Scratching is normal for cats, and they do it for so many reasons. Though we can consider it part of their behavior, we still need to control it in another way, mainly because it results in damaged furniture. So, you must know how to keep cats from scratching furniture.
Why Cats Scratch?
Before you feel bad about the damage in your furniture, you must first understand why they scratch. Cats don’t realize they are scratching on your furniture. All they know is, they are scratching, and they want to do it that with the furniture.
Scratching is Part of Their Grooming Ritual
Cats clean themselves. You might not see them taking a bath the usual way, but they spend most of their time cleaning by licking their body. And surprisingly, scratching is one of their ways to groom themselves. When cats scratch rough surfaces, it removes the outer layer of their nails, making it healthy and sharp again.
Scratching Marks their Territory
Animals make sure they advertise their claim for territory. And one way to do this is by marking it with their scent, or in the case of cats, they mark it with visual signs—their scratches. The cat’s paws have scent glands, and whenever it is pressed, it leaves a certain scent that can’t be determined by humans but gives a clear message to their fellow cats.
Scratching is Their Form of Exercise
When cats scratch, it provides proper stretching for their muscles and joints in their toes, legs, feet, back, and shoulders. The scratching makes them healthier and makes their muscles more flexible. Since they are fond of running and jumping, their stretching prepares them from these activities and protects them from injuries. This is why cats scratch when they wake up in the morning to prepare for a long day of running and jumping.
How to Keep Cats from Scratching Furniture
You might be wondering why cats choose precious furniture when other things can be scratched. For wild cats living in the forest, they use logs and trees for scratching. These things are rough, solid, and sturdy, and it gives a nice mark. Your living room furniture, sofa, or your dining table have the same properties. That explains why it is attractive to them. So, save your furniture and learn how to keep cats from scratching furniture.
Make them their Own Scratching Posts
This is one way on how to keep cats from scratching furniture. Cats start scratching as early as eight weeks old. So, when they have a scratching post, it will be easier to train them and show them where they can scratch. And as they grow, they will get used to scratching the posts you provided them.
You can buy a ready-made scratching post, or you can make your own. Here is an easy DIY scratching post.
- Staple gun
- 2 pcs 3-inch wood screw
- 50 ft sisal rope
- Tree log – 2 inches in diameter
- ¾ inch plywood for the base
- 16 inches Carpet square
- Measure the length of your cat from its tail to the tip of his nose. The post has to be as long as the cat when it stretches. This is to make sure the post is tall enough to give your cat a good stretch. Add extra inches for the allowance.
- Once you cut the log to the desired measurement, get the sisal rope. Staple the one end to the bottom vertically. Then wrap the rope tightly around the log until you get around 6 inches from the top. You can vertically staple its end and cut the remainder.
- Now, prepare your plywood for the base. Smoothen the edges using the sandpaper.
- Using the straight edges and the pencil, draw a line from corner to corner. Do the same on the opposite side. The lines then will intersect in the center.
- Mark the two locations for the screw base on the log’s diameter.
- Drill two pilot holes for the screws.
- Get some double-sided tape and run them along the outer edges of the plywood base. Run additional tape from the corner and towards the center.
- Peel the exposed side of the double-sided tape and place the carpet square to the base. It must alight to the edge of the plywood.
- From the bottom, drive the two wood screws through the pilot holes and poke them through the carpet on the other side.
- Place the log to the center top of the base and finish driving the screws until the log is secured.
Once you are done with it, test its sturdiness. Introduce it to your cat by placing it to their favorite place or near their bed area.
Trick Cats with Scratch Spray
Scratch spray will trick your cats, thinking that the area is already marked as territory. And it will discourage them from scratching. Scratch spray is available in pet stores, but you can always make your own.
Here is a DIY scratch spray that you can follow:
What you need:
- Spray bottle
- Dish liquid
- Rosemary essential oil
- Get a spray bottle and fill it with ¾ water.
- Add a few drops of dish liquid
- Add 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
- Replace the lid and shake well
You cannot stop your cat from scratching because that is who they are. So, whenever you decide to keep cats indoors, make sure you secure your furniture. You should know how to keep cats from scratching furniture. Apply the suggested methods that will discourage them from doing so. In that wat, you will be able to save your furniture and keep the pets happy at the same time. Get more tips on furniture care.