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Why Does my Cat Scratch the Furniture?

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: January 14, 2018
Why Does my Cat Scratch the Furniture?

See files for Cats

Dogs have it easy - they file their limes whenever they go out for a walk. Cats, on the other hand, are usually kept at home. This makes them turn to objects inside the home to file their nails and keep them sharp and smooth. This common habit can become a problem if your cat uses your furniture - especially your sofa - instead of the cat scratching posts you've probably bought for them.

In order to protect your things, here at AnimalWised we will answer your question "Why does my cat scratch the furniture?" and give you some tips to get them to stop.

Animal instinct

All animals have natural instincts that shape their behavior and lead them to act in particular manners. Cats feel the pull to keep themselves clean and groomed - and this includes filing their nails. Their claws are their defense weapons, so keeping them at their best is a question of survival; there is little you can do to stop them.

This is why if your cat doesn't have a scratcher at hand you should get one as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will turn to your home furniture as their daily filer. Cats also turn to scratching as a stress reliever. Make sure that you are taking proper care of your pet's needs, and always offer them a place or object to file their nails on.

Fun fact - cats have sudoriferous glands in the pads of their paws. When they scratch an object, they're not only filing their nails; they are also marking the place and territory as theirs.

Why Does my Cat Scratch the Furniture? - Animal instinct

How to get your cat to stop scratching the furniture

Not all tips will work for all owners and all cats, of course, but here is some general advice to get your cat to stop destroying your home one object at a time:

  • As we said before, if your cat doesn't have a scratcher yet you really should get one sooner rather than later. There are many sizes, colors and shapes (some are full cat lounges); observe your cat's scratching habits to make sure you get one they will enjoy.
  • Take your cat to the vet regularly to have their claws clipped. If you have experience doing it, you can clip them at home.
  • Do you have enough space at home? Arrange a play area for your cat that includes a scratcher.
  • Make sure you firmly scold your cat every time you catch your cat scratching your furniture; if your cat already has their own scratcher, this habit cannot be allowed. Tell them an emphatic "no" and get them away from the place. In order for them to understand what they must do, get them immediately to their scratcher.
  • You can buy catnip at any pet store. Catnip is often sold dry, canned so it can be sprayed. This plant does really attract cats; if you spray their scratcher with catnip, they will be pulled to it.
  • Observe your cat's favorite surfaces to scratch on and cover them with a thin, light fabric where their claws will get stuck. They won't attempt it again.

Finally, if none of these tricks are useful to stop your cat from scratching your furniture you'll have to go to a pet store and buy a repellent spray. Apply it to the objects where your cat often files their nails and you'll notice the effect immediately.

Why Does my Cat Scratch the Furniture? - How to get your cat to stop scratching the furniture

More about cats

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does my Cat Scratch the Furniture?, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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