Cat-Scratch Fever! 6 Effective Ways to Stop Your Cat from Ruining Furniture
Having a pet cat can brighten a home, but pet owners must remember that it is normal for cats to claw on furniture and other household furnishings. This can be destructive for you, but completely natural behavior for your pet. You may think of resorting to declawing your cat but there are more effective ways to stop your cat from ruining furniture.
Here are 6 effective ways you can do at home.
1. Trim your cat’s claws regularly.
Cutting your pet’s nails can minimize the damage on your furniture, and may even help keep it from scratching your furniture. It is best to start clipping its claws while it is still a kitten. It will require patience to teach your cat to have her claws trimmed. Trim her claws when she’s relaxed or sleepy. There are moments when you should NOT attempt to trim your cat’s claws, like right after playing or undergoing a stressful experience such as fighting with another pet or being frightened by another animal.
2. Train your cat to use the scratching post.
Aside from conditioning your cat to have her claws trimmed, you can also train her to use the scratching post. A scratching post is critical to keeping your cats away from your furniture. Place the new scratching post in front of your cat then start gently stroking her until she responds.
Have a treat ready to give to your cat whenever she uses her scratching post. This will positively condition your pet to use the post whenever she feels like scratching something. You can make the post more inviting by rubbing catnip onto it.
Choose a scratching with the right rough texture that will allow your cat to rake her nails. Avoid carpet-covered posts. The scratching post must also have the right height and built based on your cat’s size. The taller the post, the wider the base should be.
3. Keep your cat mentally stimulated.
The more your cat is entertained, the less she will be scratching the furniture. Cats have the tendency to scratch furniture or tear drapes when they are frustrated or bored. If you live in a good neighborhood, give your cat some time to have fun outside and find a tree to scratch on. You can also invest in toys that can stimulate your cat through smell, sound, texture and movement. A small playground can make your cat happy while keeping your furniture in good shape.
4. Correct unwanted behavior with a water pistol.
Cat owners cannot stop their pet from scratching furniture but they can take corrective action. Squirt your pet using a water pistol or spray bottle while saying firmly “NO”. While this can be an immediate action for your cat problems, this will not stop it from scratching when you are out of the house. This is still more humane than having your cat declawed. Practice saying “No” to your cat until she gets the message.
5. Strategically place multiple scratching posts.
Watch your cat’s behavior to identify when she often does her scratching. Cats usually like to scratch right after eating or sleeping. Identify the spots where your cat sleeps and place scratching posts near her sleeping spots. This will prevent your cat from scratching that chair right beside her spot. Scratching posts also allow your cat to stretch and exercise. If you have a big house, multiple scratch posts are crucial to saving your furniture from cat scratches.
6. Cover or lock out your important furniture.
If your cat still prefers scratching your precious furniture, then consider placing them in a room that you can lock. Antiques with great value can be in a room marked as a “cat-free” zone. Inform everyone at home not to allow your cat to enter that area or room. Keep the doors closed.
If you live in an open area with no divisions then cover your furniture with double-sided tape or foil. Cats dislike the sticky feeling and the sound of foil.
Your cat and furniture can live in harmony if you take the right measures. No need to declaw your cat or remove your furniture just to avoid cat scratches. You can also check with your veterinarian what else you can do based on your cat’s behavior. So enjoy your home with your fluffy little pet.