How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture

Does your cat scratch your furniture constantly? Tackling destructive scratching in cats can be tricky, but there’s a few sneaky tips that will help your cat become purr-fectly behaved in no time. In this blog we explain why your cheeky kitten loves to claw your furniture and give you a complete breakdown on how to stop cats from scratching furniture.

The big question: why do cats scratch?

Destructive scratching in cats is not uncommon, and it’s normal for cats to want to scratch something in their environment instinctually. Cats just love something to sink their claws into.

Here’s why:

Turning territorial: Cats often scratch surfaces to mark their territory and leave a scent that is uniquely theirs. Since they have scent glands on their paws, scratching surfaces is a great way to assert their place in your home. Take it as a complaint – they’re really trying to be a part of the family and make themselves at home.

Inherent intuition: Scratching for cats is a built-in instinct. The urge to scratch for cats is naturally strong and, if a surface has the right look, texture, and feels good on their claws, it’s hard for them to stay away.

Rise and shine with exercise: Cats scratch when they’ve just woken up from a nap. This is similar to the way that we usually yawn and stretch when we first get out of bed. Cats scratch to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws. It can also help strengthen and stretch their muscles. Cats may also scratch due to boredom or to work off energy.

A self-made manicure: Many cats love to scratch furniture to keep their nails healthy and remove the dead outer layer of their claws.

Related: 8 Strange Cat Behaviours and Their Meaning

How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture

Deterring your cat from common surfaces

While your kitten may be too cute for words right now, as they get older the scratching will get worse, and your furniture may suffer a lot more damage if you let your fuzzy feline’s bad habits continue.

To stop this behaviour, you have to send your cat the right message. One way to tell your furry kitten “This is not where you can scratch” is to cover off-limits surfaces with textures your cat will find unappealing on their paws. Try using double-sided sticky tape or aluminium foil.

Also be sure to clip your cat’s nails regularly. Shorter claws tend to do less damage.

Providing other options

Another easy trick is to place scratching posts next to your furniture as ‘legal’ alternatives. It may take a few months for your cat to make the change but then your cat should start using the scratching posts consistently.

Try to understand your fur-ocious feline’s scratching preferences. The object you use as a replacement should be just as appealing to your cat, as well as convenient and easy to access. A good idea is to start making note of the physical features of the objects your cat is scratching.

Here are a few more considerations to keep in mind:

  • Where are your cat’s favourite pieces of furniture placed? This could be in the lounge, close to your sleeping area, or near the entrance to your home.
  • What texture do these objects have? Most cats prefer coarse surfaces, but some may go for something a bit softer on their claws.
  • How tall are these objects? Try to ensure that the height of the objects is accessible to your cute kitten but will still allow them to have a good stretch.

One more pro tip: Most cats hate the smell of citrus or menthol. Try attaching cotton balls dipped in cologne or a muscle rub to frequently clawed furniture to deter your cat.

How to reward your loving cat

There’s no better way to say “I love you”; to your precious pet than by giving your animal the best possible care available. Looking after the health and wellbeing of your pet is the ultimate gift.

We love Oneplan’s range of Pet Insurance plans because they provide a variety of options that are perfect for your furry playmate, and are designed specifically to take care of the health and wellness needs of your cat.

Plans start at as little as R80pm with the Pet Accident Plan, but you can upgrade anytime to the Pet Super Plan for R430pm. Oneplan Pet Insurance is the pawfect option for your furry family member.

Here are a few examples of the must-have services that they provide:

Quality insurance with extensive benefits

  • Get paid BEFORE you see the vet on your Onecard with their handy Oneplan App.
  • Oneplan Pet Parents get exclusive access and up to 25% DISCOUNT on the Onepet Premium Pet Store for the lifetime of their policy.
  • A friendly Oneplan team who is always available for a chat and ready to provide some extra guidance throughout every step of the process.

We hope this blog gave you all the guidance you need to put your feline friend’s bad scratching habits to an end and save your beloved furniture in the process!

Yours in Not-so-average Pet Advice,

The Team