After a protracted day, it feels nice to settle into your cozy sofa to look at a little bit TV or learn an e-book (probably an e-book about cats?). And nothing ruins the second quicker than listening to your cat run their sharp nails all around the again of your sofa. Unsure the way to hold cats from scratching furnishings? Cat deterrents and cat scratching posts to redirect their scratching habits may also help.
Cats Have to Scratch
When your cat scratches, they’re not attempting to destroy your sofa. Cats have an instinctive must scratch.
“Scratching is a bodily and emotional train,” says Dr Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH of Animal Acupuncture in New York Metropolis.
When your cat scratches, they’re stretching out their physique and paws. They’re additionally releasing bodily and emotional power.
You’ve in all probability seen that your cat is extra liable to scratching once they’re excited, like proper while you come residence. In addition, they could scratch once they’re feeling bored, resembling while you’re at work.
The urge to scratch fulfils a necessary sensible objective. Non-domesticated outside cats should scratch a tough floor—resembling a tree—to maintain their nails from rising too lengthy. Scraping a tree retains the pins brief and sharp. At the residence, your cat is fulfilling the identical want.
How you can Maintain Cats from Scratching Furnishings
Should you catch your cat scratching your furnishings, it’s necessary to promptly right the habits. Don’t bodily reprimand them. Hitting your pet will not be cat deterrent to scratching. An agency “No” is extra applicable.
As a result of the urge to scratch is so sturdy, your cat might have a further clear path that destroying your leather-based wingback chair will not be OK. Many cat dad and mom swear by the water spray bottle technique. Maintain a sprig bottle in your front room, and when your cat begins to scratch, spritz them with water whereas firmly stating “No.”
Clipping cat nails additionally helps deter scratching. With boring and shortened claws, your cat could not really feel the necessity to scratch as a lot. You may be pondering, “Minimize my cat’s nails? Are you loopy?” It’s greatest to clip cat nails once they’re younger. A very good, sharp pair of cat nail clippers will go a good distance, too. 4 Paws’ claw clipper, for instance, is made with a stainless-steel edge and a moulded deal with designed for simple use whereas trimming your cat’s claws.
In case your cat likes to scratch the seats of your sofa, attempt laying just a few sheets of aluminium foil throughout the places. When your cat jumps up on the couch, they’ll be startled by this conventional cat deterrent and can bounce proper off.
You can also attempt cat deterrent sprays, resembling Pet Grasp Thoughts’ deterrent cat spray, which is a natural mix of rosemary and astragalus. This all-natural system has a scent that helps repel cats from areas the place they prefer to scratch and is formulated to be mild on materials and carpets.
One other common cat deterrent approach is utilizing clear coaching aids, resembling SmartyKat Scratch Not Tape. Place the strips the place you need your cat to cease scratching and, as a result of cats don’t just like the sticky really feel on their delicate paws, and they ultimately stop attempting to scratch that location. Then you’ll be able to take away the strips. It’s designed to be invisible, so friends gained’t know you’ve acquired a little bit scratching downside at residence.
Educate Your Cat The place to Scratch
“If these strategies don’t cease the scratching, you need to redirect the need to scratch and train her the place and what to scratch as an alternative,” Dr Barrack says.
Persistent scratchers might have a wide range of scratching choices strategically positioned around the home. Some cats gravitate to vertical posts, like this 33.5-inch scratching tower by Frisco, whereas others want horizontal scratching surfaces, just like the Scratch Lounge.
“I like to recommend shopping for a scratching submit that’s as tall as your cat when she is standing,” Dr Barrack says.
Scratching posts come in several shapes, sizes and supplies. For kittens, energetic cats or multi-cat households, a scratching tree like this 57-inch one by Frisco, may be splendid. A scratching tree contains a number of perches and cat towers for cats to discover.
When you’ve bought your cat scratching submit, you’ll be able to train your cat that it’s a suitable place for them to meet their scratching urge.
“It’s best to put the submit strategically, maybe close to the place they’ve scratched previously,” Dr Barrack says. “Sit along with your cat and play with the brand new submit. Present her by sitting on the bottom and inspiring your cat that she will scratch this submit—even displaying her along with your fingers.”
Even when your cat ignores the brand new submit in favour of your furnishings, Dr Barrack says not to surrender.
“Totally different cats like completely different scratching posts, so don’t attempt to drive your cat to love it—simply attempt one other fashion,” she says.
Keep in mind that scratching fulfils your cat’s emotional and bodily wants, so if the habits continue regardless of your greatest efforts, it may be an indication that your cat wants one thing you’re not offering. Or your cat may be pressured and will use assist from feline-specific calming brokers. The Feliway plug-in diffuser is made to imitate a cat’s pure facial pheromones, creating a relaxing atmosphere and de-stressing your cat.
Further affection and a focus additionally go a good distance. Many indoor cats are under-exercised and bored, so make sure to present leisure with affection, cat toys and video games.