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9 Ultimate Ways to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Furniture

How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Furniture

How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Furniture

As a cat owner, you understand the joy and companionship of having a feline friend. However, one common issue many cat owners face is their cats scratching furniture. Not only can this behaviour damage your belongings, but it can also be quite frustrating. Thankfully, there are effective strategies you can use to stop your cat from scratching furniture. In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind this behaviour and provide practical solutions to keep your furniture safe while ensuring your cat remains happy and healthy.

Understanding Why Cats Scratch

Before diving into the methods to stop your cat from scratching furniture, it’s important to understand why cats scratch in the first place. Scratching is a natural and necessary behaviour for cats due to several reasons:

1. Territorial Marking

Cats have scent glands in their paws. When they scratch surfaces, they are marking their territory with both scent and visual marks. This behaviour helps them feel secure in their environment.

2. Exercise and Stretching

Scratching allows cats to stretch their muscles and tendons. It’s a form of exercise that keeps them agile and healthy.

3. Grooming and Nail Maintenance

Scratching helps cats remove the outer layer of their claws, keeping them sharp and healthy. It’s a vital part of their grooming routine.

4. Stress Relief

Scratching can be a way for cats to relieve stress or frustration. It’s a soothing activity that can calm them down.

Also related: Effective Home Remedies to Stop Dogs from Eating Cat Poop

9 Strategies to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Furniture

Now that we understand why cats scratch, let’s explore effective methods to redirect this behaviour away from your furniture.

1. Provide Appropriate Scratching Posts

Invest in high-quality scratching posts or pads. Place them strategically around your home, especially near the areas where your cat likes to scratch. Here are some tips for choosing and placing scratching posts:

  • Material: Cats have preferences for different materials. Some prefer sisal, while others like carpet or cardboard. Experiment to find what your cat likes best.
  • Height and Stability: Ensure the scratching post is tall enough for your cat to stretch fully and stable enough not to tip over.
  • Location: Place scratching posts in prominent areas where your cat spends a lot of time. If your cat has a favourite piece of furniture to scratch, place the post nearby to encourage a transition.

2. Use Deterrents

Make your furniture less appealing to your cat by using deterrents. Here are a few effective deterrents:

  • Double-Sided Tape: Cats dislike the sticky feeling of double-sided tape. Place it on the areas of furniture your cat likes to scratch.
  • Aluminium Foil: Covering furniture with aluminium foil can deter cats due to the texture and sound.
  • Citrus Spray: Cats tend to dislike the smell of citrus. Use a citrus-scented spray on your furniture to keep your cat away.

3. Regular Nail Trimming

Keep your cat’s claws trimmed to reduce damage from scratching. Regular nail trims can also prevent your cat from getting its claws stuck in fabrics. If you’re unsure how to cut your cat’s nails, ask your veterinarian for a demonstration.

4. Soft Paws

Consider using Soft Paws, which are vinyl nail caps that you can glue onto your cat’s claws. They prevent damage to furniture and typically last for 4-6 weeks. These are a humane alternative to declawing, which is painful and can lead to behavioural issues.

5. Positive Reinforcement

Reward your cat for using the scratching posts. Use treats, praise, and affection to reinforce this positive behaviour. Whenever you see your cat scratching the appropriate post, immediately reward it for creating a positive association.

6. Interactive Playtime

Engage your cat in regular playtime to burn off excess energy. Interactive toys, like feather wands and laser pointers, can keep your cat entertained and reduce the urge to scratch furniture out of boredom.

7. Create a Cat-Friendly Environment

Ensure your home environment is stimulating for your cat. Provide climbing trees, shelves, and perches to keep your cat occupied and satisfied. A content cat is less likely to engage in destructive behaviour.

8. Use Feliway

Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the scent of a cat’s natural facial pheromones. It can create a sense of calm and reduce stress-related behaviours like scratching. Use Feliway diffusers or sprays in areas where your cat tends to scratch.

9. Consult with a Veterinarian

If your cat’s scratching behaviour is excessive and none of the above methods seem to work, consult with your veterinarian. There could be underlying health or behavioural issues that need to be addressed.

Also related: Essential Guide to Cat Health and Behavior: Tips for Pet Owners

Preventing Future Scratching Issues

Preventing your cat from scratching furniture is an ongoing process. Here are some additional tips to ensure long-term success:

Rotate Scratching Posts

To keep things interesting for your cat, rotate the scratching posts and pads every few months. Introducing new textures and shapes can keep your cat engaged.

Regularly Inspect and Replace

Inspect the scratching posts regularly for wear and tear. Replace them as needed to ensure your cat always has an appealing place to scratch.

Keep Up with Training

Consistent training is key. Reinforce positive behaviour continuously and be patient. It may take time for your cat to adapt to the new scratching alternatives fully.

Be Patient and Persistent

Changing your cat’s behaviour won’t happen overnight. Be patient and persistent with the strategies you implement. Consistency is crucial to achieving long-term success.


Stopping your cat from scratching furniture is a challenge, but with the right approach, it’s entirely possible. By understanding the reasons behind your cat’s scratching behaviour and providing appropriate alternatives, you can protect your furniture while keeping your cat happy and healthy. Remember, a well-cared-for and stimulated cat is less likely to engage in destructive scratching. Use the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, and you’ll be on your way to a scratch-free home in no time.

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