It is in a cat’s instinct to keep their nails sharp at all times, so cats tend to scratch by nature. When a cat is living indoors, this can however cause a problem to your furniture. So you might wonder how to stop a cat from scratching furniture.
Cat Nail Function
Cat’s need their nails to stay sharp for the most effective tool in their life. Cats climb with their claws and nails and catch their prey with it. They use their nail to scratch an itch away and are more silent in hunting by walking on their toes.
To make their nails sharp they bite them or scratch wood. By this scratching behaviour the outer layer of the nail will fall off and the sharper nail beneath will reveal.
Can You Stop Them From Scratching Furniture?
sharpening their nails on wood, also means they could do this on your wooden furniture or leather sofa. Instead of trying to stop them entirely, you should focus your energy on diverting their behaviour to other surfaces.
There are a few measures you could take.
Install Scratching Posts
If you teach your cat to use designated scratching posts to sharpen their nails, you can at least minimize the damage done to your furniture. Your happy cat can now scratch at will at the special scratching post(s) in the house.
We installed one on a chair, it fits exactly around the leg of the chair. We also have three cat trees with scratching posts installed.
There are a number of different scratching posts and scratching surfaces available nowadays. If you provide variety, it might attract your cat more to use those instead. You may find them in rope form, cardboard, carpeting, wood and upholstery.
You could also clip the nails of your cat. By clipping the nails, you will not hurt the cat and the nails will be less sharp. Less sharp nails is good for both your skin and your furniture.
Declawing is not a good idea, because the cat’s nail is part of the finger bone of a cat. Your cat would suffer an enormous amount of pain and trauma from losing their claws and fingers / toes.
We wrote a guide on how to clip nails on cats.
Reduce Scratching Behaviour By Feliway Pheromones
Feliway is a proven product to reduce bad behaviour in cats within your house. Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that affects cats in such a way that they relax more and take it easier. The pheromones act like a friend zone in your house. They ‘smell’ a scent of familiarity and feel more at peace.
Although scratching is an instinctual behaviour, the scratching within your house might be a stress related issue. Feliway will deal with the stress part in your cat in most cases, so that your cat can relax more and focus on scratching the wood outside or the designated scratching post area’s in your house.
Discourage Scratching Furniture
Discourage your cat to sharpen their nails on unwanted furniture or other objects. If you tape plastic, sandpaper or vinyl carpet runner onto your furniture, it may discourage your cat to scratch there.