Six Suggestions to Prevent Cats From Scratching Furniture
Scratching is a fundamental feline activity. There is no way to live with cats and not deal with scratching in some form. The trick is to prevent cats from scratching furniture and redirect their attentions to where it’s OK to scratch.
1. The first thing to stop cats scratching furniture is providing at least one scratching post, several would be better. Cats like stretch and scratch after sleeping or after meals. It makes sense for a scratching post to be near the cat’s food bowls. Cat trees provide for a number of feline activities at the same time. Cats can scratch and climb them rest on them and even use them as observation posts.
2. It can also help to reduce the cat’s need to scratch by keeping the claw tips trimmed. After all one of the reasons cats need to scratch is to get rid of excessively long claw tips.
3. Keeping them entertained is another way to prevent cats from scratching furniture. Boredom and lack of exercise can lead to frustration and silly ideas which is often taken out on the furniture. Actively playing with the cat promotes the bonding process, and the cat gets rid of excess energy. Creating a comfortable spot near a window can provide mental stimulation for when the human is absent.
4. Yet another trick to prevent cats from scratching furniture is to change the texture of the item. Usually cats decide what to scratch based on how it feels under the paws. Taking that away can be very effective. Double-sided tape as well as silver or plastic foils can be used for the purpose. But this method is only recommended with cats the don’t chew or even eat non-edible things. Where this is a problem citrus or eucalyptus oils can be applied to the endangered objects. Such oils are non-toxic, but they will keep most cats at a distance. (Tea tree oil must be avoided!)
5. When they’re caught in the act, one can stop cats scratching furniture with a direct squirt of water or a shout. But cats are smart. This will not deter them in the human’s absence.
6. A new invention, soft vinyl claw caps, can help cat owners in their effort to prevent cats from scratching furniture. Many happy customers testify to the effectiveness of this method. Though it should be considered that a cat’s personality can play a role in the success.
Some readers may wonder why declawing surgery isn’t listed as a recommended method to prevent cats from scratching furniture. Here is why:
Declawing surgery can’t be compared to a manicure because a cat’s claws are more than nails are to a human. The surgery itself is major, with a long and painful recovery period, as claws are direct extensions of the bone. Declawing in fact amputates the last joint of a cat’s toe.
While recovering form the surgery a cat would have no alternative to the continued use of its injured paws. There would be great danger of blood poisoning from digging in the litter box, not to mention excruciating pain. Cats are very sensitive to pain, just as all their senses are very keen, even though they disguise it as much as possible.
Claws are an important part of a cat’s anatomy. Amputation severely changes the paws’ conformation. Both that and being without the primary defense mechanism, its claws, would cause a cat to be at a major disadvantage when facing rivals or predators.
It has been reported that a cat’s personality changes after being declawed due to the surgically imposed limitations. Sadly not all professionals recognize this further side effect.
This brief overview should adequately illustrate why it is an inhumane choice. Notably, it’s also illegal in many countries, and where it isn’t many vets refuse to perform it.
A genuine cat lover would not resort to mutilation for the sake of their furniture. Admittedly, valuable antiques should be protected. Or people may just be a lot more house-proud than the author of this article.
Keeping valuable items in cat free rooms and using one or several of the above suggestions will bring the desired result.
If all these solutions are not enough to reassure some people that they can prevent cats from scratching furniture, there are still ways to interact with cats and do them good. Most people have at least some friends with cats. It’s very enjoyable to make friends with one’s friends’ cats. Sponsoring cats with reputable charities is another great way to help felines in need and keep one’s furniture safe.