How Do You Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture?
You can stop cats from scratching furniture by providing alternative options, such as scratching posts, but you may need to take a multi-faceted approach. This may include covering the furniture or even putting nail caps on your cat. Cats need to scratch, so you can't stop the behavior. What you can do is redirect the scratching to appropriate places.
Training Your Cat to Scratch Where He Should
When you're ready to start retraining your cat, you'll need to take steps that protect carpet and furniture while also providing appropriate places to scratch.
Cover Furniture And Protect Carpet
Cats don't like to scratch slick surfaces, so cover furniture with a sheet and use double sided tape to keep it in place. For carpet, you can cover the cat's favorite scratching spots with a runner or simply move a piece of furniture to cover it.
Provide Scratching Posts
Place a scratching post or two in every area of the home where your cat spends time. They should allow the cat to fully stretch, so some posts should be at least three feet tall. You'll find a huge selection online or at your local pet store. Keep in mind that soft carpet doesn't usually satisfy a cat's desire scratch. Instead, choose sisal, burlap, or other rough surfaces.
Show Them Where To Scratch
Introduce your cat to each new scratching post. Sprinkle the post with catnip to entice an adult cat. For kittens, move their paws in a scratching motion on the post. Also, spend time with your cat near the posts and try hanging toys on and around it.
If the inappropriate scratching continues, nail caps are a humane solution. These soft caps cover each claw so your cat can continue to scratch without damaging walls, furniture, or carpet. Unless you have a very good relationship with your cat, it's best to have your vet apply the nail caps, which will need to be reapplied about every six weeks. Note: Nail caps should only be used on indoor cats.
A Word About Declawing
Some pet owners see declawing as the answer to the problem, but it's actually an inhumane, painful procedure that is outlawed in some countries. In June of 2019, a bill in New York passed the legislature that would make it illegal to declaw cats. This will make New York the first state to ban declawing, and others are sure to follow.
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