Prevent Your Cat from Scratching Furniture

Cat scratching is a natural behavior in cats but becomes a problem if the cat damages drapes, furniture or carpets. It would be unrealistic to expect to stop cat scratching altogether unless you declawed your cat. There are many humane and fairly inexpensive ways to end cat scratching problems in your home by offering alternative outlets for energy release, deterring the cat scratching in unwanted places and encouraging scratching on a cat scratching post or other acceptable area.

Offer Alternatives To Destructive Behavior

A bored or restless cat is more likely to scratch on furniture and carpets. Encourage exercise each day for at least 10 minutes by playing with your cat. There are many toys on the market that will hold your cat's attention and help them release aggressive tendencies on a toy that they can treat like prey. Cats are most sensitive to sound, smell, movement and texture. Offer a variety of toys that have different smells and make different sounds. See what kinds of materials make your cat get playful and active.

Deterring Your Cat From Scratching In Unwanted Areas

There are several safe and humane ways to make scratching on furniture, drapes, or carpets unpleasant for your cat. Cover places where the cat seems drawn to scratch with double sided tape, aluminum foil or plastic. You can also spray an unwanted area with a natural product that a cat will dislike the smell and taste of. Bitter apple products work quite well. Test the product on a small area of the rug or furniture to make sure it won't leave any mark.

Cats dislike sudden loud noises and will learn to avoid any action that results in one. Attach a can of coins or marbles to a drape or piece of furniture where your cat scratches so that when they scratch there, the can makes a loud and startling noise. If you catch your cat scratching in an unwanted area, you can make it unpleasant by shaking a can of pennies or marbles.

Keeping your cat's nails trimmed helps decrease scratching which often serves the purpose of shedding the outer layer of overgrown nails. Start nail clipping as early in your cat's life as you can and create a positive association to nail clipping by offering a treat and playtime afterwards.

Teaching Your Cat To Scratch In Designated Areas Only

Giving your cat places to scratch puts you back in control of potentially destructive behaviors. There are many cat scratching posts on the market or you can make your own. Cats like to scratch carpet and rough surfaces. They like some combination of climbing, running, scratching and then running again. Have a few scratching posts that are somewhat different placed in places your cat is already drawn to in the home. You can cover a board with some old carpet and put a little cat nip on it to encourage your cat's natural scratching behavior in that spot. Cats often like to scratch after sleeping or eating so put your cat on a designated scratching place when you catch them after a nap or a meal.

When the cat uses a designated scratching area, praise them verbally and give them a special treat. Put toys and a bit of catnip around designated areas to make them more enticing.