Cats are one of the most common pets that people have in their homes because of their adorable and caring nature. They usually are very protective of their owners and shower them with all the love and affection they have. However, along with the cats’ cute side, there is a disadvantage to them as well which can cause huge damage if not taken care of at the very beginning.
We are talking about the most common habits of cats: scratching. One can often find cats scratching at anything they can lay their claws on. It has been noted that cats scratch on things in order to mark their territory so this action comes naturally to them. Also, it is important for them to keep their claws in good shape.
Since this isn’t a behavior that can’t be prevented, let’s discuss some of the many things you can do to get your kitties off of scratching your furniture
Purchase a scratching post or board for your cat
The best way to prevent your cat from scratching your furniture is by giving them something else to scratch. These are some of the things that one must look for when they are going to buy the scratching post for your cat:
The height of the post should be sufficient
The post should be at least the same height as your cat when he or she is standing on their hind legs. It is also important to make sure that the post is stable and doesn’t wobble as it may cause some harm to the cat if it falls on them. It should be able to absorb a majority of the pressure that is being applied to it by the cat and should not be too tall or too heavy.
Give your cat a variety of surfaces to scratch
Try to bring a variety of scratching posts and boards in the house so your kitty doesn’t get bored of the same thing. The scratching board or post must also be placed in accordance with the nature of your cat’s scratching habit, that is, if they like to scratch in a vertical direction or in a horizontal direction.
The surface should be hard and coarse
Fluffy or soft things are never good enough to give enough satisfaction while scratching. Cats need to have a rough and hard surface to scratch, that’s why you’ll often find cats scratching trees because it serves as the perfect surface. Make sure that your scratching post is rough enough that it piques the attention of your cat.
Make sure your cat gets used to the post
Just getting the scratching post is not enough; you must get your cat using it. It is a good idea to buy a scratching post as soon as you bring a new cat to your home so that they can become accustomed to it from the very beginning. If you already have a cat and you are deciding to buy a scratching post, the main idea is the same – get the cat accustomed to it. You can do this by strategically placing the post near those places where the cat is most likely to scratch, like near the wooden cabinet, chair, sofa, etc.
You may notice that your cat may not take notice of the post at the beginning. Try enticing them by applying some of catnip oil to attract them. Once they start scratching it, you can praise your cat by gently stroking them on their back. You can also try hanging some toys around it like a rat or something similar.
Stop them from scratching the furniture
Show your cat that you are not happy with their behavior. Just make sure that you are not too harsh on them because you don’t want your cat to be scared of you. That will make a very negative impact and the cat may stop interacting or do anything at all. Some of the techniques that you can use to stop your cat from scratching your furniture and sounding rude at the same time are:
- Using water to prevent the cat from scratching the furniture. You can spray or squirt it on them with the help of a spray can.
- If nothing works, try to physically remove them from the furniture and redirect their attention to something else. You can give them a toy to play with or you can play with them as well.
Cover or put something on the items the cat usually scratches
- If your cat is persistent about scratching the surface and you are not able to stop them, the best thing is to cover the furniture with something.
- When you are away for work, cover your furniture in a plastic. You can also use double-sided tape as well because it will stick to the claws of the cat and they generally hate anything that is stuck on their claws, so they will refrain from going even near that piece of furniture the next time.
- One can also use some motion detectors around their house which can sense the cat’s movement and can give out a siren whenever cat goes near a piece of furniture that you don’t want to get scratched. This can also help by making sure that the cat doesn’t do any damage even when you are away for work and are not at home.
Make sure their claws are trimmed
Cats usually scratch surfaces that are hard and rough to stretch their bodies and keep their nails in good shape.
You can keep your cat’s nails trimmed right at home to make sure they aren’t too long. If you haven’t done it before, you can go to a vet and see them do it and then do it on your own the next time.
Cats are very gentle animals and make great pets. It is easy to tame them and if you’re patient with them from the start, they can very well learn some habits that will make you feel proud. Understand that cats don’t scratch your furniture intentionally. They do so because they need to make sure their claws aren’t too long which can cause harm to their owner as well as to them.
The trick to prevent your cat from scratching is to act patiently and intelligently around them. You will gain nothing if you will startle them by shouting at them while they are scratching any surface. They won’t do it in front of you but will start doing it again as soon as you leave the house. So act lovingly and patiently with them and they will surely understand what you are trying to tell them.
Willie May is a housewife, good mother, pet lover and a blogger. Auxier is her dog and Mimo is the name of her cat. She loves them very much. She has an aim to help other pet owners by sharing her experiences with her pets and that’s why she opened (Best Pets Blog) in Feb, 2017.