I have been a cat owner pretty much my entire life and every single one of them has scratched the furniture or walls at some point in their lives. Even with scratching posts, pads, toys aplenty, they still love to scratch the furniture. So what gives? Why do they scratch the furniture?
Instinct is a Big Factor
Cats need to scratch in order to strengthen and sharpen their claws. It also helps shed to the outer layer which keeps them healthy. In addition the claw health, scratching helps mark their territory with visual markers and a scent that this is their domain.
They Love the Feeling
Most of the time when your cat scratches it is also because they are stretching. They love the feeling of stretching up and sometime out as they knead and flex their claws, especially after a cat nap. The fabric and texture plays a big factor as well. Cat are particularly fond of a scratching things that they can really sink their paws into like a course or textured surface. This is why they love furniture so much, it feels really good on their claws.
What You Can Do Stop It
Since they are mostly about texture, putting something that is displeasing to them, like double sided tape or sand paper over it helps deter them from scratching. After you change the texture of the furniture you no longer want them to scratch make sure they have a post with a similar texture to transfer to. It helps to rub the new post on the furniture they love to scratch and transfer the scent from their paws. Sweeten the deal by rubbing catnip on it too. Then make sure to give kitty lots of praise and maybe even some treats for scratching in the proper place.
Trust me, if your cat is scratching it is best to nip it in the bud. I tried to put tape on my couch a few years ago, but it was too late and now my couch looks like this….
What tricks do you use to get your cat to stop scratching your furniture? Leave us a comment and let us know!