Cats love to scratch and most pet parents know this. The question is: how do we stop our cats from scratching the couch? You may think your cat hates the sofa or the curtains. In reality, this is not true! Scratching can be a natural instinct for them and does serve many purposes like relieving stress or exploring their environment; it’s important not to discourage your cat from this reflex behaviour. Whatever the reason might be, there are ways that you can help prevent them from doing so in your home!
Why do Cats Scratch in the First Place?
To maintain their claws
Cats need a scratching surface in order to maintain their claws. This is because cats have what’s called a cat ‘claw sheath’ which acts as a sort of outer nail casing that protects and covers each claw when it retracts into its resting position. In addition, every time your cat scratches something they are leaving behind visual marks from the bottom half of their nails (called their pterygium) along with scents from glands found on the underside of both back paws!
To mark territory
Your cat’s scratching behaviour is a marking of territory. Just like how your dog urinates to leave their mark, cats will scratch and claw objects in order to do the same!
When you move to a new home, your cat may start scratching around the garden or house. You’ll see this same thing happen with young families that just had their first baby – cats become highly territorial and they view anyone who enters into an area where they’re claimed as theirs-to-control in competition for space.
To relieve stress
When cats are stressed, frustrated or feeling threatened they will often scratch the nearest object. This behaviour is an instinctual way for your kitty to rid themselves of any emotional baggage that has been building up inside them but also helps relieve some physical tension in their body through scratching away at whatever it may be – whether it’s another cat chasing him around his own backyard fence!
When Cats Scratch Furniture:
What Not To Do
Do not yell, hit, spray with water or use any type of punitive action. It won’t work long term and you’ll only be causing yourself more frustration than anything else. You can cause your pet unnecessary anxiety.
Punishing the cat for its natural instinct of scratching or clawing is counterproductive, in fact, this can lead to anxiety, stress and even depression in your pet.
How to stop cats clawing furniture
Cats are very sensitive creatures so it’s important that you understand why they need scratching. Furniture, walls and clothing all go down without too much of a fight when they’re bored or just need something new in their lives! If you’ve got furniture with fur on it (especially couches), don’t worry – there are some easy solutions for how to get your kitty off the fabric so that he/she can start using other surfaces like scratching posts instead.
1. Offer them an alternative
Before you start trying to stop your cat from scratching the furniture, it’s important that he/she has a designated ‘approved’ scratching post or surface available for him. Some great alternatives such as cat toys can be found at Allforpets.lk but there are also some homemade options you could try such as cardboard boxes, carpet squares cut into strips which can then be taped onto surfaces in place of fabric ones etc…
2. Give them their own space
More often than not a kitty will scratch when they feel threatened by another animal or person in their territory – this is why cats clawing curtains may look like it’s out of frustration but really it might just mean that someone came over while they were napping! In this case, try to give your cat its own space by keeping doors closed or blocking paths.
3. Try a scratching mat before you go for the expensive stuff!
A scratching mat is made from tough woven fabric and can be easily attached to surfaces such as couches with double-sided tape (which we sell at Allforpets). Once it’s attached, encourage your kitty onto that surface and reward them with a tasty Blackcat treat when they use it – this will help condition them into using that specific post over others in the future!
4. Use deterrents
Sometimes cats will need a little extra help in the form of deterrents. There are a number of products that you can buy from pet stores or online retailers such as Aristopet No Scratch Spray For Cats (Available at Allforpets Sri Lanka), it has a mild odour that is pleasant to humans but repulsive for cats.
5. Redirect attention
To teach your cat what is and isn’t appropriate to scratch, gently redirect them when you spot them clawing at furniture or carpet. Try catching their attention with a cat wand toy while using this as an opportunity for training. Lead this over towards the designated scratcher i.e the cat scratcher toy or cat scratching pole, until they have transferred all interest from it.
How to Choose the Best Cat Scratch Toy
The best cat scratcher toys are ones that can be re-used, will attract kitty to claw instead of the furniture and also offer the added benefits of mental stimulation for your cat.
What to look for when choosing a scratching toy
When buying any cat scratch toy it is important to consider its quality as well as your own personal preference i.e what material you would prefer it made from or even if you want something with an appealing design on it! You should also take into consideration where in your home you place the indoor cats scratching post so that they have easy access to play with their new purchase. Here at Allforpets Pet Shop in Sri Lanka, we provide both cardboard scratchers which cost around Rs 1200 per piece along with sisal rope corrugated boards costing about Rs 2000 per piece. These are two of the best choices for cat scratcher toys as they are made from materials that cats prefer to scratch on, allowing them to get their claws into something more appropriate while at the same time providing hours of fun and entertainment!
Sufficient space in your home is also important so you should check how much room there is between where the kitty normally scratches and other areas it will need to be able to access in order to use this new toy. Make sure that when considering a purchase you choose one which can easily accommodate all shapes and sizes of cats – after all, every member of your family needs some quality playtime with these types of toys or else what’s really the point?
How often do I need to replace my cat scratcher?
For cat scratching posts or boards that are made from cardboard, they will need to be replaced every couple of months as these tend to get shredded pretty quickly. However, for sisal rope products that take longer to wear out, you may only have to replace them once a year – it really depends on how often your kitty wants to play with their new toy!
Most importantly in order for this exercise to work, it is important to be patient and consistent. We hope this blog post has been informative and that you can use the information to stop your cat from scratching your furniture. If this article has given you some new ideas or if there are other recommendations that have helped with the issue of cats scratching furniture in your home, please let us know what they are so we can share them!