Why Do Cats Scratch Your Furniture?
There’s nothing worse than getting a new sofa and coming home to find that your cat or kitten has ripped it into ribbons, or finding deep scratches in your freshly painted door frames. Cats’ scratching furniture can be a real problem, especially if you’re house-proud! Sometimes it may seem that your cat’s out to cause trouble, but it’s important to know that these scratching behaviours are deeply ingrained instincts and they have numerous benefits to both their health and wellbeing.
Scratching is a normal, instinctive cat behavior. Cats have a need to scratch. They do it to express emotions, like excitement or stress, to mark objects with their scent (they have scent glands in their paws), to remove the dead part of their nails and, often, just to get a good stretch.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that cats do not think in terms of right or wrong. In fact, they don’t have any concept of doing the right or wrong thing. Cats only think in terms of meeting their needs. When a cat has a need to scratch, the answer to the question, “Where should I scratch?” is not “What do the humans prefer?” but “Where do I prefer to scratch?"
As cat owners, the goal is to provide your cat with options that both cat and owner prefer.
Provide your cat with something to scratch that, from their point of view, is more desirable than your couch or the legs of your dining room table.
Cats prefer to scratch tall, sturdy objects that allow them to dig their nails in and get a good grip. That’s why cats tend to scratch furniture. Most cats prefer (even more than furniture!) a scratching post that is at least 32” tall, will not wobble when scratched, and made of a type of rope called sisal. Some cats prefer to scratch horizontally, in which case you can either place the vertical scratching post on its side or find a sturdy sisal-covered horizontal scratcher. Some cats like scratching corrugated cardboard as well. Another ideal scratching surface is wood, so if you are handy you can create your own scratching post or pad. Just make sure it’s tall or long enough and sturdy.
Place the scratching post in a location where the cat wants to scratch. If your cat enjoys scratching the couch, place the scratching post next to the couch. If your cat enjoys scratching the wall by your front door when you come home, place the scratching post near your front door.
Introduce Your Cat To The Scratching Post
You know that you have the best scratching surface for your cat, but your cat doesn’t know that yet. The easiest way to introduce your cat to the post is to play with them around the post; for example, using a fishing rod toy or laser light, so that in the midst of play they will interact with the post. You can also rub catnip on the post for the first several days, which will typically lead the cat to investigate it. It is very important that you do not carry your cat to the scratching surface and rub their paws on the surface. This may seem harmless, but this can create a stress response in some cats and lead them to avoid the scratching post or pad.
Temporarily make the objects the cat previously liked to scratch less desirable. At this point, you’ve set your cat up for success in scratching the new post or pad. However, they haven’t yet realized how much better the new scratching post is than the furniture. While they figure this out, it’s best to deter the cat from scratching the object(s) you don’t want them to scratch. For furniture, the easiest and most effective solution is to cover it with a tight-fitting sheet. This sheet will not be nearly as desirable to scratch as the sisal-covered post. For smaller surfaces you can utilize double-sided sticky tape or any other item that will make the object’s surface sticky, smooth or slick. Your cat will not enjoy trying to dig their claws into any of these surfaces. Once your cat is consistently using the scratching post/pad, you can remove the covering from the previously scratched objects.
If wooden furniture, doorframes or bannisters have been damaged by scratching it is important to remove all traces of the scratch marks by rubbing down with a fine sandpaper and treating the area with a thick layer of furniture polish once the surface is smooth again. Suitable posts or scratching panels should be located nearby. If the area is not ideal for a free-standing scratching post on a permanent basis then it can be relocated slowly (an inch at a time!) to a more convenient position once it is being used regularly.
If your cat is tearing up your furniture, walls, and other areas, then you’ll probably need to start trimming their nails.
Like brushing, it’s best to wait until your cat is calm and hanging out nearby. If you’re petting your cat and the kitty is relaxed, this can be a good opportunity. You’ll want sharp nail clippers designed for kitty claws. Gently, calmly, take your cat’s paw, press it a little to unsheathe the claw, and then trim carefully.
It may take a few sessions to get all your cat’s claws, especially if it’s the first time. Most cats need claw trimming every four weeks or so. If your cat refuses to let you trim those nails, then you’ll probably need to pull in the experts via your veterinarian or groomer.
Choosing a scratching post for your cat
Cats need to scratch to keep their claws sharp, exercise and stretch their muscles and mark their territory.
Cat Scratching Post Tree
A TREEHOUSE FOR YOUR PETS TO EXERCISE– Designed with different elevations, your pets will have a blast going up and down the different levels indulging in the various floors where they can sit by and watch the view from the top of the house.
ALSO DESIGNED FOR RELAXATION– It comes with an area at the bottom where they can take a nap and a cool hammock at the top where they can relax and lounge comfortably. It is spacious and airy so that your pets will feel at ease while resting.
WITH ITS NICE AESTHETICS– Put them inside your home may it on your living room space, bedroom or at the patio and you can bet it will look amazing. You will love its pastel shade that is soothing and will blend well with the rest of your home décor.
A PRIVATE SPACE FOR YOUR BELOVED PETS– Give your cat their own private space so that they can chill and sleep comfortably without anyone or anything bothering them! This is definitely a space that they can call their own!
Real Wood Cat Tree
DURABLE & SAFE STRUCTURE. This luxury cat climbing tree offers your cat several options for leaping and climbing with its two-tier rattan baskets lined with soft and comfortable plush. It features a private and cozy space at the base for resting or simply hanging out. Its height gives your feline friend a sense of security and awareness of potential dangers in her surroundings. It comes with two-tier baskets screwed into sturdy structure poles in a tree trunk design that can accommodate heavier or larger cats weighing 9-11 kg. It is made of real tree branches that are properly treated to ensure safety for your pets.
ENCOURAGES EXERCISE. Satisfy your cat’s leaping and climbing instincts by offering multiple levels in this Cat Climbing Tree. The structure poles also serve as scratching posts to satisfy your cat’s scratching urges. It also encourages physical activity by providing her two levels to leap on and jump from for endless hours of fun and play with two dangling cat toys with bells to keep them interested.
Mounted Window Cat Tree With Scratchpost
MULTIPURPOSE INTERACTIVE CAT TREE: This cat tree provides your cat with multiple options for activities. It can scratch, climb, perch and watch the world.
DURABLE AND HEAVY DUTY CAT TREE: This cat tree is designed to give years of pleasure to your cat. It is made with natural wood and covered with jute rope. The perch is made with a thick acrylic sheet. The cat perch is deemed safe for cats weighing up to 9 kgs.
EASY TO INSTALL: The cat perch can be mounted on any window with minimal effort It is easy to assemble and provides several different combinations of mounting the 2 pillars as per your liking.
NO DRILL SUCTION CUP WALL MOUNTING: No need to drill holes in the walls to mount this tree. It comes with two heavy duty suction cups. It can be attached to any smooth surface including walls and window glass.
ATTRACTIVE CAT WINDOW SEAT: Simple and minimalistic design and a natural color scheme make this a very attractive cat tree. It will enhance the aesthetics of the room while providing your cat with an ideal activity center.
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