If you have a cat in your home—we have two—you know how quickly those sharp little claws can ruin a new piece of furniture. We learned the hard way a few years ago when we bought a new sofa and loveseat for the den. But you don’t have to let your furry friend scratch your furniture to shreds. Here are some tips that helped us save our sofa.
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Provide a scratching post.
Cats scratch for a reason. It’s perfectly normal behavior, and nothing you do will stop it altogether. Scratching allows cats to exercise and stretch, keeps their claws clean and releases pheromones that help them mark their territory.
So, since scratching is inevitable, it’s in your best interest to provide a scratching post or scratching pad. Here are a couple of great ones: Ultimate Scratching Post and Cat Scratcher Lounge. This gives your cat a nice place to scratch without sacrificing your new couch to those sharp little claws.
Train your cat to use the post.
You didn’t think it was as simple as buying a scratching pad, did you? Your cat needs training to learn to use the scratching post and stay away from the furniture.
Place your cat’s paws gently on the scratching post several times a day until he learns to use it. Don’t force your cat’s claws open on the scratching post, though. You don’t want him to associate negative feelings with the post. Give him a yummy treat or some chin scratches whenever he uses the post. Temptations Cat Treats are our cats’ favorite treats.
Just say no.
When you catch your cat reaching for the loveseat, discourage him from scratching by firmly saying, “No.” Do not yell or make scary noises. If that doesn’t work, gently pick him up, move him away from the furniture, and place him in front of the scratching pad.
Make scratching your furniture unappealing.
Double-sided tape deters many cats from scratching. Place it on the furniture on the areas your cat tries to scratch. The tape will stick to his claws, and since cats do not like dirty paws, it will discourage future scratching. Some of my friends have had great success with using Feliway plugins to keep cats away from certain pieces of furniture.
Keep your cat’s claws trimmed or capped.
Approach this tip with caution. One of our cats doesn’t mind having his paws and claws touched. The other can’t stand for us to touch her nails, so we don’t. If your cat is okay with trimming, keep the nails trimmed regularly to curb excessive scratching. For cats who can’t tolerate trimming, nail caps are another alternative.
With training, patience and time, your cat will learn to leave your furniture alone. It may be challenging, but it’ll be worth it to keep your furniture in great shape.
How do you keep your cats from scratching your furniture?