How to Stop Your Cat Scratching Furniture

Cat Scratching Furniture
Cat Scratching Furniture

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 Cat Needs a Scratching Post

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.

About the author

Ross Davies

Ross is a UK Siamese & Oriental Cat Breeder breeding and showing his cats and kittens under the prefix Burnthwaites . He is the author on various cat related websites and blogs including 'Siamese Cat Breeder' and ''.

Ross is the creator of this website and has lived with cats since being a very young child. He started breeding cats in 2001 and has showed them successfully breeding many best in show cats.

Ross is a GCCF cat judge and also sits on cat club committees and both the Oriental and Siamese Cat Joint Advisory Committees. He holds certification in both feline behaviour & psychology and also cat anxiety and stress.

Ross writes extensively about cats and has been featured in magazines such as Your Cat and Our Cats and also guest authored on newsletters for various cat organisations. He is also a guest speaker at cat seminars.


Cat Runs, Cat Toys, Cat Training

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