When you’re bringing a cat into your home, it’s inevitable that they are going to scratch your furniture. Instead of getting upset at your new housemate, try redirecting their cat scratching behavior. There are a couple of reasons why your cat is behaving this way.
Why your cat is scratching your furniture
Cat scratching is completely normal and can provide many benefits for your cat’s health. One of the reasons your cat could be scratching your furniture and turning it into their personal scratcher is likely because they are marking their territory. Cats release a pheromone found within their cat paws and scent glands that gives them a comforting experience.
Another reason your cat can’t help but scratch your things is because they are shedding loose layers from their claws. Removing those dead layers is key to keeping their claws sharp and healthy. According to the ASPCA, “Cats’ claws also need regular sharpening, cats scratch on things to remove frayed, worn outer claws and expose new, sharper claws.” To avoid your cat from digging their claws into your belongings, try these tips n tricks.
If your cat is new to your home, your cat may be scratching your belongings because your cat is stressed. When cat’s dig their claws into your furniture is very satisfying for them. Scratching mixed with stretching and exercise can help keep your furry friend happy and maintain good health.
Cat’s also scratch because they are stretching. Cat’s, like humans, enjoy stretching their muscles and limbs to release a relaxed feeling. Cat’s stretching and digging their cat’s nails into things is also known as “making biscuits”. Making biscuits is the rhythmic back and forth the cat’s paws pressing against a soft object like a blanket, furniture or human lap.
Try covering your furniture for the time being and get your cat a scratcher. Scratching posts help keep your cat active, promote a healthy lifestyle, and can eliminate your cat from scratching surfaces. Put the scratching post in a more accessible location. Try placing your cat’s scratching post in a high-traffic area. Like us, cat’s also get FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and like to be around you as much as you like to be around them. If you stick your cats scratching post in a dark corner tucked away, your cat is more likely to scratch your household items instead.
Cats are also very drawn to sisal rope. Sisal rope is most commonly used to create scratching posts. Purchasing a scratching post made out of sisal rope can help avoid destructive behavior because many cats prefer the feel of sisal on their paws.
Cats nails can be extremely sharp and can cause some serious damage. Some cat owners recommend nail caps to stop cats from clawing into furniture and destroying household items. Nails caps are tiny plastic covers that you press and glue over your cat’s nails. They’re inexpensive and can last up to six weeks. These nails caps are safe for your cat and do not prevent your cat from retracting its claws. Nail caps cause no pain and cause no damage to their claw bed.
We recommend having the nail caps put on by a vet or groomer but can be done at home as well.
Catnip is a combination of leaves and stems that contain an oil called “nepetalactone.” When cats smell nepetalactone, it stimulates their pheromones which result in a kind of chemical reaction that gives cat’s a sense of overloading happiness. Catnip not only makes them happy but provides them with great health benefits. Catnip can help with stress, improve playfulness, and can also be made into a tea to soak your cat into to alleviate itchiness or decrease shedding.
You can sprinkle some of this catnip onto their scratching post, bed and favorite toys to encourage use. You can also use catnip to promote active play, exercise, or even as a reward for good behavior.
Cat not responding to catnip? No problem, try putting Feliway on your cat’s scratching post. Feliway also mimics a cat’s facial pheromones, which cats release when they rub their cheeks against things and surfaces. This is them marking the areas as being safe. This pheromone can help reduce your cats scratching your furniture and instead let them know that their scratching post is where they should be redirecting their cat behavior.
Aluminum Foil is surprisingly a great way to keep your cat from scratching furniture and even keep them off your tables and counters. Cats hate aluminum foil because of the sound and texture. Foil is uncomfortably loud and may startle your cat keeping them from going anywhere near your possessions. It also has an unusual texture that is uncomfortable for your feline friend. Simply cover your furniture, tables, and counters with aluminum foil to keep them away from your things.
Aluminum foil is not safe if your cat uses it as a toy or is chewing the foil. If your cat seems to leave the foil alone, it is ok to have it out to prevent them from getting on top of or into unwanted areas within your home. If you want to avoid covering your objects and counter space with aluminum foil, try using a less reflective and noisy option, like catnip.
Lastly, invest in some cat toys. Cat toys simulate the hunting experience and serve as a convenient way to help keep your cat happy, healthy and active. Without any toys, your cat will try to turn belongings such as shoes, pillows, and furniture into play things, scratching and chewing them for a release, resulting in an unhappy owner. Since Cats are naturally curious and love squeezing into tight, small places, try using a cat tunnel for their benefit. Many cat tunnels crinkle and can create noises that your cat loves and some even come with hanging cat toys that your cat will instinctively bat at.
If cat tunnels don’t interest you or your cat, try using a feather teaser. Teaser wands consist of a stick with some feathers or toys attached at the end. Feather teasers are awesome because this gives you the power to wave, twitch, and flutter around so that the toy at the end of the wand can move randomly, leaving your cat excited and running around mimicking the hunt for its prey. Feather teasers are one of the only cat toys that give you the opportunity to bond with your cat.
Cat toys can be anything they can bat back and forth that stimulates their prey hunting instinct. These toys will distract your cat from scratching, destroying, or shredding anything of yours. If you are trying to avoid spending extra money on cat toys, try using things you can easily find in your home like plastic caps, newspaper, or even some string to play with your cat.
The Harm of Declawing
We do not advise declawing your cats. Declawing your cat can have negative effects on your feline friend. It can affect the way they walk, their balance, and the way they live in general. To declaw a cat is unnecessary and it’s a harmful surgery.
Turning your home into a cat household doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or worrisome. Keeping your cat active with cat toys, catnip, and cat scratching posts will benefit your cat and keep them away from turning your personal items into their toys.
Soon you will see that cat behavior is not always upsetting, but can be fun, entertaining, and uplifting when you and your cat are happy. We hope you find these simple tips and tricks to be beneficial and help grow the bond between you and your furry feline friend.