Often times, cats will claw whatever is available to them to shed dead layers of their claws, mark their territory, stretch and flex, or just for fun. These habits can be annoying, but are relatively easy to break by following the instructions below.
Find out why your cat is clawing furniture and solve the issue. When cats claw furniture, they usually have a reason. If they are working on their claws, provide them with a scratching post. If they are marking their territory, discourage the behavior. If they are flexing or stretching, provide other ways for them to do just that. And if they are doing it for fun, provide other methods of fun that are not harmful to your furniture.
Prevent your cat from scratching with environmental deterrents. You want to use these that your cat is not scared of you and learns that these behaviors are unacceptable at all times, not only when you’re not around. You can use herbal sprays to discourage them or sticky paper on the side of your furniture. Neither of these options will bother your day to day, and are almost invisible to the human eye, but they can be strong deterrents to your feline friend that are safe.
Move or remove the furniture or item. If there is a particular area that your cat likes to scratch, move it somewhere else. This will discourage them because cats are creatures of habits. It will also be the optimal time to encourage them to use a scratching post.
Provide toys or scratching posts that they can enjoy. One of the best methods is to encourage your cat to use a scratch post as opposed to discourage them from using the furniture. This can be done by spraying yummy cat smells on the scratching post or rewarding them with treats whenever you catch them using the post. Cat scenting items can be found in pet stores for a cheap price and are often only able to be smelled by the feline.
Trim and dull your cat’s claws. When you groom your cat, work on trimming their claws. Use vet quality clippers and on trim the very tip to dull the claw. Be very careful with trimming because trimming too much nail can harm the cat. If you don’t feel comfortable with trimming their nails, consider soft claw caps. These can be found in pet stores and are easily glued on with cat friendly material. Read more here www.buskerscat.com/cat-scratching-post
Keep an eye on your cat. If you catch them scratching a piece of furniture, do not punish them as it could lead to more side-effects and acting out, just pick them up and remove them from the area. If you catch them using their scratching post, reward them with a soft tone of voice or a kitty treat.
Attempt to keep your cat away from furniture that they seem to enjoy scratching. You can do this with environmental deterrents that provide unpleasant smells for the feline or blow a soft stream of air at them whenever they approach the piece of furniture.
Tips and Tricks
-Make sure that the scratching post provided is as least as tall as your feline and does not wobble. This will allow them to stretch against it.
-Avoid anything fluffy. Cats prefer coarse materials so that they can sharpen their claws and shed dead cells from them.
-It’s best to have more than one scratching post, especially if you live in a large home. This will make it less likely for them to resort to furniture since the post will be more available.
-Occasionally cats will guard their post and prevent other cats from using this. If this is the case, provide another post far away from the original so that other cats will be able to use it.
-Provide an example for your cat. Believe it or not, if your cat sees you using the post, they will be more inclined to use it as well.
-Try a variety of materials on scratching posts. Your feline friend may like one more than the other and be inclined to use the one it prefers.
-Look for toys that allow them to scratch, but can also be played with. This will allow them to release excess energy, exercise, and prevent scratching on furniture.