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4 Tips To Stop Your Cat Scratching the Furniture

What can you do if your favourite felines are using your furniture to scratch? Scratching posts, redirection, play and more are all good ways to move your cat away from the sofa.

4 Tips to Stop Your Cat Scratching the Furniture

Ginger cat knitting a fluffy blanket on a yellow sofa

Do you dread buying new furniture and bringing it home - only to see it covered in scratch marks within a few days?

Though we love our cats, sometimes their scratching habits can be a little frustrating!

Of course, it’s not their fault. Scratching is a natural part of every cat’s daily routine and is used to stretch, mark territory, exercise and keep claws in shape. By getting your cat used to nail clipping, you will also be able to take a look at their paws every once in a while, to make sure everything is going great under their pads.

In nature, your cat would choose rough surfaces such as tree bark to scratch. But in the house, scratching choices may be more limited. As a result, your cat may have chosen an inappropriate scratching location - such as your furniture.

So how can you redirect this behaviour to a more appropriate spot?

1. Think about your scratching posts

To stop your cat from marking the furniture it’s important to provide scratching posts - at least one per cat as kitties don’t like to share scratching spots!

Of course, simply having a post does not guarantee your cat will use it. Sometimes our purrfect pals can be a little picky! To give your scratching post the best chance of kitty approval, be sure to think about the location and type of post you choose. Is it high enough, sturdy enough, or the right material? Is it near to where your cat already likes to scratch? These are all important for a scratching post to appeal, so be sure to consider your cat’s preferences!

2. Clean existing scratch marks

Scratching works like a little memo note for your kitties - they’ve made a visual territory mark to say “this is home”, and like to be reminded to come back and scratch again!

When they scratch, your kitties also leave a scent-mark with their paws. While this can’t be smelt by humans, other cats and animals will be able to tell that this is their territory!

To stop unwanted scratching, it’s important to remove as much of these reminder marks as possible - clean all scratches with water and soap to wash away those markers and prevent your cat from returning to the same spots.

3. Check for stress and worry

Is your cat suddenly scratching a lot more? While some scratching is a natural, normal feline behaviour, excessive clawing can be a signal from your furbaby that something isn’t quite right!

If your cat’s scratching has changed, and particularly if the scratching is widespread, look out for causes of cat stress. A new cat, location, or a change in routine or environment may all be stress triggers that are having an impact.

4. Play to distract and discourage

Can’t get your cat to leave the furniture alone? Sometimes all you need to do to persuade a stubborn kitty is to redirect their attention with some fun!

So when you next notice your cat clawing the couch, try to remove them from the area - and be sure to play with them! Give them a toy, pet them to bond with them and distract them with a little love. It’s a great excuse for some fuss and affection!

If you do have a scratching post, this is a great time to ‘show’ your cat how to use it and direct their attention there.

Helping Your Cat To Scratch Elsewhere

Grey cat climbing up the scratching post

With a little love, help, patience, and encouragement, the tips above should convince your kitties to move away from the furniture, and to a better scratching location.

To give your cat a little extra support, you can also redirect bad scratching behaviour with FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY. Applied to your cat’s scratching post, FELISCRATCH sends both visual and invisible territory messages to your furbabies to encourage them to scratch there - and is clinically proven to reduce decrease inappropriate scratching, and save your furniture!

 

 

Are you a scratching expert? Test your cat scratching behaviour knowledge with our ‘Scratching is a must!’ quiz!

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