How to Stop Cats Scratching Home furniture

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Is your cat scratching furniture all the time and driving you up the wall? As off-placing as that actions may well be for some house owners, cats are just actively playing to their organic instincts and scratching is a essential aspect of cats’ everyday life.

Pam Johnson-Bennett, an author and the former vice president of the Intercontinental Affiliation of Animal Habits Consultants, advised Newsweek scratching is a regular and effective conduct for cats and serves a number of very important features. “Scratching is made use of to keep claws in good affliction by eradicating the outer lifeless sheath so the new, balanced claw can be discovered,” she mentioned.

The president of The Intercontinental Cat Affiliation (TICA), Vicki Jo Harrison, instructed Newsweek that scratching is “a primal instinctual urge for all cats, not just kittens,” and it is really a little something they do all through their total lives.

As this is anticipated actions, it truly is up to you to supply other scratching options for their use, “normally they will scratch your furnishings,” Zazie Todd, the creator of the approaching e book PURR: The Science of Creating Your Cat Joyful, advised Newsweek.

Right here we acquire a nearer look at how to stop cats scratching furnishings and why they enjoy carrying out so.

A cat scratching the aspect of a sofa. Scratching allows cat to specific their psychological states, from stress and anxiety and frustration to pleasure and outside of.
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Why Is My Cat Scratching My Household furniture?

In addition to strengthening their nails, cats scratch home furnishings to relieve stress and anxiety, as a kind of work out, to extend their muscle mass as well as to mark their territory, Harrison explained.

Cats commonly scratch furnishings to mark their territory in spots you sit. Related to pet dogs, cats have scent glands in the pads of their paws that “release their scent on to almost everything they scratch,” the TICA president defined.

Johnson-Bennett included that cats scratch for the two visual as well as olfactory marking. “The claws make marks which other cats can see from a distance. Scent glands in the paw pads depart the olfactory mark to give the scent details.”

Scratching is a “displacement actions” that permits cats to specific distinct emotional states in addition to stress, from aggravation to joy and beyond, the writer claimed.

Scratching gives cats a complete overall body stretch, which allows keep their muscle groups and spine adaptable, she additional.

How Can I Get Cats To Quit Scratching Furnishings?

Include Your Furniture

“The greatest way to prevent cats from scratching home furniture is to prevent it completely,” mentioned Harrison. “When your couch is included in a tightly woven material, like sued or artificial indoor-outdoor substance, your cat will have a more durable time getting his claws into it, and hopefully the sofa will become a great deal a lot less interesting to him.”

Prevent Sure Materials

TICA’s Vicki Jo Harrison: “It’s difficult not to tempt your cat with a sofa’s delicate, sloped sides that search at any time-so-scratchable,” warned Harrison. “Nevertheless, there are a couple of materials to look at and other individuals you will want to keep away from when picking out a new couch.”

“Keep away from nubby textiles,” urged Harrison. “Tough or coarse fabrics as nicely as unfastened weave or looped upholstery on vertical surfaces are the worst when it will come to tempting a feline. When cats claw, they are searching to take out the outer levels of their claws as new ones expand, producing a extend on a rough vertical floor engaging.”

A kitten tearing through a box.
A kitten tearing as a result of a box. Some cats will use the base of a cardboard box for scratching.
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Deliver Scratching Posts

Harrison defined that in most conditions it’s a make any difference of distraction, furnishing “satisfactory options to not deny them this day-to-day ritual” of scratching. “Items this sort of as Feliscratch by Feliway redirects cat scratching onto the scratching submit,” she said.

According to Todd, investigate reveals that when furnished with “the right form of scratching publish,” cats will use them.

There’s also an association among the use of constructive reinforcement and cats applying their put up. So just about every time your cat utilizes their scratching publish, you can reward them with food items. “This will increase the chance of them utilizing the scratching publish once again,” she explained.

Johnson-Bennett also highlighted the value of supplying excellent excellent scratching posts, advising they really should be positioned in “socially significant” places of the dwelling.

Todd also explained that those who have various cats in the home must also provide numerous scratching posts far too, as you would with food stuff assets all-around the home.

Deciding on the Right Scratching Publish

Under are some essential aspects to bear in mind when choosing the very best scratching submit for your cat.


Lots of scratching posts on the market are likely to be rather flimsy or short, in accordance to Todd and “many folks decide on ineffective scratching posts,” Johnson-Bennett observed. But you can expect to want to get a single that’s tall and sturdy, both of those encouraged.

Johnson-Bennett claimed: “The put up need to be tall adequate to allow a cat to get a total extend. It should really also have a major foundation so the cat can place total weight in opposition to it to scratch with out the post toppling in excess of.”

A kitten on a cat tower.
A kitten on a cat tower. Cat trees can service as scratching posts.
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Johnson-Bennett recommended towards purchasing carpet-protected posts as “cats will not are inclined to like to scratch that texture,” including that sisal is generally the “most claw-desirable” material.

Todd agreed that most cats like a sisal rope put up, but you can also get posts created of carpet or wood.

Harrison claimed: “Thick carpet or bound rope scratching posts generally create the most captivating scratchable and attackable surface area.”


Some cats also enjoy to scratch horizontally, so proprietors can also get cat scratching mats or pads, which are typically produced of corrugated cardboard, Johnson-Bennett explained.

Todd extra that “some cats will even scratch the base of a cardboard box,” when cat trees can also supply a great scratching surface for them.

A cat arched over a scratch pad.
A cat arched around a scratch pad on the ground. Some cats also like to scratch horizontally.
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Never Punish Your Cat for Scratching

Pam urged you should really “never ever punish a cat for scratching or consider to prevent the habits without the need of providing an allowable and cat-pleasing replacement.”

Scratching is wholesome emotionally and bodily, so if you want cats to stop scratching furniture you have to have to give a improved alternate, she stated.

Todd agreed that you must never punish cats for scratching household furniture. In addition to scratching being all-natural behavior—meaning “they have to do it someplace”—punishing cats for the act challenges triggering fear or worry and “they may possibly affiliate that stress with you,” the author reported.

A cat scratching the side of staircase.
A cat scratching the carpet at the base of a staircase. Scratching is normal habits for cats and serves numerous very important functions.
iStock/Getty Pictures Moreover
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