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Is your cat scratching anything and everything they can get their paws on? Rest assured, scratching is a common and instinctive behaviour for cats and kittens, and is totally natural. So instead of trying to stop them scratching, you need to train them to only scratch appropriate items. We’ve put together 5 top tips on how to stop your cat from scratching your furniture!
By purchasing your cat a scratching post, it encourages them to use this to scratch rather than your leather lounge or dining room chairs. Initially, place the scratching post near where they like to scratch to make it easy for them! Scratching posts will keep your kitty busy and entertained, helping to reduce tension and maintain their claws. Scratchers come in a range of different sizes, styles and textures so you can find the perfect match for your cat. If your cat isn’t taking to the scratching post, you can entice them by spraying catnip spray on the scratcher.
If you don’t have much room, or can’t justify purchasing an expensive scratching post without knowing your kitty will actually use it, you could start by trying a scratching board. Scratching boards help satisfy a cat's natural scratching instincts and although they are smaller, they provide the same amount of fun and entertainment. The best part is they are inexpensive, starting from just $7.20!
Sometimes the reason your cat is scratching your beloved furniture is purely boredom! By providing them with a range of fun, entertaining and interactive toys, you are providing them with an alternative energy release. You can purchase a range of interactive toys, from a simple feather teaser wand, to a completely interactive puzzle game.
Nina Ottosson arguably has the most extensive range of interactive puzzles and games. They have various interactive and durable games that encourage cats to play and forage, deterring negative behaviours such as scratching furniture. By rewarding them with treats or food while they play, these puzzles will keep your cat mentally and physically occupied.
It is important that your kitty knows where is and isn’t an appropriate place for them to scratch. To teach them, it is important to reward good behaviour and deter bad behaviour. When you catch them in the act scratching in an undesirable place e.g. carpet or lounge, gently pick them up and place them on their scratching post so they know this is not on. Similarly, when you see them scratching their post or playing with their interactive toys, reward them by giving them treats. You could even hide some of their favourite treats on or around the scratching post to reinforce that using this is good behaviour.
There are a variety of products available that are specifically designed to deter your cat from scratching. These sprays are easy-to-use, simply spray your furniture with the spray and the natural deterrents will make the area undesirable for your cat to be in. Anti-scratch sprays are not harmful to cats, but we recommend trying the other mentioned techniques and training methods first.
Sometimes, the reason your cat is scratching is out of anxiety, frustration or stress. Feliway, available in both a spray and wall plugin, is a useful tool to relieve stress. Feliway releases a synthetic pheromone into your home, providing constant comfort for your cat. By helping your cat to relax, this can reduce stress related behaviours including scratching furniture.
To stop your feline friend from scratching your furniture, you need to ensure it is unappealing for them. There are various products available that act as a repellent in your home or garden, but are safe for cats. Sticky Paws are transparent sticky strips that can be applied directly to carpets or furniture that discourage cats from scratching. These strips are easy to apply and remove, and the perfect solution to prevent your kitty scratching unwanted areas.
Don’t forget, all cats are different and some cats will respond to these techniques better than others, so preventing your cat from scratching your furniture can be trial and error. By trying one or all of these handy tips, you can keep your cat entertained and your furniture safe!