Cats make wonderful pets: they like playing and cuddling when you are sleeping, they love purring just because they are close to you. However, they have one disadvantage – scratching. Cats love scratching on your favorite pieces of furniture and they usually destroy them.
Cat owners should realize that their pets are not scratching just to make them angry. Scratching is a natural feline instinct and cats just need to do it as they breathe and purr. So it is very important that cat owners understand why their cats scratch.
Scratching is not just an instinct. By doing it cats sharpen their claws and remove any dead cells and nail sheaths. The action of scratching is also something like a physical therapy for the cat’s muscles and tendons.
Your cat may have two scratching target. The first one is near important territorial spots, including the sleeping area, the litter tray, the playing areas, etc. The second target includes visible spots like doorways, windows, furnishings, carpets and curtains.
HERE ARE 13 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR CAT STOP SCRATCHING ON YOUR FURNITURE
1. The first and the easiest, but also very painful way, is declawing. Many cat owners choose this method but a large number of vets refuse to do such surgery as they believe it is painful and unnecessary. These vets suggest that cat owners should train their cat to use scratching posts.
2. Provide your cat with many scratching opportunities. Felines love to scratch after they have slept or eaten, and for this reason you need to put something suitable for scratching near the sleeping and eating areas. A scratching post is a good idea because it provides great scratching surface. In addition, a scratching post allows the cat to play, stretch and exercise.
3. Consider the opportunity to cover your furniture with a material disliked by cats, such as double-sided tape, plastic or aluminum foil. Cats hate sticky things on their fur so you can try putting some double-sided tape on the carpet. Make sure that the tape is safe for both the cat and the furniture.
4. Your cat will have less destructive behavior if you provide it with many opportunities to exercises and if you stimulate it mentally. Frustrated or bored cats are more likely to scratch on your furnishings and destroy them. Allow your cat to play with different toys that are made of various materials and are of different sizes.
5. It is recommended to cut the cat’s nails regularly. This will reduce the damages on your furniture. It will be easier if the kitten is used to having its nails cut when the cat is young.
6. Attach a soda can filled with some pennies to your furniture. This “trap” will start making noise as soon as the cat starts scratching on the furniture.
7. Pin a doorknob alarm to the curtains. The alarm will make a sound when the cat decides to use the drapes as a ladder.
8. It may be useful to place a window perch for your cat. This will guarantee that the cat is fully entertained for a few hours. The window should be closed so that your cat can’t fall out and hurt itself.
9. A good idea is to squirt the cat with a water pistol or a squirt bottle every time it scratches on the furniture. However, this method won’t prevent the scratching when you are not at home.
10. In case your cat gets to a high bookcase with by jumping from a chair, you can remove the chair, so the cat won’t be able to get to her favorite perch.
11. Another tip is to tape inflated balloons to areas where the cat likes to scratches. When the cat pops a balloon, it will not scratch in the same area again. After the balloon is popped you need to clear its pieces immediately because the cat may try eating them.
12. There are some special devices that make annoying sounds to keep the cats away from areas that are forbidden for scratching. These devices are available in pet shops and online stores.
13. You can also use bitter apple spray or real orange peels. There are very good deterrents.
Cat owners should avoid physical punishment because such methods may only cause fear or aggressive behavior. The best physical punishment can achieve is that the cat won’t scratch when the owner is around.
Cats can’t stop scratching entirely because scratching is a natural instinct. So, no matter what method you choose, you can just reduce the scratching and the damages it causes.