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What to Do if Your Cat's Ruining Your Furniture

Even though our cats snuggle up with us, we can’t forget that they’re wild animals at heart. And felines in the wild like to sharpen their claws, scratch up their territory, and stretch out their agile bodies. But we're guessing you don’t love it when your cat scratches up the furniture. Your beloved pet isn’t doing this on purpose, so you can’t get mad at him. Instead, modify where he gets to cut loose and scratch to his heart’s content. Here’s what to do if your cat is ruining the furniture:

Don’t Yell

Jason Fitzpatrick from LifeHacker says, “Cats are extremely smart animals. If you clap your hands at, yell at, or strike your cat when it is scratching inappropriately, it will quickly associate the punishment with you and simply avoid scratching when you are around.”


Give Your Cat a Scratching Spot

There are several kinds of scratching posts at the pet store. Some are towering, carpeted lofts with dens and dangling toys. Others are flat boards of sisal rope. Buy a few at first to see what your cat enjoys. When shopping for vertical towers, make sure to focus on balance and stability; if it seems like a strong sneeze may knock it over, your cat is going to avoid it. WikiHow adds, “Look for one that is at least as tall as your cat when he/she stands on his/her hind legs.” Your cat will favor taller objects in the house for his stretched-out scratchings if your scratching post isn’t tall enough. Avoid scratching posts made of carpet: these are typically made of inexpensive loops of fiber that will catch on your cat’s claws. If your cat hurts himself on the post, he’ll be very unlikely to return to the scene of the accident. When you first bring your scratching post home, entice your feline by leaving some catnip leaves or kitty treats on the higher steps.

Spray Bottles

This is a psychological game with your cat: you want your cat to associate getting sprayed with water with his scratching on the furniture. But if he sees you spray him, you will be blamed as the cause of the punishment instead of his scratching.

Double-Sided Tape

Place non-permanent, double-sided tape on your furniture anywhere your cat has been scratching. Cats will not like this sticky feeling on their paws and will find a new spot.

Citrus Spray

cat upset

Felines don’t care too much for citrus smells, so using lemon, orange, or grapefruit essential oils on your furniture may actually deter them.

Kitty Manicures

Keeping your cat’s claws at a manageable length is key to keeping them from filing down their claws themselves. Trim nails also means less rips in fabric and carpets. Acclimate your kitten to the nail trimming process when he’s young so he’ll let you continue the routine as he ages. Here’s how do it. It just takes a bit of planning and a lot of patience, but by using these helpful tricks, your cat will stop ruining your furniture in no time.

Craig Davis

Craig is an entrepreneur and business executive with an extensive background in all aspects of small business management. As a long-time dog advocate and guardian, he founded Vet Organics to develop an affordable, all-natural, safe, and effective dog ear infection remedy. With the help of natural chemists and botanical experts, Vet Organics products have helped thousands of dogs around the world find relief for painful, chronic ear infections. Craig went on to design powerful all-natural formulas that address a variety of dog and cat ailments, health-boosting supplements, and nutritious treats. When he isn’t designing solutions for dog and cat well-being, he can be found mentoring young entrepreneurs in his community, traveling the world, or building other businesses with an ethical and sustainable focus.

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