Cats love to scratch. They scratch during play, and they also scratch while stretching. Scratching marks their territory and serves as a threatening signal for other cats. And because cats’ claws are often sharp, they make different surfaces frayed and worn out. All this scratching can cause damage to your furniture, drapes, and even carpets. If you can relate as a fur parent, then this article can help you! We will give you practical and effective ways on how to keep cats from clawing furniture.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Before you learn how to keep cats from clawing furniture, it’s important to understand why cats have such behaviors. Doing so can help you make effective precautions without inhibiting the natural needs of your cats. Here are some reasons why cats are clawing:
- Stretching. Scratching serves as a form of exercise and valuable stretching for the toning of muscles and tendons in your cat’s body from toes to neck and shoulders.
- Marking of territory. Cat paws contain scent glands to release odors for marking her territory. Felines use this mode of communication to express themselves. It also serves as a threat to other cats not to enter her area.
- Maintaining claw health. Scratching helps your cat shed the excess nail husk periodically as needed, keeping the claw healthy.
- Well-being. Scratching feels great to cats. Just like humans, they need an outlet to relieve stress. It also decreases the possibility that your cat will develop unwanted behaviors.
What to do with Clawing Habits
The best way to deal with scratching is to teach your cat where and what to scratch. Stopping your cat from doing so can result in negative behaviors. A practical approach is to provide her with suitable, cat-attractive surfaces and objects to scratch, like scratching posts. The following steps will help you on how to keep cats from clawing furniture:
- Provide your cat with a variety of scratching posts with different textures and surfaces. You can try posts made of cardboard, carpeting, wood, sisal, and upholstery. Some felines prefer horizontal posts, while others like vertical posts better. Figure out your cat’s preference and set up more posts in various locations. Always look for something sturdy for your cat to scratch on. Cats also like to claw on tall posts, making drapes enticing for them.
- Encourage your cat to examine her posts by adding catnip and hanging toys in areas where she’ll be interested in climbing on them.
- Discourage inappropriate clawing by removing or covering furniture. Turn speakers toward the wall. Put plastic, double-sided tape, sandpaper, or upside-down vinyl carpet runner on furniture or on the floor where you don’t want your cat to scratch. Place scratching posts next to these objects instead.
- Clip and groom your cat’s nails regularly.
- You can put plastic caps on your cat’s claws to minimize damage if he scratches on any furniture in your home. These caps attach to your cat’s claws using a special adhesive. They’re temporary, though, and can only last for about four to six weeks.
- When your cat claws an inappropriate object, you can startle her by clapping your hands or squirting her with water. You can utilize this procedure only as a last resort, since your cat may associate you with the startling event and start to fear you.
Thing to Avoid
Learning how to keep cats from clawing furniture can be a lot of work and a long-term commitment. However, when things get tough, we sometimes tend to employ harsh measures to achieve what we want. Doing so can greatly affect your relationship with your cat. So here are the things you need to avoid doing:
- Do not force your cat to scratch the right posts by dragging her claws on them. This practice could severely frighten your cat and teach her to bypass the scratching posts completely. She might even decide to avoid you too.
- Do not throw away your cat’s favorite scratching post when it becomes worn-out. Cats fancy shredded and torn objects because since can bury their claws into the material even more. Used posts also appeal to cats because they are familiar with the smell and look already.
There are many alternatives to managing natural clawing behavior and other behavioral issues while preventing damages from cat scratches. These include grooming your cat’s nails to blunt the tips, providing scratching posts, and other attractive structures for your cat to use. Effective behavior modification, on the other hand, employs using deterrents and protecting your furniture. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to learn how to keep cats from clawing furniture effectively.
Being a cat guardian involves a commitment to work on unwanted behaviors of your cat for a better relationship and bond. Please make an effort to alter negative behaviors with positive associations to increase your cat’s confidence so she can live as a happy and loving companion for you. Know more about furniture care.