One of the several behaviors of cats that can be destructive is that of which they claw upon our leathers and couches for what may seem unreasonable to us. We come home to our homes after a long day at work only to find our expensive daybed with big tears.
What happened may seem irrational for humans, but is totally normal for kittens. You must remember that instead of reprimanding them, understand why they are behaving in such a manner so you can take a more effective way to correct it.
Why Cats Claws At The Couch
What may appear a destructive behavior from cats is natural for them. It is a cat’s instinct to scratch on things to keep their claws in top shape while also leaving a visual and scented marking on a certain spot. Cat clawing is their communication with other cats and animals of their territorial boundaries.
Other times, moggies also scratch to be noticed. They love interacting with people despite the impression they leave that they are aloof and solitary. They scratch for you to notice them.
With all the reasons said regarding cats scratching at couches, it may seem invalid to scold and punish them. They won’t stop when you do, rather they’d get scared and stressed instead.
5 Ways To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Furniture
Since scratching is part of a feline’s natural instinct, the best way is to allow them to scratch but with a few arrangements.
Method 1. Provide A Scratching Post
Cats take back-scratching from their wild African cat ancestors. They love to climb trees, scratch on barks, branches, and rough surfaces. Imitate the wild outdoors by providing scratching posts that may be similar to the surface of the tree. To provide a realistic experience for your cat as to what they’d experience outdoors, you should try getting a wooden cat tree. It will allow them to climb somewhere safe where they can relax and also doubles as a scratching post.
Scratch posts are available at pet shops but can also be done easily with sisal ropes. These fibers feel natural for your cat’s claw. Allow for a scratching post to be tall enough to give that nice stretch to your cat. Sites like happypetpost.com provides lot of information some of the best cat scratching posts. So it should not be a problem to find some amazing scratching post for your cat.
Method 2. Understanding Why Cats Scratch and Redirecting Such Behavior
It has been said too many times – scratching is not a bad behavior of cats, rather a natural instinct. Appreciate how they hold on to their instincts but make a way to redirect it. They will not stop scratching, but they can stop scratching certain areas like your couch if you correct them.
Redirect your cat’s urge to scratch by training them to use the scratching post. Strategically place scratching posts at points where you don’t want your cat to scratch – near the sofa, the spot on the wall where it scratches, or the door.
Make the scratching post more inviting by rubbing a catnip or spraying a catnip oil onto the post. Praise, give a pat and treat to the cat whenever you catch them using the scratching post. Cats love to make their humans happy, so when they feel appreciated for doing something, they will keep doing that.
Method 3. Use Water To Stop Your Cat From Scratching
Always keep a spray bottle handy when dealing with cats. Squirt them softly to drive them away from their target scratching spot. Try spraying before the scratching starts, but if not do so mid-scratch. Spraying them won’t hurt but it will associate the scratching of that spot with an unpleasant experience.
Method 4. Create A Spray That Turns Your Cat Off
Your spray bottle is useful with cats for so many things. You can also use it with vinegar to deter your cat from scratching your couch by removing the scent it left from scratching. Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar) in a spray bottle and apply the mixture to the spots where your cat is trying to scratch on.
The vinegar mixture will also remove cat’s spray from their scent glands. Cleaning the spot and removing any scent will stop your cat from scratching that surface.
Cats also dislike citrus-based scents. You may mix lemon juice in a liter of water, add orange and eucalyptus essential, and use your spray bottle to shower affected areas.
Method 5. Trim Your Cat’s Claws
The magic word is trim. Not declaw. For many years, a lot of cats have gone declawing for purposes such as stopping them from scratch. This is not an acceptable practice. Cats claws are part of their toes. This means that when you declaw, you are amputating the digit of the last toe of your cat.
Instead, regularly trim your cat’s claw. This will lessen their need to scratch especially on spots where you don’t want them to put their paws on. You may also use nail caps that don’t hurt your cat’s toes. Nail caps allow for them to continue scratching and stretching without damaging your furniture.
Other Useful Tips To Keep Your Cat from Scratching Furniture
- Nothing annoys a cat so much than the sticky surface. Covering your cat’s favorite spots to scratch with a double-sided sticky tape will keep them away.
- Do not cover the scratching post with the same material as the surface you are trying to protect them from scratching. This could lead the cats to associate the two.
Things You Will Need
- Scratch Post
- Double-sided tape
- Cat Toys
- Spray bottle
- Citrus fruits
You do not want to yell at your cat if you wish for them to stop scratching the couch. Cats are very sensitive creatures and they associate bad experiences and hold grudges against anything that gave them that.
Yelling and punishing your cat for scratching your couch will only weaken your relationship since they don’t understand the idea of punishment. They just see it as loud and unpleasant.
Have steady patience with your cat. If all else fails, you may reach out to your veterinarian or animal behaviorists to seek help with your cat’s behavior.