Similar to their feline ancestors, cats have a tendency to scratch where they see fit. While it can be frustrating, it's a natural behavior that contributes to their well-being and their health. Here are a few tips and tricks to prevent them from scratching your furniture!

To begin with, it is important to understand why cats scratch furniture. Our feline friends have an instinctual need to scratch. It stems primarily from their need to sharpen and file their claws. Without scratching, cats grow claws that are too long, causing discomfort and even infection.

Moreover, cats scratch furniture to mark their territory. In the wild, felines scratch trees to leave their trace and claim their territory. Cats also have glands between the pads of their paws which secrete pheromones. This chemical allows them to leave their scent.

Avoid declawing at all costs

While declawing may seem like a simple solution, it means amputating up to the first joint of their paws. This procedure is very painful and can lead to complications regarding their balance and interaction with the world around them. It is also considered to be an inhumane procedure. Please try to avoid this at all costs.

Simple solutions

You can easily divert a cat's attention by buying objects that they are allowed to scratch. Whether it be a scratching post, cat tower, log, or a carpet - it's important for cat owners to give their cats a plethora of scratching options. If you are a new cat owner, you should buy a variety of different materials and sizes to see what your cat prefers.

Make sure that the objects are in areas where your cat can easily access them. The easier it is to find, the more often they will use it.

If your cat does not understand that the objects are there for him to scratch, do not be afraid to show him!

If giving your cat different scratching options does not work, there are sprays that are specifically created to prevent cats from scratching furniture. These sprays can be found at most pet stores or vet offices. They are designed to emit pheromones that deter your cat from continuing. Although useful, the spray can be quite pricey.

Most importantly, do not forget to cut the claws of your pet regularly. It's possible to do this at home using suitable nail clippers. Make sure to cut the dewclaw gently. If it is not regularly trimmed, it could grow into the foot. If you are nervous or have never trimmed claws before, make sure to ask your local vet for help.

A beautiful, young tabby cat playing on a cat tower, with a blue wall in the background.

Cat tower criteria

It is important that from a young age, the cat has an area where they can roam free and follow their feline instincts. A good scratching post or cat tower is the perfect solution.

When choosing a cat tower, make sure to keep this advice in mind:

    • The cat tower should be at least one meter (three feet).
    • The cat tower should be very stable. With cats jumping around all the time, it's better to avoid falls and other similar accidents.
    • The cat tower should have scratching posts as well as places where they can hide.
    • The cat tower should have large enough areas for them to stay on.
    • Comfort is a huge factor when it comes to choosing a cat tower.

    Has your cat been scratching your furniture lately?

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    Elizabeth J Taking notes !