- Cats love scratching your furniture, and it is very hard to stop them.
- Cats do not scratch just for fun; it is important for their health as well.
- Declawing is not an option to stop your cats ruining furniture
- Following simple steps for five days can help you stop your cat from scratching furniture.
We all love our cats and little things they do. They look adorable when they relax and purr. Their playfulness makes the day and relaxes the mind. But when thing that annoys and makes things difficult for the cat-owners is the scratching of furniture. It is very irritating when you fail to stop your cat from ruining furniture. If you are fed up with your cat scratching your furniture and upholstery you have come to the right place.
Why do cats ruin furniture
Before you find foolproof ways to protect your furniture and ultimately stop your cat from ruining furniture, know one thing that scratching different surfaces is in the nature of cats. It is not just their force of habit, but scratching is necessary for cats due to several reasons.
To stretch. Scratching is an important exercise for the muscles and tendons in the cat’s body. The stretching from scratching exercises important muscles and tendons in the cat’s body from the toes to neck and shoulders.
To mark. Interestingly, cats’ paws contain scent glands and scratching releases odors from these scent glands for the cat to mark its territory. It is an important activity for social interaction and cats use this as a method of communication. Even if you own one cat, she will still feel the need to mark her territory and communicate with her surroundings in this manner.
To maintain claw health. As cats shed their hair, they also shed their nails. Scratching is important to shed the outside nail husk every so often or whenever they need to. Scratching helps the claws to stay healthy.
To feel good. As important scratching is for the cat’s health, it is also very enjoyable and gratifying. Cats feel contentment in scratching. Scratching relieves stress and decreases the possibility of developing unwanted behaviors.
Is declawing an option:
Now that you know why scratching is important to cats, you might be wondering if it would be best just to have your cat declawed, so you don't have to worry about your cat ruining the furniture. If this is what you are thinking, then understand that declawing is more than just removing claws. It is an amputation of the digits up to the first joint; in simple words, removal of bone from which the claws grow. It is not only painful for the cat but can derail their health too.
Let’s suppose you have your cat declawed with an expensive surgery, which makes the process less painful there will still be other complications. Amputating the first digit will probably change the way your cat balances its body and walks. This will have a serious effect on its gait and the way it interacts with the surroundings.
This is why declawing is considered inhumane and is banned in several countries. In the US, many states and towns have banned declawing cats. Soon declawing will be illegal in all U.S. states.
In a nutshell, here is why you should not think of declawing:
- it is painful
- changes the gait of cat
- disturbs the body balance
- scratching gives many benefits to the cats, after declawing they won’t be able to maintain their claw health and feel satisfied from scratching
- it is illegal in many countries
- it is inhumane
How to save your furniture?
Now that you know how important clawing is and declawing is not an option you would want to go for, you have to find ways to save your furniture from that cute little devil of yours.
Since it is impossible to choose between living without furniture and giving away your cat, you have to find a middle way. Now it may seem hard, but you can train your cat so that it stops scratching your furniture.
But that is for the next section. Until you are not able to stop your cat from scratching your furniture, there are immediate steps you have to take to protect your furniture. Here is what you should do.
Cover with a sheet or throw knit
Cover your furniture with plain washable sheets. Cotton sheets are easy to tuck under the sofas and make it less attractive for the cats. Lay plain cloth over a side table and lamp table in your bedroom and living room.
If your cat sits on top of your coffee table or kitchen island, you can place a plastic table runner to stop your cat from ruining the furniture.
If the sofa is your cat’s favorite cozy corner, you can place a knit throw on it. Get a knit throw, especially for your cat to sleep and relax on. Your cat can scratch it to its heart’s content without ruining your furniture.
Choose the right fabric
The fabric of your upholstery plays an important role in protecting the furniture. Cats are more attracted to woolen and velvet textures. If you are looking for new furniture, so it is better to avoid these fabrics for upholstery.
Sofas that are covered with micro-finer fabric can be less attractive for cats to scratch on.
Train your cat to stop ruining your furniture
You can get your cat to stop running your furniture. Although it will require some work and patience, it is worth the time and effort. Here is a five-day training method for your cat to stop them from scratching your furniture.
Day 1. Purchase some interactive cat toys, and cat scratching pots. This is a crucial step, and you have to carefully choose the right kind of scratching pots and toys, considering how well they will work for your cat. You can also make some toys of your own, for instance, join a few wool yarns together and make a fun and colorful toy for your cat. Or make string of crumpled paper balls for your cat.
When buying a cat scratching post, make sure that it is strong, sturdy, tall, and has a material that your cat will love to scratch.
Day 2. Place the cat scratching posts strategically in your home. Don’t place the posts where your cat doesn’t often go. Place where it usually roams around or at the favorite corner of your cat, perhaps near the window, or the center table. Cats love to stretch and scratch, especially after waking up. Place a cat post at or right in front of their sleeping area.
Day3. You must have covered your furniture and sofas with sheets to protect from the cat. For extra protection, you can use double-sided tape on the couch. You can also spray an orange-scented spray as cats run away from the citrus scent.
Day4. If your cat has grown fonder of your furniture than the cat post, apply catnip or honeysuckle on the pots to make it more interesting for your cat.
Day5. See how well your cat is enjoying the cat post and toys. If they are still scratching on your furniture, apply some more orange-scented spray.
Keep in mind that not all cats can get trained soon and will stop scratching your furniture. It can take a week for your cat to stop ruining your furniture and start scratching the cat post and the toys, or even more.