees or posts perhaps by getting them to chase a toy or string around it.

Once your cat is using the new surfaces, you can gradually move them away to a more ideal spot. If Fluffy persists in using the old furniture you can go a little more extreme in your approach - a small squirt gun may seem a little mean but if it is used correctly it can work wonders. Make sure Fluffy never knows or sees that it is you or another person responsible for the sudden water squirt – let them think the couch has a new secret defence system!

Finally, it goes without saying the earlier you start to train your cat to use appropriate scratching surfaces, the more likely they will prefer scratching posts to expensive chairs for the rest of their life. You can get all sorts of amazing cat furniture or even create your own. So get your creative paws out and good luck!