How To Discourage A Cat From Scratching Valuable Furniture
It is exciting to watch your kitty engaged in her first duel with the furniture. However, when it becomes a repeat occurrence, you get involved in the battle too. You yell at her incessantly to come off the woodwork, but like a stubborn child she refuses to budge. After the furniture, she takes joy in an expensive carpet happily ripping it to shreds. Fed up with such aggression and disobedience, many cat owners choose to declaw their cat seeing it as the only way to the break the habit; you must have thought of it too.
Declawing a cat is one of the most brutal things you can think of. Scratching is not the fault of your pet. It is an instinctive behavior and a functional one too. A cat marks its territory by clawing at objects. The scent glands in its paws release an odor during the scratching action. Scratching is also a form of exercise for your pet. It is a method to relieve frustration and sharpen claws.
It might seem like we favor your pet, but we don’t. We understand that scratching and clawing causes a lot of destruction around the house and inconvenience to you. However, there are methods other than declawing to correct this destructive habit. We have discussed them below.
Pointers to Build Good Scratching Habits in Cats
The first solution is to provide your pet with an alternate place to scratch. This includes purchasing and installing scratch posts around the house; approximately in 2-3 places that cat frequent visits. Posts are made of varied materials including wood and carpet. Choose a material your pet likes or is accustomed to. Give your cat treats and rewards when she goes for the post instead of the furniture.
When you introduce your cat to the scratch post, do not force her to start using it almost immediately. There are different ways to encourage her to use it. Place it in front of the furniture unit she uses. Attract your kitty to the post by using dangle toys or scent the post with catnip.
Make furniture, woodwork, carpets and rugs unavailable to the cat. Cover it with thick plastic, aluminum foil and double-sided tape. The new surface is not very appealing to the cat. She will leave the regular place and search for new one to flex her muscles.
Spraying citrus deodorizer on furniture, drapes and rugs is another way to protect it from your pet’s wrath. Felines have a strong dislike for citrus smells.
Provide your pet with other means of entertainment. Give her disposable cardboard toys that she can chew and scratch. A shelf or perch setup near the window is also a good source of entertainment for your pet.
Punish your cat every time she scratches the furniture or rips the carpet. When she attacks the furniture, spray her with water, shake a few pennies in a coffee can (cats hate the sound) or yell at her. Your cat will soon associate scratching with punishment and stop.