It might be difficult to believe that your soft, lovable, purring feline can cause so much damage to your handcrafted Amish dining room buffet or living room sofa. All cats need to scratch, it’s hard wired in their DNA. You don’t have to choose between your kitty and an unmarried dresser, but you do need to train your cat to scratch on a scratching post, not the drapes or rocking chair.
Cats scratch to mark their territory. They do this out in the wild and in your warm, comfortable home. They typically like to mark entrances as well as sleeping and eating areas. Scratching also cleans dead cells off the nails and may exercise the muscular structure in their paws. They can also scratch to relieve boredom.
Front and/or back claws can be surgically removed; however this procedure is becoming less popular in recent years. Many veterinarians consider declawing surgery to be cruel and unnecessary and refuse to do it. Many cat advocates encourage owners to provide scratching posts and train their cats to use it as a more humane solution. Put several scratching posts or cat trees around the house so kitty can mark the territory in a mutually satisfactory way.
If your cat likes to scratch certain sofas, chairs, or tables make the experience unpleasant. Crinkle aluminum foil and wrap it around a table leg or run double sided table along the bottom of a sofa. When your cat begins to scratch the surface it will be unpleasant and the kitty will stop.
If you see your cat scratching the furniture say ‘no’ in a firm and steady voice. Some owners suggest spraying the cat with water from a squirt bottle. Others suggest treating the furniture with a cat deterrent available at pet stores. They taste and smell bad. Orange peels tucked near Fluffy’s favorite living room chair also work.
Make sure to offer your cat some toys and play with her daily. With a little effort your furry friend will choose to spend her time sitting on your lap on the loveseat glider and not scratching the back of the sofa.