I know what your problem is, you live with a cat that scratches, bites your furniture and tears your sofa, you are probably so desperate that you have given up all hope of having your furniture intact again.
It is very possible that you were wrong. You try to train your cat not to do something that is actually a normal and essential part of its feline nature.
Why do cats scratch furniture
First, I summarize you by saying that scratching the furniture for your cat fulfills two functions: territorial marking and a biological need, the arrangement of its nails.
Scratching for your cat is important and more complex than you can imagine. You may think that scratching with their nails is their way of getting revenge or destroying their environment.
If you consider that your cat’s motive for scratching is a simple act of destruction, you can damage the relationship you have with him, because he will fear scratching in your presence to avoid physical or verbal punishment.
It is convenient to know that cats may not scratch or mark the place in the presence of family members, however, they will take advantage of any time they are alone to do so. What needs to be achieved is that his scratching area is less attractive to him, and over time he loses interest.
There are four reasons for your cat to scratch furniture:
- It’s good for your claws
When your cat scratches an object, it removes the dead outer nail sheath and allows healthy new growth underneath. If you look at where your cat likes to scratch, you may find several crescent-shaped nail caps. Even if they scratch the nails they will continue to grow but scratching will help keep them healthy.
- Allow your cat to stretch his muscles
Sometimes it helps the cat to stretch the muscles of its back and shoulders. Scratching provides valuable exercise and stretch for your cat’s body muscles and tendons , from the toes to the neck and shoulders.
- Serve your cat to mark his territory
When the cat scratches with its claws vertically, the marks left on the object create visual and olfactory cues, detectable by other cats and animals. Outdoors, these visual markers are important because they indicate to approaching cats that they are entering territory where another cat has been or is currently residing. This warning can reduce the number of physical confrontations between cats.
Scratching also creates an olfactory mark, there are scent glands on the paw pads that release pheromones when the cat scratches. Any cat that gets close enough to the scratched object will be able to gain valuable information about the cat it scratched.
- Relieve your cat’s stress
Scratching also serves as an emotional release for cats . When your cat is anxious, happy, excited, or frustrated, some of that pent-up excitement can be released by scratching.
Think of the times you have seen your cat scratch an object while preparing dinner or when you come home from work. You can even do it after an encounter with a companion cat. This ability to have an emotional release through scratching is healthy for the cat.
Four tricks to stop your cat from scratching your furniture
The good news is that with this plan you can get your cat to stop scratching your furniture. Follow the simple tips below:
- Use scratching posts
Locate and purchase several cat scratching posts , preferably starting as kittens, stable, sturdy, and rough-textured scratching posts. You can sprinkle the poles with “catnip” or “honeysuckle” to make them more attractive.
Choose places that your cat likes to hang out, near windows , the living room or in a room. Cats also love to stretch and scratch when they first wake up from a nap, so it’s a good idea to place a pole near their usual sleeping area.
Cats scratch in part to mark territory, so do not place the pole in a corner where it cannot be used. Do not forget to also place it in front of the area of the furniture that your cat is scratching. When you see him start to use the scratchers, praise your cat and try to reward him.
- Trim the cat’s nails
Trimming the nails will prevent the cat from scratching as much, so be sure to trim the nails every one to two weeks. It’s easier to get cats used to this if you start out as kittens.
- Use deterrents
You can use Sticky Paws double-sided cat tapes on furniture, which makes the surface unpleasant for cats.
Use a feliway scratch spray , which reduces the cat’s desire to mark the scent.
Spray the furniture with a citrus-scented spray – cats have a natural aversion to citrus smells.
- Use silicone cat nail covers
Glue soft plastic covers over the cat’s nails every four to six weeks. You can buy them at most pet stores.