How to Stop Cats Scratching Furnishings

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Is your cat scratching household furniture all the time and driving you up the wall? As off-placing as that conduct could possibly be for some entrepreneurs, cats are just playing to their purely natural instincts and scratching is a crucial section of cats’ each day lives.

Pam Johnson-Bennett, an creator and the previous vice president of the International Affiliation of Animal Habits Consultants, informed Newsweek scratching is a normal and useful behavior for cats and serves many crucial capabilities. “Scratching is employed to hold claws in great issue by removing the outer useless sheath so the new, healthful claw can be exposed,” she said.

The president of The Global Cat Affiliation (TICA), Vicki Jo Harrison, told Newsweek that scratching is “a primal instinctual urge for all cats, not just kittens,” and it truly is something they do during their entire lives.

As this is predicted actions, it really is up to you to provide other scratching options for their use, “or else they will scratch your furniture,” Zazie Todd, the author of the impending e book PURR: The Science of Earning Your Cat Content, explained to Newsweek.

In this article we acquire a nearer glimpse at how to stop cats scratching furniture and why they enjoy doing so.

A cat scratching the side of a sofa. Scratching will allow cat to express their psychological states, from anxiety and disappointment to pleasure and outside of.
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Why Is My Cat Scratching My Home furniture?

In addition to strengthening their nails, cats scratch home furnishings to relieve anxiousness, as a form of training, to extend their muscle groups as well as to mark their territory, Harrison reported.

Cats typically scratch home furnishings to mark their territory in spots you sit. Very similar to canines, cats have scent glands in the pads of their paws that “release their scent on to every little thing they scratch,” the TICA president described.

Johnson-Bennett extra that cats scratch for both of those visual as properly as olfactory marking. “The claws make marks which other cats can see from a length. Scent glands in the paw pads depart the olfactory mark to give the scent info.”

Scratching is a “displacement actions” that makes it possible for cats to express distinct psychological states in addition to panic, from aggravation to joy and beyond, the creator claimed.

Scratching offers cats a whole overall body stretch, which helps keep their muscle tissue and spine flexible, she extra.

How Can I Get Cats To Cease Scratching Furnishings?

Include Your Home furniture

“The most effective way to end cats from scratching home furniture is to keep away from it altogether,” mentioned Harrison. “When your couch is protected in a tightly woven cloth, like sued or synthetic indoor-outside substance, your cat will have a tougher time receiving his claws into it, and with any luck , the sofa will turn into much a lot less exciting to him.”

Avoid Selected Materials

TICA’s Vicki Jo Harrison: “It can be difficult not to tempt your cat with a sofa’s soft, sloped sides that glance ever-so-scratchable,” warned Harrison. “Having said that, there are a couple fabrics to contemplate and others you will want to prevent when picking out a new sofa.”

“Stay clear of nubby textiles,” urged Harrison. “Rough or coarse materials as effectively as loose weave or looped upholstery on vertical surfaces are the worst when it will come to tempting a feline. When cats claw, they are searching to take out the outer layers of their claws as new ones grow, producing a stretch on a rough vertical surface enticing.”

A kitten tearing through a box.
A kitten tearing as a result of a box. Some cats will use the base of a cardboard box for scratching.
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Supply Scratching Posts

Harrison stated that in most instances it’s a subject of distraction, providing “satisfactory possibilities to not deny them this everyday ritual” of scratching. “Items these types of as Feliscratch by Feliway redirects cat scratching onto the scratching put up,” she explained.

In accordance to Todd, analysis reveals that when presented with “the right type of scratching submit,” cats will use them.

There’s also an affiliation involving the use of favourable reinforcement and cats utilizing their article. So just about every time your cat utilizes their scratching put up, you can reward them with food stuff. “This will boost the chance of them employing the scratching article yet again,” she said.

Johnson-Bennett also highlighted the worth of giving good high-quality scratching posts, advising they need to be positioned in “socially substantial” regions of the dwelling.

Todd also claimed that individuals who have numerous cats in the home really should also present many scratching posts far too, as you would with food items means around the dwelling.

Picking the Suitable Scratching Submit

Under are some critical elements to bear in mind when choosing the most effective scratching write-up for your cat.


Lots of scratching posts on the current market are inclined to be pretty flimsy or brief, according to Todd and “several persons select ineffective scratching posts,” Johnson-Bennett noted. But you will want to get one that’s tall and strong, each encouraged.

Johnson-Bennett reported: “The article should be tall plenty of to make it possible for a cat to get a full stretch. It ought to also have a significant foundation so the cat can set complete excess weight towards it to scratch with no the write-up toppling about.”

A kitten on a cat tower.
A kitten on a cat tower. Cat trees can assistance as scratching posts.
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Johnson-Bennett recommended in opposition to shopping for carpet-included posts as “cats will not are inclined to like to scratch that texture,” introducing that sisal is ordinarily the “most claw-interesting” material.

Todd agreed that most cats like a sisal rope submit, but you can also get posts manufactured of carpet or wooden.

Harrison reported: “Thick carpet or sure rope scratching posts often make the most captivating scratchable and attackable floor.”


Some cats also adore to scratch horizontally, so house owners can also get cat scratching mats or pads, which are ordinarily produced of corrugated cardboard, Johnson-Bennett reported.

Todd added that “some cats will even scratch the base of a cardboard box,” when cat trees can also provide a good scratching floor for them.

A cat arched over a scratch pad.
A cat arched around a scratch pad on the flooring. Some cats also like to scratch horizontally.
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Never Punish Your Cat for Scratching

Pam urged you need to “in no way punish a cat for scratching or check out to halt the conduct without giving an allowable and cat-appealing substitute.”

Scratching is nutritious emotionally and physically, so if you want cats to cease scratching home furnishings you need to provide a much better option, she claimed.

Todd agreed that you ought to under no circumstances punish cats for scratching home furnishings. In addition to scratching currently being pure behavior—meaning “they have to do it someplace”—punishing cats for the act dangers leading to anxiety or strain and “they may affiliate that anxiety with you,” the writer said.

A cat scratching the side of staircase.
A cat scratching the carpet at the bottom of a staircase. Scratching is pure conduct for cats and serves numerous critical capabilities.
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