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My Cat Scratches the Sofa Tips and Advice to Save Your Furniture

My Cat Scratches the Sofa Tips and Advice to Save Your Furniture

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If cats are usually adorable furballs, they are not exempt from mischievous behavior! While some mischief may have no real consequences, others can be quite costly, especially when your cat decides to scratch your sofa…

So, before seeing your favorite sofa or armchair transformed into a fringed 60s-style couch, discover our tips and tricks to prevent your cat from scratching your furniture.

Tips and Tricks for a Cat Scratching the Sofa

Why does my cat scratch…

When a cat scratches, it is responding to a natural, instinctive, and innate need to wear down and sharpen its claws.

It is also a way for them to leave their scent and mark their territory visually and olfactorily.

Generally, if cats are accustomed to it from a young age, they quickly understand that they can (and should) scratch a scratching post or a cat tree.

…the sofa

Several reasons can explain why your cat scratches your sofa or any other furniture in your home:

  • Your cat doesn’t have a scratching post or a cat tree. Therefore, it will naturally look for another comfortable place to scratch.
  • Your cat’s scratching post is not suitable for its size or preferences. Cats vary in their preferences for how they like to scratch. Some prefer to scratch while lying down, while others prefer to scratch while standing up.
  • Your cat’s scratching post is too worn out. The posts of cat trees or scratching posts are usually made of rope or plant fibers, which inevitably wear out over time. If your cat finds them ineffective for scratching, it won’t hesitate to find another place to scratch, such as your furniture.

Be vigilant and observant of your cat’s behavior, and remain understanding. It is not uncommon for a cat to forget itself after a nap on the sofa and stretch with its claws out. Generally, a simple reminder is enough to make your cat remember the existence of its scratching post.

What should I do if I catch my cat scratching?

Unlike dogs, cats are much more independent and less obedient animals. If they are determined to do something, it will be difficult to dissuade them.

Nevertheless, if you catch your cat in the act of attacking your sofa, firmly tell them “stop,” place your finger on their nose, and move them to their scratching post (if they haven’t already fled at your approach). It can’t be stressed enough, but there’s no point in shouting at an animal, let alone hitting it.

Try to find the cause of this behavior and provide a solution for your cat to stop scratching your furniture.

Cat Tree & Scratching Post: Essentials for Your Cat

My Cat Scratches the Sofa: Tips and Advice to Save Your Furniture

A genuine vital need, cats must be able to scratch. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with a dedicated space from a young age by purchasing a cat tree or a scratching post.

The good news is that in recent years, the design of cat trees and scratching posts has greatly improved! They now blend easily into any interior and come in various forms to suit different needs, such as post scratchers, mat scratchers, or cat trees.

Scratching posts have the advantage of taking up less space and being easier to move. They are usually the most economical solution.

Cat trees, on the other hand, are more voluminous but offer more play areas and space for scratching. They also include platforms where your cat can sleep and hide.

When selecting a scratching post or cat tree, make sure to consider the adult size of your cat.

Tips and Tricks to Save Your Sofa from Your Cat’s Claws

If despite all your efforts, your cat is determined to tear apart your sofa, there are tricks to limit the damage and eventually make them lose interest.

Regularly trim your cat’s claws

Indoor cats use their claws much less on a daily basis compared to outdoor cats. As a result, their claws remain very sharp, ready to wreak havoc.

Generally, when you start hearing your cat’s footsteps on the hardwood floor, it’s a sign that it’s time to trim their claws.

If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself or if it’s your first time, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian or a cat groomer to do it for you. They can also show you the proper technique for trimming your cat’s claws without hurting them.

Set up traps

Cats are curious animals but not necessarily very brave. By setting traps on your sofa or the area they usually scratch, your cat may be puzzled, not to mention offended, and will be less tempted to come back and scratch there.

We’re obviously talking about harmless traps like double-sided tape, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.

The idea is to change the appearance and texture of the usually scratched area to make it unpleasant for your feline friend.

Spray a natural repellent

With their developed sense of smell, cats are sensitive to various scents.

There are many repellent products that will discourage your cat from approaching your sofa.

Citrus fruits, lavender, and pepper are also natural repellents. However, be cautious with their use as cats have a particularly sensitive sense of smell. It’s always best to consult your veterinarian beforehand.

Reward instead of punish

If, by some miracle, your cat scratches in front of you and in the right place, praise them! Cats generally understand the reward system: a treat or a pat will encourage them to repeat the action.

On the other hand, there’s no need to punish your cat in the opposite situation. You would only risk damaging their trust in you.

Redirect their attention to the scratching post

You can also attract your cat to their scratching post by spraying solutions based on catnip, a natural plant that has a very attractive effect on cats.

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”