Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. It’s necessary to keep their claws in good shape. However, it can be frustrating when cats begin scratching on furniture and pulling out the carpet.
Though you can’t keep your cat from scratching altogether, there are ways to redirect the scratching to appropriate surfaces, like a scratching post.
Here are 5 ways to retrain your cat from scratching furniture:
#1 – Buy several scratching posts and designated scratching surfaces
One scratching post is not enough, as cats enjoy variety.
To entice your cat to scratch on the scratching posts, sprinkle some catnip on them, or leave treats on or near them frequently.
It isn’t recommended to get a used scratching post because it may have odors from a different household and unfamiliar cats. Sometimes this can make the scratching post most unappealing, so it is best to purchase a completely new one or build your own with a few simple supplies.
You can also try buying scratching posts with a variety of scratching surfaces, such as cardboard, sisal rope, or carpet material.
#2 – Spray your furniture with anti-scratch spray
These sprays can be found in most pet supply stores.
Cats dislike the scent given off by these sprays, so if you spray your furniture with it frequently, the cats will stay away.
Once your cat has been trained to not scratch the furniture, you may be able to discontinue the use of the anti-scratch spray.
#3 – Cover areas of your furniture where the cat likes to scratch with undesirable materials
Cats only like to scratch certain types of material, so covering your furniture in double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or another sticky or slick material will deter your cat from scratching those areas.
You can remove the tape or foil after a few weeks, once your cat has stopped scratching the furniture.
#4 – Spray the cat with a little bit of water when she scratches the furniture
Make sure that the cat does not see you spraying the water, as this will only deter her from scratching the furniture if she doesn’t associate the punishment with you.
If the cat feels that the spraying water is a direct result of scratching, rather than a punishment from a human, she will be more likely to leave it alone.
#5 – Place the scratching posts strategically throughout the house
Figure out where and when your cat likes to scratch, and place the scratching posts in those areas.
This could be by the cat’s bed, by the window, or even by the furniture. Let your cat know where it is by gently leading them to the scratching post, or let them find it all on their own as a surprise.
You can even place the scratching post directly in front of the cat periodically to encourage good behavior.
Even though cat scratching can be an annoying and destructive behavior, it doesn’t have to be.
With a few essential tools and a lot of time and patience, you can redirect your cat’s scratching behavior away from your expensive furniture and onto more appropriate scratching surfaces.