Tips to Stop a Cat from Scratching the Sofa
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We're sure you love your cat a lot, but do you sometimes want to murder it - figuratively speaking, of course - when you find out it has scratched your new sofa?
It's not exactly your cat's fault, and it's not doing it out of spite: it is just following its feline instincts. There are reasons for this behavior in cats, and there are also solutions.
Cats are very clean and well-groomed animals. Some cats can get anxious if they need to maintain and sharpen their claws. This is why they are always looking for things to scratch. It is also a way of marking their territory for other felines, stretching and relieving stress.
In order to make your cat happy it is important to get to know it. Find out what it likes to scratch and the reason behind the behavior. Ensure you are giving it enough attention and check if the environment is creating stress for your pet. If your cat is an expert at scratching, AnimalWised will give you some tips to stop your cat from scratching the sofa.
Cover the sofa
Although cats like to play with everything they find, covering the sofa with a fabric that is less stimulating, such as old sheets, will make it less interesting for your cat to scratch.
This cover must be kept for several weeks for it to work. In the meantime, your cat can get used to using a scratching post or another area intended for this purpose. You can never prevent your cat form scratching something, so it is best to divert its attention.
Here are some tips on choosing a scratching post for cats.
Clean and freshen up the scratched sofa
Another way of diverting the cat's attention is to apply substances to the sofa that your pet doesn't like, or that it's confused by. For example, you can use alcohol, any kind of lemon essential oil or even air fresheners for furniture.
Before applying the smell, clean the sofa with soap and water to try and neutralize the cat's smell. Cats are very territorial and will scratch things they consider to be part of their territory.
If you don't catch it in the act, don't tell them off
Cats, like people, break their behavioral patterns gradually and through training. Be patient with your cat when you teach it not to scratch the sofa. It is important that you don't tell your cat off if you don't catch it in the act. Your cat will not understand why you are doing it and will not receive the telling off in the right way. It will cause your cat to panic, and it will become more anxious.
According to scientific studies, it is best to tell your cat off at the right time, which is when it is scratching the sofa. Speak calmly but with authority, pointing to the sofa in question and then getting it away from the disaster zone. If you don't do this at the right moment, you'll miss your golden opportunity.
Scratching posts are a great solution
Cats are creatures of habit, always looking to scratch in the same place. For your cat's happiness and your own peace of mind, make your own scratching post for cats and convert a small space in your home into a playground.
There you can put things like toys, catnip, scratching posts, something to climb on and tree trunks so your cat can sharpen its claws. Create a safe and stimulating environment where your pet can go whenever it wants.
You can also leave different types of scratching posts scattered around the house, so that your cat can explore more.
Help your cat stay well-groomed
Treat your cat with love and spoil it by trimming its nails once a week or once every two weeks. This way, your cat will be pruned and won't have the same urge to scratch everything in sight, especially your precious sofa.
Never, under any circumstances, sharpen your cat's claws. Besides being very dangerous, you'll do considerable damage to its feline character.
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