Finding ways to stop your cat from scratching your furniture can sometimes be a challenge. Having two, sometimes feral felines, I know exactly what it's like to find that your treasured Victorian cabinet is being used by your beloved pet as a scratching post and worse still, finding that your banisters are starting to resemble tree stumps. But fear not, these ways to stop your cat from scratching your furniture and beautiful banisters will ensure that this annoyance is a thing of the past.
I always wondered why my cats would opt for the banister rather than the scratching post I had bought for them. I tried everything from covering the post in catnip to placing it right next to the banister. I was convinced that like naughty children who wanted to do anything they could do to upset their parents, they were deliberately ignoring me. Of course, this was not the case and I soon discovered that the post was just too small for them. Cats scratch for a number of reasons. They're marking their territory, stretching their muscles and sharpening their claws. When you're looking for a post to stop your cat from scratching your furniture, try and find one which is tall enough for your cat to stretch against and place it in a location where your cat is likely to linger. You can also buy chair and table leg scratch guard protectors, which you can use if your cats insist on targeting your furniture.
Did you know that not all cats are created equal in terms of their penchant for particular post orientations? For example, some like it diagonal whilst some like it horizontal. Also, different cats like different textures such as rugs, wood or cardboard and whilst one of my cats used to love scratching the carpet within an inch of its life, my other cat preferred to decorate the banister with its claws. Try out different types of posts and find which is the best one for your purry pals.
If you have a cute little kitten which you have just added to the family, encourage them to use posts from the beginning. Reward them with treats and lots of praise so they know they're doing the right thing.
Have you noticed how cats scratch when they're waking up? If you happen to be around when they wake from their slumber, place your feline friend next to a post so it can scratch, stretch and revive its sleepy head without destroying your carpet or furniture.
Remember, scratching is perfectly natural behavior and your cat is not being devious, naughty or trying to make your life a misery. Don't scream and shout at poor Puddles as this will merely mean that they won't scratch in your presence, but they WILL do it when you're not there.
Some people allow their cat to scratch an old sofa but this is not a good idea. Eventually you may get rid of that old sofa and replace it with a new one which you will NOT want your cat to scratch. This will just give your cat mixed messages; after all, they don't know that the sofa is new; to them it was just a great scratching post!
I have heard of some people using unpleasant tasting substances such as chili to deter the cat from scratching. All this will do is make your furniture look sticky and unpleasant. Scratching doesn't involve the taste buds anyway! You can of course consult your vet for alternative treatments so don't give up on your precious bundle of furry joy. Many pets go through phases of destructive and frustrating behavior but much like humans, with some gentle tutoring and encouragement, they can learn to behave.
Has anyone else had problems with cats scratching their furniture? What hints and tips do you have?
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