Cat scratching on sofa


How to stop your cat from scratching the furniture

Ah, cats. They’re adorable, cuddly and bring so much joy into our lives. But there’s one thing that can drive any cat owner crazy: incessant furniture scratching. It’s as if they have a personal vendetta against our beloved sofas and chairs. But fear not! In this blog post, we will give you some valuable tips on how to stop your cat from scratching and explore the reasons behind your cat’s scratching behavior.

Why is my cat scratching furniture?

Our feline friends scratch our furniture for many reasons. Let’s first understand why they do so.


Scratching is a natural instinct for cats.

There are several reasons why they do it. First and foremost, it helps them maintain healthy claws by removing the outer sheath and revealing sharp new ones underneath. Scratching also helps cats mark their territory by leaving visual and scent marks.

Moreover, scratching allows cats to exercise and relieve stress. It helps them stretch their muscles and release pent-up energy. So when your furry friend claws into your expensive sofa, it’s not out of spite, it’s a natural instinct.

How to stop your cat from scratching the furniture

Now that we know scratching is an inherent behavior for cats, how can we redirect this natural instinct away from our furniture? Here are some effective tips to save your upholstery:

Provide suitable alternatives

Cats need scratching surfaces. Invest in a cat tree or a sturdy scratching post, preferably covered with sisal rope, to encourage them to scratch. A scratch-friendly surface is extremely important since they will probably ignore your scratching post if it doesn’t have one. Place it in a visible, easy-to-access place where your cat plays or sleeps, like the living room. This way you’ll encourage your kitten to use it. You can also place scratching posts near the furniture your pet likes to scratch. It’s a convenient alternative to scratching and protects your sofa.

Make it enticing

Simply having a scratching post isn’t always enough. Sprinkle some catnip on the scratching post or use interactive toys to encourage your cat’s interest. Another way is to play with a wand toy near the scratching post. Then, position the toy next to the post. That way you will encourage your cat to scratch in the right place.

Protect the furniture

While training your cat to use a scratching post, it’s wise to safeguard your furniture. Cover the areas they typically scratch with double-sided tape or aluminum foil. These textures are unpleasant for cats and can discourage them from scratching. Cats dislike the smell of citrus, so another option is to spray the couch with a citrus scent.

Positive reinforcement

When your cat uses the scratching post, shower them with praise, petting, and treats. Reinforcing positive behavior encourages them to keep using the right place for scratching.

Trim their claws

Regular nail trims can minimize scratch damage. Use cat-specific nail clippers and avoid cutting too close to the quick. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable doing it yourself, consult a veterinarian or professional groomer.

Use cat nail caps

To protect precious surfaces from damage, you can also use cat nail caps. They are made of vinyl or silicone and attach to the claws with non-toxic glue. Caps come in a variety of sizes and colors for you to choose from. They’re easy to apply at home by extending the cat’s claws, filling some glue into the cap, then gluing it onto the claws. Caps should be replaced periodically. Cats generally tolerate them well, adapting quickly without discomfort.

Can I Declaw My Cat?

As frustrated as you may be with your cat’s scratching habits, declawing is not recommended.


Declawing is a surgical procedure that involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe, equivalent to cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.

It is an invasive and painful procedure that can have long-lasting negative effects on your cat’s physical and emotional well-being and offers no medical benefits for your furry friend.

There are numerous reasons why declawing should be avoided for cats and kittens.

  1. Physical pain: Declawing causes persistent pain in the paws, lasting beyond recovery.
  2. Infection: With major wounds on each toe, the risk of infection is significantly high. It is common for cats with declawed claws to suffer from painful and potentially life-threatening infections.
  3. Bone spurs and nerve damage: Declawing is an invasive procedure, which makes errors possible. Declawed cats experience nerve damage and bone spurs.
  4. Behavior associated with aggression: Cats rely on their claws for self-defense. Removing their claws can leave them feeling unsafe and vulnerable. As a result, this can lead to increased aggression and defensive behavior like biting.
  5. Litter box issues: After declawing surgery, cat owners must replace litter with shredded newspaper for at least a week or two to prevent irritation of the wounds. In some cases, cats may develop a long-term aversion to using a litter box due to the pain they feel when scratching in it, which ultimately reverses their litterbox-training progress.
  6. Lameness: Long-term pain and complications resulting from declawing can make cats permanently lame.

In summary, the risks associated with declawing far outweigh any perceived benefits. Tendonectomy is an alternative procedure involving the severing of the claw tendons. But it carries similar risks and is not recommended.

It’s better to work with your cat rather than subject it to a painful and detrimental procedure. By encouraging the use of scratching posts and properly maintaining your cat’s claws, you can eliminate problematic scratching behavior.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it may take time for your cat to fully adjust to the new scratching options and abandon their old habits, but patience and consistency are key. With your dedication and the tips provided in thi blog post, you can create an environment where your cat can express its natural behavior without damaging your furniture.

So, next time you catch your feline friend scratching your couch, take a deep breath and remember that there are solutions available. With some effort and understanding, you can preserve your furniture and maintain a happy and healthy relationship with your cat.

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