Picture this: you’re lying in bed, snuggling with your cat, and suddenly they saunter off and start scratching your bedpost, the carpet, the drapes, and whatever else they can sink their claws into. No one wants their cat getting their claws all over their stuff, especially expensive furniture. Instead of having to buy a brand new sofa to get rid of claw marks and excessive cat fur, try any of these tips to keep your cat from scratching furniture.
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- Understanding Why Your Cat Scratches — First, let’s take a look at why your cat scratches so much. They scratch because it stretches their bodies and allows them to mark their territory. As they scratch, they’re shedding old layers on the claws to keep them sharp and healthy. Not to mention, it’s a major stress reliever for them. Even though you understand now why your cat scratches so much, your cat is still going to scratch what they can and their pet hair is still going to get everywhere. Next, we’ll look at tips on how to discourage your kitty from scratching furniture they shouldn’t be scratching. As for all that cat fur, try using dryer sheets for pet hair to reduce pet hair and static cling on your clothing.
- How to Discourage Your Cat from Scratching Furniture — Yes, your cat will still continue to scratch. The trick is to make sure your cat scratches their toys or their scratching post and not the furniture. To discourage your cat from getting their claws all over your couch, get them toys that will keep them entertained. They can get their claws all over a toy mouse instead. You’ll want to position a scratching post in an area where your cat loves to hang out, such as near the window where they like to sunbathe or by the couch, so they go for the post first — not the couch.
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- Encourage Your Cat to Scratch the Scratching Post — We’re all about positive reinforcement, so encourage your cat to scratch the scratching post. Reward them with treats whenever they use the scratching post instead of the couch. If you ever catch them in the act of clawing at your furniture, redirect kitty’s bad scratching by making a loud noise to distract them. As an alternative to treats, give them catnip as a reward.
- Groom Your Cat — Grooming your cat with a pet hair removal tool is a great opportunity for you two to bond and remove excess fur from your cat. That way, all their cat hair ends up on the brush and not on your jeans or the sofa. To further prevent your cat from scratching your furniture, clip your cat’s nails on a regular basis. It’s like giving them a mini pedicure and manicure for their cat claws. Keep in mind that this is different from declawing your cat, which we’ll look at next.
- Avoid Declawing Your Cat — There are some pet parents who still believe in declawing a cat, but it’s been outlawed in several cities in the United States. According to Alley Cat Allies, New York state became the first state to ban declawing in 2019, followed by Maryland in 2022. Why is declawing so bad for cats? It’s like cutting off a person’s finger at the last knuckle since it’s the surgical amputation of the last joints in a cat’s paws. It causes horrible pain and permanent damage. Instead, there are plenty of other methods you can do to ensure your cat’s claws are well-groomed instead of removed completely.
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- Try Cat Socks — Even though you’ve groomed your cat, they still like to scratch everything everywhere all at once. Declawing is out of the question, so consider cat socks or boots, aka cat mittens, instead. You can also glue soft nail caps onto your cat’s claws. It’ll limit the damage that your cat’s claws can do.
- Protect Your Furniture with Vinyl Guards — What happens if your cat just won’t stop scratching? Fear not — we have a solution to protect your furniture from your cat’s claws. Install clear vinyl panels on your furniture, available in many sizes. They usually come with screw pins, so the panels are easy to install. The covers will provide sleek protection whenever your cat tries to claw their way through the clear panel.
Instead of punishing your cat for scratching furniture, practice rewarding your cat with positive reinforcement. If you see them using their scratching post instead of putting their paws all over the couch, give your cat a treat. They’ll begin to associate scratching a post instead of clawing on the furniture with receiving yummy treats. Not to mention, there will be less pet hair all over your furniture. Still stuck with pet hair on your bed, clothing, carpets, and pretty much everything else? Use a cat hair remover to remove excess cat fur from clothing, furniture, and your carpets in a snap. Then, you’ll both be on your merry way to cuddling together on the living room sofa in peace.