Getting off the bed, heading to the living room and seeing scratches and claw marks on the sofa, is one of those nightmares that give the cat owners a mini heart attack. A true nightmare, right?
This can also happen when you return to your sweet home after a long busy day, and see your brand new couch got scratches badly.
You can live without furniture, but cannot even imagine your home without cats. But there is something that needs to be done to get rid of such a problem.
Let me tell you something; there are hundreds and thousands of cat owners who successfully solved the issue. So in this article, I am going to tell you some effective and useful tips that will keep the feline off the furniture.
Why Do Cats Have to Scratch?
Before jumping onto the serious talks, let me tell you some interesting facts about why do cats scratch objects. Once you know the reason, it will be easier for you to deal with the issue.
– Cats feel great when they scratch something. Such behavior helps cats to reduce stress and the possibility of developing unusual behaviors.
– They perform the exercise in this way. It helps them to stretch muscles and tendons from the toes to neck and shoulders.
– Cats paws have scent glands that release an odor when they scratch something. That odor on the scratch marks indicates its territory. It’s one of the ways how cats socially communicate with each other. Even if you have only one cat, still it will do such a thing.
Prevent Cats from Jumping and Scratching on Furniture
First, I will talk about how can you protect your precious and beautiful furniture from cats.
• Make Scratching Objects Less Appealing
Why do cats scratch furniture? A simple answer to this question would be because the furniture seems appealing to them. When your cat roams around the house, it gets attracted by furniture appealing to her and so starts scratching. Therefore, what if you make your furniture less appealing?
Keep your blinds closed. It will discourage the cat to come close to it and look outside or do sunbathe.
There shouldn’t be any extra padding on the furniture when not in use. Lounging on the couch attracts the cats and they get on the furniture. And hopefully, you have a good idea of what happens next.
Make sure there is no food on any surface of the kitchen as well.
• Double-Sided Sticky Tape
You can apply double-sided sticky tape on surfaces where your cat scratches more often. Cats don’t like sticky things. So, when your feline will get on a furniture surface that has sticky tape laid on, it will not even come close to it again.
Make sure you buy good quality sticky tape; they don’t leave sticky residue on furniture. However, this tape isn’t suitable for leather furniture, as it tends to leave sticky residue on the leathery surface.
• Line the Furniture with Aluminum Foil
If you have unused furniture in your home and you want to protect them from your little tiger, the best way would be to use aluminum foil. Cats don’t like slippery surfaces at all. So if it experiences that its favorite scratching furniture has a slippery object on, it will stay away from that furniture.
Aluminum foil suits best on small furniture.
• Use Commercial Spray
Cat repellent sprays work best to deal with such an issue. These sprays are ideal for use on fabric surfaces.
When a cat scratches on furniture, the scratches and smells mark that area as its territory. The marks make the cat come again and again to continue its artwork. The spray will repel the smell from the furniture and prevent the cat from scratching further.
When the deterrent wears off, you will need to reapply the spray on the furniture.
• Use Natural Spray
Other than commercial sprays, you can use natural sprays to prevent the cat from jumping on your furniture.
Using apple cider vinegar is a useful option to choose. All you need to do is add apple cider vinegar in spraying bottle and spray on the surfaces or areas that you don’t want your cat to scratch or jump. This water mixture combination also works as a deodorizer that reduces pet odor.
Or else, you can also try using the citrus spray. Cats don’t like the smell of citrus, and it acts as a natural cat repellent that keeps away the cats. Use orange or lemon citrus on your furniture’s surface and see whether it causes any damage or not.
• Set a Trap
Do you punish your cat after it gets on the furniture? Well, this isn’t an appropriate way to correct your bud. But you need to do something that will be an instant punishment whenever it gets on furniture.
You can place a lightweight cardboard or cookie sheet on the edge of furniture that she frequently jumps on and scratches. Once your cat steps into the trap, she will startle and fall. It will discourage them from further get on the same furniture.
How to Encourage Your Cat Getting off Furniture?
Cats can be trained to get off the furniture and move on your command using an inexpensive cat training tool. You need to buy a clicker and a target stick from the local pet store. You can use any long stick instead of a target stick as well.
First, you need to teach it to follow the stick. For that, place the stick near to its nose. When she starts sniffing it, move it to another direction. If your cat also moves following the stick, then you need to make click sound on the clicker.
After you click, reward your cat giving a small treat. The treat will encourage it to obey your command further.
You need to train the feline for about a few days. Once you see it properly responds to the stick every time, it’s time to implement this training to get her off the furniture.
You need to pick a command first. When you want it to get off the furniture, say anything like ‘Get off” “No.” Then whenever you see your cat is sitting on or scratching furniture, use your stick and use the command to get it off the furniture. Don’t forget to reward when it obeys you.
If you find it consistent on following your command, then you no longer require the training stick. It will get off whenever it hears the command.
Cats enjoy a lot when they scratch furniture. Even if you have managed to keep your cat away from the furniture, still you should offer her some alternatives so that she can find the satisfaction like before.
• Scratching Post
You can introduce your feline with scratching posts. It will both make up for scratching the furniture and also keep its nails well-trimmed. The cat will enjoy the post more than scratching furniture within a few days and keep itself off furniture.
There are two types of scratching posts; horizontal and vertical. Some cats like to play with horizontal ones. But most of them prefer scratching on vertical areas.
If you want to offer an inexpensive option as an alternative to furniture, the cardboard will be the best one to give your cat to play with. Make sure the cardboard you give is thick enough so that it doesn’t quickly wear off completely.
Some soft plywood can also make your cats scratching time enjoyable. Wood is a more durable option than cardboard.
Have you seen those pictures on Instagram and other social media showing that a cat is playing with sisal? Although it’s not the same as scratching on a post or cardboard, still your cat can have some playful moments with sisal.
If you have two or more cats at home, it’s highly suggested that you buy catnip for them. Leave the catnip in a corner and put some of their toys as well. They will have less time to mess with your furniture.
Often, cats get crazy about scratching carpet as well. There are some specially made carpets available in the market for cats that will add more to your cat’s scratching time. Carpets for cats are even more scratch friendly than household carpets.
Upholstery for cats also brings some joyful moments. They are the most expensive option to choose from. But if you have more than two cats at home, it would be worth getting one for your felines.
• Give It a Room to Play
Cats that don’t have any separate room to play are often found busy in scratching furniture. Provide your felines a room or even a little space in the corner, filled with cat toys. It will make it feel that it has its own space for playing, and will be less likely to invade your precious furniture.
• Give It Time
Sometimes when cats get bored, they climb on furniture to seek attention. You can keep the feline away from furniture by playing with it, keeping it active and well-entertained. Plus, you can get some cat toys from the local pet store and make it play with those.
Punishing Will Less Likely to Have Effect
Cats aren’t like other pet animals that if you give some punishment, they will keep themselves away from making a mess. Surprisingly it happens the opposite, if you punish a cat for anything wrong, it will be most likely to do the same and misbehave. This further stresses out the cat.
Whenever I used to punish my cat, it would poop on the sofa or bed. So, you need to stick to the positive approach of correcting your feline.
Encourage it is doing or not doing things. If you find it obedient, be sure to give it a treat as a reward. This reward will further encourage it to follow your command. Otherwise, it will keep on misbehaving.
Startle Your Cat if She Isn’t Listening
Some cats will keep scratching and jumping on furniture no matter how hard you try to discipline them. For those cats, startling is a positive punishment for doing such a misbehave.
When you see your cat jumps and scratches on a coach, just walk towards it and shake a can that contains some pennies. This will make it get off and run away from the furniture.
But this is only for when you are at home. You require to combine this method with some deterrents to discipline your cat.
Dulling the Claws
Trimming cat’s nails is a regular part of grooming, which helps a lot to reduce scratches to furniture. There are lots of useful videos on YouTube about how to properly trim the nails of cats. When the nails are dulled, no matter how hard they scratch, there will be zero to minimize damage to your household items.
Also, you will find soft claws to buy from the pet store that work as nail covers, which ensures no harm is caused to your furniture. These plastic caps will last more or less five weeks.
Declawing Your Cats Claws
Some people prefer to declaw their cats to get rid of this issue. But declawing for this purpose is very brutal and misleading because the process requires to amputate the last bones of the toes.
Declawed cats struggle while walking, which leads to back pain. Besides, the surgery increases misbehaving in cats as well. Furthermore, declawed cats urinate seven times more, bite four times more, and act aggressively three times more than cats who didn’t have this kind of surgery.
Declawing is an unnecessary surgery that brings no medical benefits to our felines. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) discourages this surgery. Many European countries consider declawing as a cruel act and declared it as an illegal surgery.
Although cats are a very adorable animal, some of their acts are disturbing and lead to damages to household items. But you always have the option to train up your cats and discipline them in the right way. However, giving them punishments will not make any difference.
To sum up, you need to first take initiatives to protect your furniture and try to find ways to discourage your cat from getting on. Further, introduce your cats with alternatives such as scratching posts, toys, etc. and provide them a play area so that they feel less interest to invade yours.