When you discover your cat scratching furniture it can be infuriating, it is certainly not the sort of behaviour you want to encourage in your cat! Understanding why your cat is scratching your furniture is the first step to stopping it happening.
Cats need a suitable surface to hook their claws and pull their bodies backwards. It is a natural part of their behavior as cats. This particular action sharpens their claws, stretches their legs and marks their territory. It is also a form of play, and a means by which they get rid of older nails for sharper, new nails to grow.
Your domestic cat needs a scratching post. Without it, they will scratch the furniture, carpet, rugs, curtains and any other surface in the home. A good scratching post will prevent damage to your furniture and carpet.
A wooden scratching post that is covered with some form of rough fabric is a most common type of there is. The ideal setup is to have the post mounted vertically where the cat can stretch upwards and scratch against the sturdy post. Another type of scratching post is one that is covered with carpet or upholstery. The problem with this type of surface is that it does not help the cat distinguish the type of surface that is appropriate for scratching. Therefore, your cat might think it is just as appropriate to scratch on your carpet or upholstered furniture. The rougher texture on the back of the carpet might be more appropriate, so a reversed carpet on a wooden post is a good solution.
It might take some experimenting to find a surface that your cat will scratch consistently. Experts believe that simple posts covered with sisal or corrugated cardboard surfaces are best. Some scratching posts have multiple platforms for cats to climb on, or with built-in caves for them to hide out, lounge or sleep. A cat tree is a tall scratching post that is stabilized with rods that go all the way to ceiling.
Sometimes a tall post might not be feasible where you live. A smaller scratching surface such as a piece of carpet turned upside down, or a pad of sisal hanging from a doorknob could be alternative solutions. Corrugated fiberboard is another option, but it is not as popular as sisal. While pet owners might place emphasis on the type of scratching pad, the goal should be to have cats scratch only appropriate surfaces. This will take very little time, but a lot of commitment will be needed. With a few simple techniques to modify the cat’s behavior she will leave your furniture and use her post when she wants to scratch.
You can purchase scratching posts at almost any store that sells pet supplies, but you can also build your own scratching post using the materials that you think would be most appropriate. If you visit a pet supply store, the employees there will be able to provide some insight on cat scratching and the best surfaces to use.
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Ross is a UK Siamese & Oriental Cat Breeder breeding and showing his cats and kittens under the prefix Burnthwaites . He is the author of various cat related websites and blogs including 'Siamese Cat Breeder'. When not showing his cats he can often be found stewarding or judging at cat shows. He works as a Web Developer and specialises in small business websites and content marketing. He is also a blogger, amateur photographer and videographer and last but certainly not least husband and father.