Cats are one of the most common pets that people use to have in their home because of their cuteness and caring nature. They usually are very protective of their owner and shower them with all the love and affection they have. But as it is with this world, everything has two sides and along with cats’ cute and good side, there is a disadvantage to them as well, which can cause huge damage if not taken care of at the very beginning.
We are talking about the most common habit of cats – scratching. One can often find cats scratching anything they can lay their hands on till it is hard and rough. This can be attributed to the fact that they come from the family of wild cats who mostly reside in the wilderness of jungles.
Also, this scratching activity helps them in stretching their body and keep their claws in shape as well. So, one thing for sure is that cats will scratch, but it is up to us if we want to give them our furniture to scratch or something else specifically for that purpose.
There are many things out there on the market which can help with this case as well as some of the actions owners can take as well to bring about change. We will discuss some of them here so that you can make sure that your cute cat doesn’t put scratch marks all on your furniture.
Scratching comes naturally to cats, you can’t stop that
You must have noticed that whenever you buy something, you put something on it that shows that it belongs to you so that the whenever some other person comes across it, they know that it belongs to someone else. The same is with the cats as well.
Most of the time, it has been noted that cats scratch on things so they can mark it as their territory to other cats even if no other is present there. It comes naturally to them. Also, it is important for them to keep their claws in shape as well because if their claws get too long, this can cause them to hurt themselves when they scratch their body. They even carry the danger of getting broken by getting stuck in something.
Purchase a scratching post or board for your cat
The best way to prevent your cat from scratching your furniture is by giving them something else to scratch. This is the best by which everyone can stay happy and content. Your cat is happy because they can scratch according to their will, and you are happy because your furniture is safe and sound. These are some of the things that one must look for when they are going to buy the scratching post for your cat:
The height of the post should be sufficient
One thing that you must ensure so that the post gets your cat’s attention is that it should be at least of the same height as that of your cat when he or she is standing on their hind legs. It is also important to make sure that the post is stable and doesn’t wobble as it may cause some harm to the cat if it falls on them. It should be able to absorb a majority of the pressure that is being applied to it by the cat and should not be too tall and heavy because if it falls down mistakenly on your cat, it can cause serious damage.
Give your cat a variety of surfaces to scratch
Try to bring a variety of scratching posts and boards in the house. Everyone gets bored of a thing if they have been using it for a long period of time. Same with cats. If you get them only a single scratching post, they will get bored of it after a few months or weeks. Also, just buying a scratching post is not enough. One must also know the habits of their cats as well. The scratching board or post must be placed in accordance with the nature of the cat’s scratching habit, that is, if they like to scratch in a vertical direction or in a horizontal direction.
The surface should be hard and coarse
One thing that you need to make sure is that the scratching post shouldn’t be fluffy in nature. Fluffy or soft things are never good enough to give enough satisfaction while scratching. Cats need to have a rough and hard surface to scratch, that’s why you’ll often find cats scratching the barks of the tree because it serves as the perfect thing. Make sure that your scratching post is rough enough that it piques the attention of your cat. One can make their scratching post more rough and hoarse by wounding sisal fiber rope around the post. It will make sure that the post is rough enough to satisfy that cat’s scratching needs, keeping your furniture safe.
Make sure your cat gets used to the post
Just getting the scratching post is not enough, you must get your cat using it. That’s why it is considered a good move to buy a scratching post as soon as you bring a cat to your home so that they can be made accustomed to it from the very beginning. This will make them scratch the post on their own and they won’t even bother about the other furniture in the house. Or, if you already have a cat and you are deciding to buy a scratching post now because your cat has already partially damaged some of your furniture, the main idea is the same – get the cat accustomed to it. You can do this by strategically placing the post near those places where the cat is most likely to scratch, like near the wooden cabinet, chair, sofa, etc.
You may notice that your cat may not take notice of the post at the beginning, so you as an owner have to make sure that they do. Do this by applying some of catnip oil to attract them. Once they start scratching it, you can praise your cat by gently stroking them on their back and show them how to scratch the post by your own fingernails as well. Further, to distract your cat from the other furniture and make your scratch post look more appealing, try hanging some toys around it like a rat or something similar.
Stop them from scratching the furniture
Parents often scold their child or children when they do something that isn’t good. A similar thing can be done with your cat as well. One can do different things that will show your cat that you are not happy with their behavior. Just make sure that you are not too harsh on them because you don’t want your cat to be scared of you. That will make a very negative impact and the cat may stop interacting or do anything at all. Some of the techniques that you can use to stop your cat from scratching your furniture and sounding rude at the same time are:
- Whenever you see your cat scratching a piece of furniture, throw some small pebbles near them in such a way that they don’t notice it was you who threw them. This will make them relate this to their scratching of the furniture and will prevent them from doing that in the future.
- One can also use water to prevent the cat from scratching the furniture. You can spray or squirt it on them with the help of a spray can.
- If nothing works, try to physically remove them from the furniture and redirect their attention to something else. You can give them a toy to play with or you can play with them as well.
Cover or put something on the items the cat usually scratches
- If your cat is persistent about scratching the surface and you are not able to stop them, but want to save your furniture at the same time as well, the best thing is to cover them with something so that their claws don’t do any damage while they are scratching.
- The best thing to do when you are away for work is to cover your furniture in a plastic. You can also use double-sided tape as well because it will stick to the claws of the cat and they generally hate anything that is stuck on their claws, so they will refrain from going even near that piece of furniture the next time.
- One can also use some motion detectors around their house which can sense the cat’s movement and can give out a siren whenever cat goes near a piece of furniture that you don’t want to get scratched. This can also help by making sure that the cat doesn’t do any damage even when you are away for work and are not at home.
Make sure their claws are trimmed
Cats usually scratch the surface that is hard and rough, so that they can stretch their bodies as well as trim their nails. Make sure that your cat’s claws are always properly trimmed and aren’t too long. But it is quite a job to do that because cats aren’t used to getting their claws trimmed. If you haven’t done it before, you can go to a vet and see them do it and then do it on your own the next time.
Just make sure that you are sure of what you are doing because it is pretty easy to hurt your cat while doing this. You need to make sure that the cat is in a resting motion so that he or she doesn’t make any sudden movements which may startle you.
These are some of the things you can do to make sure your cat is not damaging your furniture in your house. Cats are very gentle animals and make for a great pet. It is easy to tame them and if one is patient with them from the start, they can very well induce some habits in them that will make you feel proud of them. It is for you to understand that cats don’t scratch your furniture intentionally. They do so because they need to make sure their claws aren’t too long which can cause harm to their owner as well as to them.
You can occasionally take them outside for a walk so that they can run here and there which will compensate for their lack of stretching. They can also trim their claws on the barks of the trees which prove to be the perfect surface for cats to scratch. The trick to prevent your cat from scratching is to act patiently and intelligently around them. You will gain nothing if you will startle them by shouting at them while they are scratching any surface. They won’t do it in front of you but will start doing it again as soon as you leave the house. So, act lovingly and patiently with them and they will surely understand what you are trying to tell them.
Willie May is a housewife, good mother, pet lover and a blogger. Auxier is her dog and Mimo is the name of her cat. She loves them very much. She has an aim to help other pet owners by sharing her experiences with her pets and that’s why she opened (Best Pets Blog) in Feb, 2017.