Save Your Furniture From Clawing Cats With These Tips

Kori Williams - Author

Sep. 15 2023, Published 10:26 a.m. ET

An orange cat on a black scratched up sofa.
Source: iStock

For many people, loving a cat means that there is some risk that your furniture is in danger. These furry friends love to scratch, and your couch can easily become collateral damage. Although many cat parents have different ways of dealing with this, how do you stop cats from scratching furniture?

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Over the years, there have been all kinds of tips and tricks designed to make sure you can keep your cat and your wallet happy at the same time. But not all of them work. Luckily, you have come to the right place. But to understand how to stop cats from scratching at your things, it's best to take a step back and learn why they do it in the first place.

A white and brown cat on a purple cat with a scratched up arm.
Source: iStock
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Why do cats scratch furniture?

Chewy explains that cats scratch because it's instinctual to them. The act soothes them in various ways, including being good for their physical health. Not only is it good for their nails, but it also strengthens their muscles and can even relieve anxiety they may have.

According to the Humane Society, scratching is a natural expression of emotions and needs for cats as well. And because these furballs have scent glands on their paws, they also do this to mark their territory.

It's also noted that cats aren't worried about furniture the way we are. That makes sense since they didn't pay for it. But cats are focused on what makes them feel best. If that means your sofa is caught in the crossfire, then so be it.

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A cat scratching an orange couch.
Source: iStock

But now, here's where your furniture comes in. Chewy states that cats scratch particular home goods simply because they are in the home. There's fabric or fixture that is off-limits to them, and different cats like different things. For instance, not all felines paw at couches; some like curtains or wood furnishings.

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How do you stop cats from scratching furniture?

One of the most common ways that cat parents prevent their fur babies from scratching at furniture is by buying a scratching post. These come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors so that they can fit your decor and your cat's needs. Some of them have spots for your kitty to perch or snuggle up. Plenty of them are pretty vertical, which works well for small spaces, and allows your cat to get some climbing in. There are also horizontal options that cats can enjoy.

Amy Pike, a veterinary behaviorist, told The Washington Post that the best way to choose a scratching post is to present your cat with different texture options and let them pick the one they like best. "You might just have to offer them a little scratching post cafeteria or buffet and see what they select," she said.

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A white, black, and orange cat scratching on leather furniture.
Source: iStock

Additionally, you should make the furnishings around your home seem less attractive options to your cat. The Post mentions a product called Sticky Paws. It's a double-sided tape you can put on your furniture that makes it less satisfying for your cat to scratch. You can also wrap your belongings in other materials that make it difficult for your cat to scratch. If you're buying new things for your home, avoid materials your furry friend likes to sink their claws into.

Ultimately, you should never punish your cat for scratching. It's just a natural way for them to express themselves and they need to let their emotions and needs out in a healthy way. As the pet parent, you just have to steer them in the right direction.

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