Why Is My Cat Scratching Furniture?
Cats scratch furniture because it's often at a height that allows them to stretch and because they find the rough fabric ideal. Scratching is a necessity for cats, so you can't stop the behavior altogether. What you can do is try to redirect their scratching to appropriate objects, such as scratching posts. In the meantime, try adding corner guards and other barriers to protect your furniture.
Tips For Redirecting Your Cat's Scratching
While cats may not be as easy to train as dogs, it is possible to get a cat to scratch where you want. Here are some tips:
You've probably seen those kitty condos covered in carpet. While those are a spot from which your cat can survey her kingdom or take a nap, the material is not ideal for scratching. Instead, choose scratching posts with a rough material, such as burlap or sisal. At least one of the posts should be three feet tall to allow your cat to fully stretch while scratching.
Where you place the scratching posts is just as important as the types of scratching posts you choose. Place a post near where your cat is already scratching (close to your furniture for example) and another near where he sleeps. If there are spots your cat frequents, you can place them there as well.
Introducing the Scratching Posts
Show your cat the posts and make scratching noises on them. If you have a kitten, gently take his paws and make scratching motions with them. For older cats, sprinkle catnip to spark interest. Also, put some of your pets favorite toys near the post and spend time playing with them nearby.
Protect Your Furniture with Nail Caps
Nail caps are in inexpensive vinyl product that is placed over cats' claws which prevents damage from scratching. Some brave cat owners apply the caps themselves, but it's much easier to have the vet do it. Once applied, they will last about four to six weeks.
It might take a while for your cat to use to the new scratching posts, especially if he's gotten use to scratching your furniture. Every time you see him scratching your furniture, simply redirect him to the post. When you see him using the post, praise him. Over time, he'll lose interest in the furniture.
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