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furniture scratching.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My cat scratches on my furniture a lot. Why does He do this and what can I do to stop it?

post #2 of 6
Scratching is a normal cat behavior. They do it both for the condition of their nails and as a form of communication. Cats have scent markers in their paw pads and scratching is another way to communicate..."hey, I was here, this is my territory "

In my experience you have to take a multi-pronged approach...you can't really train a cat the way you can with a dog, but you can convince them that there are better places to scratch.
1) get sticky paws ( a double-sided tape) or some other deterant for the areas they've been scratching. Generally cats don't like things that stick to their paws.

2) provide alternatives...get cardboard scratching boxes, a couple of nice tall posts (at least tall enough for a full grown cat to get a good stretch). Some cats like horizontal scratching (ie flat mats or boxes) others like vertical (the post)...still there is a third option (my Stanley) that likes something on an incline.

3) Location, location, location...remember this is a form of communication, so if you put the post hidden away in a corner, it will get ignored. Put these approved scratching surfaces right next to the furnature they were scratching. I also find that my cats like to have something to scratch right next to the door jamb, so we have scratching posts next to the entrances/exits to some rooms.

Hope this helps
post #3 of 6
Also different materials cats like more than others to sink their claws into.

My old sofa =ripped to shreds. It was made out of a thick cloth with a bumpy texture.

My new sofa= Escaping most damage. It is made out of faux suede and is very smooth in texture.
post #4 of 6
'Sticky Paws' are great products.. I have used them. Kitties no like sticky paws fur sure.
post #5 of 6
As a relatively new kitten mom--I can offer a little advice.

#1 have patience. I've had to encourage my husband to do this. He wanted the kitten declawed, and although at the time I agreed, I read more and thought more and decided I couldn't do it. With a kitten at only 10 weeks I felt we owed the kitten the chance to teach him not to scratch the couch and other unwanted things.

It has been almost five weeks since we have had Jack, he has not scratched the couch in probably a good three weeks and has been scratching the trunk of our christmas tree (which I absolutely allow as it is causing no harm) and he is also scratching a homemade scratch board. We took a board that was 1 inch by about 7 inches wide and wrapped it in sisal rope. We hung it from the door handle of the bathroom (Which is where he sleeps at night and stays while my husband and I work--only temporary until we can make sure his kitten antics won't get him into trouble).

Consistent nail cutting is crucial in my opinion. We have been trimming once a week (which over time helps push the quick back further, so you can trim back further).

We have found that a squirt bottle with water helps tame unwanted behaviors (we are cautious not to hit his ears with the water as it can cause ear issues).

Good luck, and be patient (remember the scratching will never stop--but doing so in the inappropriate places can)

post #6 of 6
Feliway spray has helped significantly with my young boy's couch scratching. It has to be sprayed every day for about 20 or so days until the habit is unlearned. After about a week of spraying I was noticing that I was almost never yelling at him for going after the couch or chairs anymore. He now uses his scratchers.

I had been using Sticky Paws and he would pull the tape off in some places and try to chew on it for some reason

Even with the spray I had to watch him because though he did not try to scratch on the couch or chair, he did start in on some other unsprayed furniture. I had to get him every time and put him by his scratchers. Fortunately he's learned to only use them.

I totally agree with JellyBella about the location of the scratchers. I have many of them throughout the house where they are easily seen by the cats and in their play and sleep areas. We also have two cat towers, but only Lilly the adult cat will use the carpet on the towers for scratching. Forrest likes the twine posts.
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