Destructive Cat? 3 Ways to Stop Your Cat Scratching the Furniture

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

Something all cat owners dread is the sight of claws on their couches. Cats can be destructive when they scratch, easily tearing through the carpet and furniture.

Did you know scratching relieves stress, maintains claws and allows for important scent marking?

Cats scratch because it’s a normal, natural part of being a feline. To keep your sofas safe, here are some top tips for preventing inappropriate scratching.


1) Test Scratcher Strength

It can be very frustrating when your cat chooses to ignore their scratcher. Instead choosing to scratch rugs, carpets and soft furnishings.

In the wild, cats keep their claws healthy by scratching at trees and bark. If your cat scratcher is wobbly when used or worse falls over; it is likely it won’t be favoured by your feline.

When cats scratch, they like to lean their entire body weight against the surface. This helps them dig their claws in deeper and stretch all their muscles and tendons.

So, the best most exciting scratchers will be strong, and sturdy with a heavy padded base.


2) Invest in Multiple Scratching Opportunities

Cats will scratch when excited, often before play or after spotting something enticing. One scratcher is never enough for your feline.

The more scratchers you have, the less chance of furniture suffering. After all, if the only thing worth scratching in your living room is a plush new carpet, you can bet your moggy will make their mark.

Multi-cat households will benefit from even more scratchers than a single-cat home. Each cat should have their own resources to avoid tension and fighting.

Struggling to get your cat to use a new scratcher? Giving it a spritz with King Catnip Spray, or sprinkling loose catnip over the base can make it more exciting.


3) Clean Scratching Areas Properly

Cats will scratch to mark territory as theirs and to indicate stress. Our feline friends don’t tend to like change, so a brand-new sofa in their safe home is a prime candidate for scratching.

When our furry friends scratch, they leave behind chemical messages called Pheromones. Essentially, they leave behind Post-it notes, for themselves and other cats that come across them. These messages remain on items cats have scratched.

Most cats will scratch in the same places, as they are prompted by their previous messages. Not removing these chemical scents properly will often result in cats continuing to claw that area.

It is so important to clean up inappropriate scratching areas properly! The best option is an enzymatic cleaner designed to remove pheromones and discourage the cat from scratching again. The trick is to thoroughly clean the affected area with one of these cleaners.

Remember to place a cat scratcher nearby, this helps to direct cats to an appropriate scratching area. Might be worth using a cheeky spray of King Catnip Mist to tempt them even further.

I hope this advice helps you protect your furniture from pesky feline claws. Want more advice? Check out our blog on Keeping Cats Happy.