How to Stop Cats Scratching Furniture

How to Stop Cats Scratching Furniture

Is your cat scratching household furniture all the time and driving you up the wall? As off-placing as that behavior may well be for some homeowners, cats are just taking part in to their natural instincts and scratching is a very important component of cats’ every day life.

Pam Johnson-Bennett, an author and the former vice president of the Worldwide Association of Animal Actions Consultants, informed Newsweek scratching is a normal and beneficial conduct for cats and serves various critical capabilities. “Scratching is applied to keep claws in excellent ailment by getting rid of the outer lifeless sheath so the new, nutritious claw can be uncovered,” she reported.

The president of The Intercontinental Cat Association (TICA), Vicki Jo Harrison, informed Newsweek that scratching is “a primal instinctual urge for all cats, not just kittens,” and it is one thing they do through their total lives.

As this is envisioned habits, it truly is up to you to deliver other scratching alternate options for their use, “if not they will scratch your furniture,” Zazie Todd, the writer of the upcoming e book PURR: The Science of Earning Your Cat Joyful, advised Newsweek.

In this article we take a nearer glance at how to prevent cats scratching furnishings and why they get pleasure from performing so.

A cat scratching the aspect of a sofa. Scratching will allow cat to specific their psychological states, from stress and anxiety and frustration to pleasure and past.
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Why Is My Cat Scratching My Furnishings?

In addition to strengthening their nails, cats scratch home furnishings to minimize anxiousness, as a form of exercise, to extend their muscle tissues as well as to mark their territory, Harrison said.

Cats typically scratch furnishings to mark their territory in spots you sit. Equivalent to pet dogs, cats have scent glands in the pads of their paws that “release their scent on to anything they scratch,” the TICA president spelled out.

Johnson-Bennett added that cats scratch for both of those visible as properly as olfactory marking. “The claws make marks which other cats can see from a distance. Scent glands in the paw pads go away the olfactory mark to provide the scent info.”

Scratching is a “displacement actions” that makes it possible for cats to express unique emotional states in addition to stress, from frustration to pleasure and further than, the author mentioned.

Scratching gives cats a total overall body stretch, which can help preserve their muscle tissue and backbone flexible, she added.

How Can I Get Cats To Stop Scratching Home furniture?

Include Your Furnishings

“The finest way to stop cats from scratching household furniture is to avoid it completely,” explained Harrison. “When your sofa is covered in a tightly woven fabric, like sued or synthetic indoor-outdoor material, your cat will have a more difficult time getting his claws into it, and ideally the sofa will become much significantly less exciting to him.”

Stay away from Certain Materials

TICA’s Vicki Jo Harrison: “It really is hard not to tempt your cat with a sofa’s tender, sloped sides that look ever-so-scratchable,” warned Harrison. “Having said that, there are a couple of materials to look at and other folks you will want to stay clear of when buying out a new couch.”

“Keep away from nubby textiles,” urged Harrison. “Rough or coarse materials as nicely 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 increase, generating a extend on a tough vertical surface attractive.”

A kitten tearing through a box.
A kitten tearing via a box. Some cats will use the base of a cardboard box for scratching.
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Deliver Scratching Posts

Harrison discussed that in most conditions it truly is a make any difference of distraction, offering “appropriate alternate options to not deny them this day by day ritual” of scratching. “Products these types of as Feliscratch by Feliway redirects cat scratching onto the scratching article,” she explained.

In accordance to Todd, investigation reveals that when delivered with “the suitable type of scratching publish,” cats will use them.

You will find also an affiliation in between the use of beneficial reinforcement and cats employing their write-up. So each time your cat works by using their scratching article, you can reward them with meals. “This will maximize the chance of them utilizing the scratching article once more,” she claimed.

Johnson-Bennett also highlighted the significance of providing fantastic top quality scratching posts, advising they need to be placed in “socially considerable” regions of the house.

Todd also mentioned that those people who have many cats in the house must also deliver numerous scratching posts too, as you would with food stuff resources close to the household.

Choosing the Suitable Scratching Article

Down below are some key factors to bear in mind when picking the finest scratching write-up for your cat.


Lots of scratching posts on the market place have a tendency to be very flimsy or short, in accordance to Todd and “a lot of people pick out ineffective scratching posts,” Johnson-Bennett mentioned. But you may want to get a single that is tall and strong, equally encouraged.

Johnson-Bennett explained: “The post should be tall more than enough to make it possible for a cat to get a complete extend. It must also have a weighty foundation so the cat can put comprehensive body weight towards it to scratch without the write-up toppling in excess of.”

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 advised in opposition to buying carpet-covered posts as “cats don’t have a tendency to like to scratch that texture,” including that sisal is ordinarily the “most claw-appealing” substance.

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

Harrison stated: “Thick carpet or certain rope scratching posts typically produce the most interesting scratchable and attackable area.”


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

Todd extra that “some cats will even scratch the base of a cardboard box,” when cat trees can also present a fantastic scratching surface for them.

A cat arched over a scratch pad.
A cat arched above a scratch pad on the ground. Some cats also like to scratch horizontally.
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You should not Punish Your Cat for Scratching

Pam urged you should “under no circumstances punish a cat for scratching or test to quit the behavior with out giving an allowable and cat-attractive substitution.”

Scratching is balanced emotionally and physically, so if you want cats to halt scratching furnishings you want to give a greater alternative, she said.

Todd agreed that you need to under no circumstances punish cats for scratching home furniture. In addition to scratching becoming organic behavior—meaning “they have to do it someplace”—punishing cats for the act dangers leading to panic or pressure and “they may perhaps associate that anxiety with you,” the creator reported.

A cat scratching the side of staircase.
A cat scratching the carpet at the bottom of a staircase. Scratching is all-natural conduct for cats and serves several critical features.
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