Stop Cat Scratches: Protect Your Furniture
If you're a cat parent, you know how wonderful it is to have a feline Fluffy Friend around. They provide us with companionship, love and entertainment, but they can also leave their mark on our furniture in the form of cat scratches.
Cat scratches can be frustrating and expensive to repair, but there are easy ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.
In this post, we'll share some practical tips and tricks to help you protect your furniture and keep your cat happy at the same time.
So, whether you're a new cat owner or have lived with cats for years, read on to discover how to stop cat scratches and keep your furniture looking its best!
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Naturally, cats can't live without scratching!
It's an innate characteristic and it’s also a big part of their communication, but the narrative goes deeper than that.
Let's check out why your tabby loves to scratch:
- To eliminate the dead external layers of their claws.
- To mark their area and leave their scent.
- To release tension and convey other feelings.
- To stretch their legs and feet.
Therefore, this can be an issue if your cat has a scratching propensity and you want to protect your furniture from damage.
Thus, it's crucial to note that if you don't give your cat enough scratching surfaces, they'll likely scratch at inappropriate places—like your curtains, bed, carpet, and anything else they can reach.
By actively encouraging your cat to scratch where you want them to, you can prevent your home and your relationship from being ruined by their undesirable scratching.
How To Manage Cat Scratches?
If you're tired of unsightly scratches on your favourite sofa or chair, don't worry—there are ways to manage this behaviour. Here are our top tips for managing cat scratches:
Scratching Posts and Pads
Get some scratching posts and pads for your kitty. This is a simple place to start.
Keep in mind the following while selecting posts and pads for your feline:
Shape: There are various models in the market that can look extravagant and interesting.
Cats normally prefer simpler posts and pads that are horizontal as well as vertical, including ones that lay flat or are diagonal.
There are a lot of options for scratching posts and pads:
- vertical scratcher with three sides
- horizontal upright scratcher
- cat toy scratcher
- scratchers made of corrugated cardboard
- scratchers attached to a wall
Stability: Don't provide your cat with posts that may seem flimsy. They may lead to unnecessary hazards to both you and your kitty.
Cat towers should be firm and solid, and wall-mounted scratching posts should be firmly fixed.
Size: Any poles or towers you buy (or make) must be tall enough so your cat can get a decent stretch.
Surface: It's crucial to give your cat a range of tactile surfaces to scratch. Cats do not only have preferences, but they also like a little diversity.
Sisal fabric, wood, or cardboard make excellent scratching posts for many cats.
Nail management is always a great choice, especially when you’re about to begin training your tabby not to scratch your furniture.
Manicures and Pedicures: Be sure to trim your cat's claws once a week. If you'd prefer not to handle the task, your veterinarian and their staff would gladly assist. Also, settle them in their comfy pet bed after your trimming session.
Claw Caps: Put temporary nail covers on your cat's claws or have your veterinarian do it. As you work with your cat to reroute any unwanted scratching habit, claw covers can quickly protect your furnishings.
You can stop using the claw coverings once your cat starts scratching on surfaces you want them to.
Declawing: Some people declaw their cats to take care of the scratching issue.
While we oppose declawing cats since it isn't a successful treatment for behavioural problems, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian so that you have an idea of what declawing entails.
Much like people, cats get bored.
To keep your cat's brain active, you must provide regular stimulation.
An unhealthy cat may scratch more frequently.
Healthy eating habits keep indoor cats in good condition and reduce their propensity to scratch.
Also, you can try playing with them using toys.
You may also try a feeding toy that stimulates their problem-solving skills while giving out treats!
Even if your home is filled with scratching posts, your cat might not immediately know what to do with them. However, your feline can be trained on how to utilise them properly.
Try playing with your cat close to the scratching post with feather wands and other toys to encourage them to utilise the post. Furthermore, you could add some catnip to the post.
Near the area where your cat is clawing, have a scratching post within reach. Encourage your cat to use the scratching post when you think they’re about to target your furniture. Reward them with treats or toys if you can divert their attention to the post.
You can also try using items like anti-scratch tape or spray and a furniture cover to make your furniture look less inviting.
Seek Professional Help
Do not hesitate to contact professionals if you require assistance. Find a board-certified veterinary behaviourist or a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB), as they are better equipped to help with the underlying issues of your pet.
Related: What to Look for in a Pet Sitter
What Not To Do?
Forcing your cat is always a no-no. Your cat can get terrified due to this behaviour, and learn to avoid the scratching post entirely. They might also choose to avoid you!
Don't throw a beloved scratching post out if you think it’s damaged. Your cat will still be drawn to used posts because they smell and appear familiar.
Protecting your furniture from cat scratches is possible with some simple strategies and a little bit of patience.
By providing your cat with scratching posts, training them to use them, and taking other preventative measures, you can keep your furniture safe and your Fluffy Friend happy.
Remember to reward good behaviour and never punish your cat for scratching, as it is a natural and necessary behaviour for them. You can build a peaceful coexistence between your cat and your furniture with a little effort.
We hope this blog has been helpful and that you and your cat can enjoy a scratch-free home!
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