cat-scratching-couch

How to Keep Cats From Scratching Furniture

So you’ve recently noticed that your cat has started sharpening their claws on the armchair in your living room. You’ve shooed them away from it and even redirected them to a scratching post, but your cat is stubborn.

Cats love to be on furniture. Most of the time, our favorite furniture is also theirs. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your cats off and away from your furniture. Here’s how:

Make your furniture or the area less appealing: There’s a reason why your cat likes to rip into your chair. Maybe the cloth feels good when they’re pulling it, or they can really stretch out and work their muscles. So a first step could be to cover your chair with a different material. If this piece of furniture is near windows, either close the blinds or rearrange. Cats love to bask in warm sunny spots or watch movement out of windows. After you’re finished lounging on the couch, fold and move any blankets or extra pillows you used. Don’t make the sofa more inviting for a cat who is looking for a comfy spot. Plus, keep the counters and table in your kitchen clean from food crumbs and other enticing debris so they won’t be enticed to jump up.

Strategically place double-sided tape: A lot of pet owners have been successful with using double-sided tape. Place it on the arms and back of your chair. When your cat goes to scratch, they won’t like the sticky feeling. Tape can be placed in stripes, or crisscrossed on mantels, kitchen counters, and coffee tables. But definitely don’t use it on leather furniture!

Cover with aluminum foil: Your cat won’t like walking on aluminum foil due to the crinkly sound it makes, and also because it’s not cozy. If you cover your cat’s favorite spots with aluminum foil, they’ll start to associate those spot with the noise, and might avoid them.

Save your orange peels: Cats hate the smell of citrus so keep your orange peels after eating an orange. Put them in a shallow dish and place them around the area where the your cat likes to lay.

Use a repellent or herbal spray: Use a commercial cat repellent spray on fabric surfaces. The spray won’t hurt your cat, and it contains oils and a combination of other scents that will help repel them from the furniture. When your cat scratches, they leave their scent to mark the territory, but when you replace that scent with an herbal spray, the unpleasant smell will discourage them from scratching. Keep in mind, you should spray a small test spot in an unnoticeable area first to make sure it doesn’t discolor your furniture.

Provide an alternative: If your cat has been scratching the legs on furniture or around door frames, they may respond to wooden cat furniture or a scratching post made out of cedar. If they like to scratch softer surfaces such as your chair or rugs, a carpeted cat tree or cat post would be a good idea. If you aren’t sure what your cat enjoys most, try a variety of different surfaces and textures. This could include cardboard, sisal, carpet, wood or a piece of upholstery. Add some catnip to the different surfaces and see which one your cat gravitates toward. If your cat does scratch that new tree or post you’ve purchased, reinforce the behavior by giving them praise and a treat.

Clip their claws: Train your cat to accept having their claws clipped. Find some useful tips on trimming claws and training your cat to accept the grooming on ASPCA website.

Give them their own spot: If you have a piece of furniture that you don’t mind your cat hanging out on, let them know. While you’re sitting there, pull your cat up beside you and pet them. You could also put some catnip down to let them know you’re ok with them sitting there.

If you’ve had your cat for a while and have been letting them on the furniture, you’re going to have a more difficult time retraining. When they try to get on furniture or start to scratch something, remove them gently and redirect. You don’t want to punish your cat because they won’t know why. Plus, you don’t want to scare them with unnecessary noise. 

Be sure to contact your local veterinarian for advice. Visit Veterinarians.com to find a vet near you.