If you live with cats you know they have one thing in common. They love to scratch. Cats will scratch their pet parents, the couch, window sills, carpets, the walls, the doors and more. Why do cats scratch even when you try to train them not to? It’s instinctual behavior.
As a cat owner, you need to provide your cat with acceptable items upon which to give into their instinctual behaviors. If you don’t want your cat to scratch the arm of the couch, provide him another alternative -- put a scratching post by the couch. When he starts to scratch the couch, calmly get up and move his paws and claws to the scratching post. Many cats can be trained, through positive reinforcement, to scratch acceptable items and not destroy your home!
Why Do Cats Scratch?
To get into the mind of your cat, you need to know, “why do cats scratch”?
- It feels good
- To rid themselves of dead layers on their claws
- To stretch
- To say they’re happy
- It helps fight off stress
- If they’re frustrated
- To mark their territory. When they scratch they are leaving their scent behind so other cats in the house know, “this is my scratching area”
From a scientific standpoint, cats scratch as a way to “mark their territory.” When they scratch, they are leaving both a visual marker as well as an olfactory marker. Cats have glands between the pads of their paws and when they scratch they leave an odor behind to let other cats in the house “know” that that piece of furniture or door or window sill has been claimed.
As you can see, there are many reasons cats scratch furniture and you can see it’s important for you to provide them an outlet for scratching that won’t destroy your furniture or your house.
Here are ways to keep your cat happy and your home protected:
- Place a scratching post by the item the cat is scratching and encourage her to scratch the post not the furniture
- Try various types of scratching posts until you find one your cat likes. Some enjoy scratching on sisal rope, others like carpet, still others enjoy scratching on cardboard scratch pads or a piece of natural wood or a log. If your cat doesn’t like the first option you offer, try another.
- Praise him when he scratches the scratching post. Positive reinforcement is key.
- Use CLAWGUARD Protection Tape to protect furniture, window sills, door frames, carpets and more. CLAWGUARD Protection Tape easily conforms to the legs of couches, your window sills, door frames and more.
- Check out the newly released CLAWGUARD Furniture Shield, an item that proves, “you can have nice furniture and still have pets!” CLAWGUARD Furniture Shield is a nearly invisible protective Marine-grade piece of vinyl that affixes to any piece of furniture to protect it from the claws of your cat or dog. This product is easy to install, reposition or remove as needed and comes with clear head nickel-plated steel upholstery twist pins to hold the CLAWGUARD Furniture Shield in place.
Some cats simply won’t stop scratching specific items and if that is how your cat behaves, it’s best to protect the items he won’t stop damaging. Anywhere that your cat scratches you can place the furniture shield.
What have you done that has helped stop your cat from scratching the furniture? Please share with us your tricks and tips!
CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.