Every cat mum wants to know how to stop cats from scratching the furniture. You love your cute fur baby but her claws can leave a trail of destruction in your home! Even if your cat spends much of her day outside she’ll probably still sink her claws into your sofa. Furniture isn’t the only target as wallpaper is perfect for stretching and scratching! Coming home to a pile of shreds on the floor isn’t the best way to be greeted by your cat.
However, don’t despair as in this post you’ll discover tips and tricks to keep your furry friend’s claws off your furniture and enjoy a scratch free home! You’ll learn exactly why cats claw sofas, and some of the best ways to reward good behaviour. Plus, how to create your own repellant that works, and how to train your cat to use a scratching post.
Why cats claw furniture
There are several reasons why your cat enjoys sinking her claws into your best dining table. It’s certainly not to punish you for something you’ve done to annoy her. Cats like to stretch out their bodies full length, and wooden table legs provide the ideal opportunity. It also helps remove outer nail sheaths, an important process for all cats.
Cats also leave scent marks as way of marking their territory. Your cat has scent glands in her paw pads, so scratching releases scent. Whether it’s your best leather sofa or a scratching pole, it’s her way of marking it.
Lastly, cats sometimes scratch furniture to get attention, or because they’re having a mad 10 minute dash around the home! This is completely normal kitty behaviour.
Why does my cat scratch the walls
Apart from scratching furniture, you may have seen your cat stretching up her body and running sharp claws against your wallpaper. Mine does his regularly, and I have the shreds as evidence! Your cat does this for the same reason she scratches your furniture. Leaving her scent mark, and exercising her claws.
Bare brick or plaster walls may hide tiny insects your cat is able to detect. This may be another reason she scratches your walls. The best way to curb this unwanted behaviour is by strategically placing a scratching post near the area.
Why do cats shed their claws?
You may be wondering why cats need to shed their claws in the first place. A cat’s claw is made of hard protein that’s tough enough to support climbing, defending itself, and tearing prey. This is why your cat is able to inflict such damage on your furniture. However, unlike a dog’s claw that continues to grow, your cat’s claw only grows to a certain length.
The claws you may see embedded in scratching posts or on carpets are simply outer sheaths. These usually shed every few months to allow new ones to grow. So now you can see why your cat has to scratch her claws. Even if you have trees in your garden or wooden fence posts, she’ll still need somewhere to scratch when she comes inside.
How to repel your cat from scratching furniture
Cats hate the smell of citrus. so create a spray using citrus peel, white vinegar and water. Soak the peel in white vinegar and pour into a spray bottle. Vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner and won’t harm your furniture.
Spray lightly in areas your kitty scratches and let dry. You could also place a few pieces of lemon or orange peel around the edges of sofas and tables. It may even deter spiders as well!! Your cat will lose interest in the sofa while you use peel, but may soon revive her desire to attack your best furniture unless you train her.
How to train your cat to use a scratching post.
A scratching post is one of the most essential items you as a cat parent needs. In fact, placing several in your home lessens the chance of your sofa or table being attacked! A scratching post is basically a pole covered in sisal rope. Some have toys attached to encourage play. Some also have catnip to encourage kitty to use it.
Not all cats are sensitive to this herb, but those who are go crazy at the scent. You can buy dried catnip, or grow it yourself. Sprinkle some around the base of the scratching pole to get your cat interested.
Play with your cat near the pole using a feather toy to brush against it. This will get her clawing at the pole as she tries to catch the feathers! You could also try gently placing her paws on the pole, and give kitty a few treats as a reward for using it.
Always place scratching posts where your cat can easily see them. Hiding posts in corners may seem a good idea, but won’t do anything to encourage your cat.
Once your cat gets into the habit of using the scratching pole she’ll be less likely to attack your furniture! You can also get scratching boards which are often part of cat furniture such as a hammock.
Here are some of the best scratching posts for cats.
These reviews are based on my own opinions and what I believe to offer the best value. Prices are out of my control and may change or vary depending in which country you’re located.
SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post
Most cat scratching posts don’t have a long life and need replacing within 3-6 months. Cardboard poles aren’t very durable, and wobbly bases are soon knocked over by an enthusiastic cat! Smartcat Pioneer is made from durable materials and built to last.
At 32 inches tall it gives your cat plenty of height to stretch out her body.
Cats love a good stretch especially after a nap. The base is made from mdf, and the pole covered in fibrous woven sisal. The post has 2 sides and is capped with a ledge enabling your cat to perch and jump off. Most buyers find the post easy to assemble, but one or two found screws missing. A few reported their cats wouldn’t use it, but we all know how finicky they can be!
Average rating 4.7 out of 5
Amazon Basics Cat Scratching Post
This post stands 35.5 inches tall with 2 base pieces made from wood. It comes with a dangly pom pom toy that’s easily attached to the post. Amazon basics scratching post is covered in natural jute rope. This is slightly less durable than sisal, but should still provide your cat with hours of fun.
Sturdy design makes it hard for your cat to tip over. It also comes with a top that’s wide enough for a cat to perch and jump off.
Most buyers found assembly simple, but a few found the base wasn’t sturdy and broke easily.
Average rating 4.7 out of 5
PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge. [Superior Cardboard & Construction]
This unique design is attractive to look at and won’t look out of place in your home. It’s available in three colours so will fit in with your decor.
Petfusion ultimate cat scratcher lounger is made from recycled cardboard, using non toxic cornstarch glue to hold together. The curved design makes it appealing to cats. Easier for scratching, and a nice comfortable place to rest.
It’s advertised as being wide enough for 2 cats to lay on together. However I feel this only applies to smaller cats and not maine coons.
No assembly needed as it comes in one piece. You also get premium organic catnip to entice your kitty onto the lounger!
Average rating 4.8 out of 5
Do furniture protectors from cats really deter scratching?
If you’ve tried everything to stop your cat clawing the sofa and nothing’s worked, you may want to consider a furniture protector. They’re designed to keep your sofa safe from sharp claws, and the perfect solution for all pet parents. You can use them to train your cat and remove them when she’s learnt to use a scratching pole instead.
Humanely Pets Furniture Protectors from Cats
You get 8 transparent protectors that you peel and stick onto the sides of your sofa or other furniture to guard against your kitty’s sharp claws. Humanely pets claim the protectors will stay on your sofa without falling off. You can cut the material to fit any size, making it ideal for sofas of all sizes!
You’re offered a money back guarantee if the scratch tape doesn’t work, giving you peace of mind.
Donations to the paw project, a non-profit organisation, are given with each purchase. Plus, you also get a free book to help understand your cat.
Average rating 4.5 out of 5
Stelucca Amazing Shields Set X-Large Furniture Protectors from Cats
This set of 6 large furniture protectors also comes with twist pins to ensure the self adhesive sheets stay firmly in place. You can cut to fit, providing protection for all shapes and sizes.
Average rating 4.4 out of 5
What about sofa scratching posts?
Sofa scratching posts are a great alternative to traditional posts if your kitty seems hell bent on destroying your lovely new sofa! It always surprises cat parents just how much pleasure their furbabies seem to get from sinking their claws into new furniture. Sofa scratching posts usually come in a variety of colours to match your sofa.
Sofa-Scratcher’ Cat Scratching Post & Couch-Corner
This sofa scratcher is made from premium quality woven sisal fabric. It has an ultra thin base, making it easy to slide under your sofa. This solution is different as it actually encourages your kitty to scratch! This creates a positive experience for your cat, rather than discourage what comes naturally!
Most cats attack sofa corners as they make ideal scratching points. You have a choice of 8 colours for matching your decor.
The sofa scratcher is handmade in the USA and approved by veterinarians and breederss. Whether your sofa has rounded or wide corners you’ll find it should fit with no problem. The opposite side of the scratcher is carpeted, so it won’t damage your furniture.
A few buyers found their cats ignored the scratcher and used other areas of the sofa to scratch instead. Some found using catnip helped train their kitties to use it.
Average rating 4.4 out of 5
SmartyKat Organic Catnip
Catnip can be a great training tool in teaching your cat to use a cat scratcher. You can either grow your own catnip in a pot, or buy it dried.
Smartykat is 100% certified organic catnip. It’s free from toxic chemicals, fillers, or pesticides. You could sprinkle some around the base of your cat’s scratching post to encourage play. As I’ve previously mentioned, not all cats react to catnip. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing if your cat will until you buy some.
Knowing how to stop cats scratching furniture improves your relationship with them.
It’s easy to get annoyed with your cat if she relentlesly claws your new sofa, but it’s not her fault. Scratching comes naturally to felines and shouldn’t be discouraged. Shouting at your cat is the best way to install fear and ruin your relationship. Gently training her to use sratching posts instead creates a harmonious relationship.
In this post you discovered why your kitty needs to scratch and why it shouldn’t be discouraged. You also learnt why cats shed their claws, and how to make an effective but very safe repellant. We also looked at some of the best cat scratching posts, as well as furniture guards.
Remember to always reward your cat for good behaviour, and never shout or scold. Cats are highly intelligent and quickly learn how to get their favourite treats!
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)