How to Stop Your Cat From Ruining the Furniture
Provide Your Cat With Something to Scratch
If you have a cat, or cats, then you more than likely have had some of your furniture tainted by your precious furry friend. If not, you are very fortunate. Or perhaps your cat doesn't have any claws, if you haven't the heart to remove your cats claws then you have had to live through the trial and error of getting your cat to scratch anywhere but on your good furniture or walls. Preferably on a scratching post. There is no way you are ever going to stop your cat from scratching.
Why? Because that is what a cat does. They scratch. It is in their nature. It is perfectly normal behavior. They do it because they have to. It is an urge, just like when you have to yawn. So instead of trying to stop your cat from scratching, training your cat to scratch in more appropriate places is a better option. This often is easier said than done. However it is not impossible. There are several ways you can motivate your cat to stop scratching your furniture, curtains and walls. Cats can be extremely destructive, there is no way you can babysit them 24 hours a day.
Cats Love to Use Their Claws
There are a number of tricks you can try to break your cat from clawing its way through everything you own. Quite often people mistakenly think their cat scratches to sharpen its claws. But this is not always the case. More often than not, your cat is marking its territory, leaving both a visual mark and an odor or scent, showing those of you in the house that scratching that particular spot is to be left alone.
Another reason your cat is scratching random spots is to file down its nails and shed the outer edge. Have you ever looked around and found little claw pieces lying around where your cat scratches? If not take a good look next time, you will see this outer layer of your cat's nail. Cats need exercise just as much as we humans do. By scratching they are stretching, flexing their entire bodies, and showing you exactly who the boss is.
This also is showing dominance if you have other cats in the house. Cats love to play, sometimes you will see them bolt about the house, stop quickly and start scratching on whatever is available at that very moment. Be it curtains, sofa, chair or your finely painted wall.
Give Your Cat a Scratching Post or Similar Item to Scratch
There are solutions like spraying a water bottle, loud noises, trimming, double-sided tape, and repellents. However, you will have to catch your cat in the act of destruction for many of these solutions to be successful.
Get a scratching post or as many as you think you need, put them in locations your cat likes to scratch. There are many variations of scratching posts. Big or small, choose whatever you have room for and can afford. Place a scratching post near the cat’s sleeping area, and rub a little catnip into them, this will encourage them to scratch in their favorite spot.
Cardboard has worked extremely well for me. Cats love boxes and paper. Lay compact pieces of broken down card board in areas your cat likes to sleep and play. I have five or six pieces laid throughout my apartment, my cats gradually started using the cardboard, and now they love it. Hopefully your cat will catch on how great cardboard is. You can also leave a few smaller boxes around the house, your cat will love hiding, playing and scratching inside them.
Hanging scratch posts can be successful as well, cats like to reach up, stretch and then scratch. This kind of scratching post is easily hung on a doorknob, making it convenient and out of the way.They are simply designed and can be used in every room in your house.
Diligence pays off. As a deterrent, put a little sticky tape or tin foil in the area they are not allowed to scratch. Cats are not fond of sticky tape or tinfoil. Many people use a spray bottle with water, but this is not my favorite approach. Try putting your cat's favorite treat on or near the allowed scratching locations.
If your cat is scratching on the disallowed areas, saying no in a firm tone while redirecting your cat to cardboard or scratching post as you simulate scratching will help teach new tricks. The hope is they will eventually catch on. My cats did, and they loved the cardboard. They perhaps thought I too was a cat after so much simulating, but my cats learned no furniture was allowed. I believe your cat can to.
Get Your Cat Scratch On
Trimming vs. Declawing
Trimming your cats claws every few weeks supports healthy cat. Trimming your cats claws can be quite easy if your cat will tolerate it. I find a quiet corner to do this. I give treats before during and after. I hold my cat firmly in my lap, sitting on the floor works best. I begin massaging my cats paws, pressing gently to extend the claw. I let go, give a treat and begin again. Most times she is comfortable enough to let me snip her nail without to much fuss.
You don't want to snip the pink part of the nail, if that is snipped it can bleed and cause pain. Never rush through the process of trimming your cats claws. Many cats will not tolerate it, you may have to go to a groomer or a veterinarian.There is also in addition to trimming, a product called Soft Claws, little rubber tips that go directly over your cats claws. You glue them over your cats claws. This application lasts about 4-6 weeks.
The caps are safe and non-toxic. At first your cat will probably feel very uncomfortable, and have a tendency to over groom, causing the caps to come off sooner rather than later. It all depends on how well your cat tolerates the Soft Paws. Research suggests most cats tolerate them very well. For more information look for Soft Claws online.
And as a last resort there continues to be declawing. I am a firm believer cats need to scratch. It is part of their nature. Part of who a cat is. Declawing is a radically painful medical procedure which involves removing the last joint of the toe using a scalpel. Declawing consists of actually amputating claws, and the whole phalanx up to the joint, including bones, ligaments and tendons. It is a very painful surgery for a cat, and a painful recovery time. Cats can become so shocked from the experience that it changes their personality.
Many cats that are put through the declawing process end up with lifelong psychological and behavioral problems. In some cases, your cat may stop using the litter box due to tender paws, they will associate the box as a source of pain and not want to use it anymore.However this is not always the case. declawing your cat is a moral decision you have to make on your own. Good old fashion training and hard work makes a good, obedient and loving cat, not to mention a happy satisfied owner.
Harsh Punishment Isn't Going to Work
Many people believe harsh punishment is going to change a bad behavior for the better. In fact harsh punishment can create more problems, making your cat afraid or aggressive. Teaching your cat where it is allowed to scratch instead of yelling, screaming, or spanking will save you both a lot of heartache. Try a firm noise like clapping, or tossing a pillow to get your cats attention. Hopefully with time your cat will learn to scratch in appropriate places. Be patient and good luck.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.