How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching

How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching

Protecting your home from your cat’s claws can be a real challenge. While many humans try to fight the good fight in the name of having nice things, others simply give up and let the cat scratch away.
However, there are some steps you can take to protect your tables, chairs, and couches from your cat, and you can start by understanding why your cat wants to scratch the furniture in the first place.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

When a cat scratches, it leaves behind its scent and marks territory. Cats also scratch as a form of play, to stretch better, and sometimes out of stress or boredom.

6 Ways to Keep Your Cat From Scratching

1. Provide Alternatives

If you don’t want your cat scratching in the house, provide better alternatives like a variety of cat scratching posts. Choose scratching posts and pads that feature different materials, angles, and the attractive scent of catnip.

2. Spray Citrus

Cats don’t like the smell of citrus. Dilute a bit of orange, grapefruit, or lemon oil in water and spritz your home (especially furniture) with it.

3. Hang Foil

Cats don’t like the sound or feel of aluminum foil and hanging some in high-scratch zones makes scratching less attractive and satisfying for your cat.

4. Calm Your Cat

Your cat might be scratching because he is stressed. Try a calming pheromone spray to help your kitty chill.

5. Use a Furniture Guard

There are a variety of products available that are designed to protect your furniture from cat claws. They range from vinyl covers to actual furniture-corner-shaped cat scratchers.

6. Try Soft Paws

If scratching persists, get a pair of Soft Paws, vinyl claw covers, for your cat’s claws. It’s a safe and humane alternative to declawing that renders your cat’s household scratching harmless.

Learn More About Your Cat's Behavior Issues With Our Veterinarian in Pensacola

If you feel like you’ve tried everything, and your cat is still having behavior problems, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Olive Branch Pet Hospital. Behavior issues can sometimes be an indication of a health problem, and our veterinarian can help you rule out underlying issues and address the problem at hand.
To learn more or schedule an appointment for your cat, please contact us today.

How to Protect Your Furniture From Your Cat


Kitty Has Claws! How to Protect Your Furniture From Your Cat

Cats love to scratch. Furniture, carpets, and pretty much anything they can get their claws into. They simply can’t help it because scratching is a desire that’s built into their instincts for marking territory. So, like burying waste, grooming, and pouncing, scratching is a difficult behavior to stop.
Although you probably can’t stop your cat’s scratching altogether, you can take some steps to make your cat’s scratching habit a little less destructive.

4 Tips to Protect Your Furniture From Your Cat's Scratching

1. Determine Your Cat's Favorite Targets

The first step in protecting your furniture from your cat’s claws is to identify your pet’s favorite targets. Does your cat tend to scratch wood, upholstered furniture, carpet, or drapes? What angle does your cat prefer to scratch at? Vertical or horizontal surfaces?

2. Provide Desirable Alternatives

Now that you know what types of scratching your cat prefers, you should look for a scratching alternative that will meet these needs. If your cat likes to scratch the carpet, provide a carpeted post. If your cat is more drawn to upholstery, they’ll probably enjoy scratching a post covered in sisal.
Scratching posts of all sizes, shapes, and materials are available at most pet supply stores, so you should be able to find one that meets your cat’s needs and is an even more attractive target than your furniture.

3. Discourage Them From Scratching the Furniture

You should also take measures to discourage your cat from scratching your furniture. However, do not do this by squirting your cat or using any other method that you must be present for. It’s important that your cat learns not to scratch whether you’re home or away.
Stack plastic cups in front of their usual scratching target, purchase a motion-activated noise machine, or a motion-activated cat deterrent that will spray a puff of air in their direction. These types of training tools are designed specifically for felines, and they won’t teach your cat to simply fear your presence like other methods could.

4. Keep Their Claws Trimmed

You can minimize the damage your cat is able to inflict on the upholstery by keeping its claws trimmed. To trim your cat’s claw, squeeze its toe to extend the nail. Then trim at an angle that will remove the hook-shaped portion at the end of the claw without cutting into the quick. If you knick the quick of your cat’s nail, you’ll hit nerve endings and blood vessels, causing pain and bleeding for your pet.
For more information about cat scratching, contact our veterinary clinic today!