Scratching is a cats’ natural instinct. It is a form of activity for cats that keeps them healthy, stretching or retracting their legs, shoulders, and paws. Although this behavior is good for cats, it’s really not good for your furniture.
When you own a cat, you will find your furniture is damaged due to cat scratching. So what could you do to stop cats from scratching your furniture? Should we cut off their claws? This article will give you some simple methods to stop cats from scratching furniture.
- 1 Scratching in Cats’ Natural Behavior and Having Claws is Important
- 2 Ways to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture
- 3 How and When to Clip the Cat’s Claws
- 4 Final words
Scratching in Cats’ Natural Behavior and Having Claws is Important
Claws are an important physical part of cats, and scratching is a cats’ natural behavior and necessary activity to maintain cats’ health also.
Scratching helps cats remove nails’ dead outer and keep their nails sharp and best for action. It’s also a necessary exercise form that helps cats stretch and improve the upper body.
Between cats’ toes contains scent glands that allow cats to mark their territories by scratching, especially in a house that owns more than one cat.
Never Cut Off Your Cat’s Nails!
Declawing is a type of surgery in which the end bone and claw of the cat are amputated. Because claws and paws are indispensable parts of cats, declawing will cause pain for cats and may increase aggression or other bad unwanted behaviors.
The unwanted behaviors that result from declawing may be urinating outside (usually on the furniture, carpets, and bedding), or biting.
Therefore, we strongly do not recommend tendonectomy or declawing.
Ways to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture
Provide cats furniture: cat condos, cat trees, or scratchers
Provide cats furniture that is called their own. Cat furniture will give cats a sense of security and provide them places to do their favorite activities, such as climbing, jumping, especially scratching. Besides, this type of furniture will help cats improve good behavior and keep your furniture from being damaged by cats scratching and covered full of fur.
Cat trees or cat condos give cat parents and cats themselves many benefits in which the most important benefit is to stop cats from scratching furniture. There are many different designs of cat trees and they are made from different materials also. Before getting a new condo or tree for your feline friends, you should think of their behaviors and their favorite activities to get them the right one that meets their demands.
For example, for cats that like to climb, jump and scratch, you can get them a cat tree with several levels of perches and posts. The posts are the places for cats to scratch their nails, so you should get a cat tree that has durable and high-quality posts. It’s known that sisal is best for cat scratching for its durability and cat-friendly.
Once a new cat condo is set up, your cat will find it strange and may refuse to use it. You can put some of their favorite catnip on and near the cat condo to attract them. A hanging toy is also helpful to get your feline attention. As soon as they get used to the condo, they will spend all of their time on it.
Remember to improve the quality of cat exercises and offer good stretches. Cats need to be confident to put their body on the cat tree. So the base and posts of the cat tree must be sturdy enough and will not wobble or fall down when cats are playing around or jumping on.
Replace or cover your furniture with materials not good for scratching
If your cats still scratch your furniture instead of using their tree, here are some methods to prevent your cat from scratching your furniture.
The trick to solving this problem is to replace or cover the pleasurable and attractive component with something hard or not good to scratch.
These methods include:
- Using tin foil to cover up your furniture
- Stick the double-sided glue on the cats’ favorite areas
- Using clear plastic and non-sticky plastic for cats’ nails
- Place a vinyl plastic carpet runner next to the areas that cats like to scratch
If your feline friends still refuse to use the replacements and keep approaching the undesired spot, you can correct their acts by using a sound, a quick and loud “ah”, or a hissing. But there is no hint for cats to know your sound is a punishing sound. This is the reason why we have to not use cats’ names when correcting their acts. We only use it when cats’ action is approved.
The cats’ names are only used when we praise their act. Especially on their first try, it is vital to follow exactly the correction on the cats’ trip to their condo or tree, where they can receive your praise. This will give cats a positive experience of doing something good, and they will continue to do it.
If your cats still have not accepted their new furniture, try the sessions every day where you use your fingers to scratch on the new post in order to make a sound, along with praise and a reward for cats when they perform your desired action correctly.
Be patient. The positive behavior needs time to be accepted by your cats. It may take a few weeks or even several months for them to adapt.
How and When to Clip the Cat’s Claws
It is best to clip your feline friend’s nails every two or three weeks.
Useful tips for trimming cats’ nails
Start trimming cats’ nails at their young age: It will be easier and less challenging to trim your kitten’s nails than the adult one.
Go slow: Claws and paws are cats’ sensitive parts. They will surely pull their paws away from your hands and make trimming their claws more difficult. You need to warm them up and make them feel comfortable and relaxed. Then, push their pad and praise gently before and during having their claws clipped.
The first time, clipping from one to two nails is enough. You should let cats have time to accept and get used to this sensation. After the first successful trial, your cats will have a positive experience with your gentle touch, praise, and also your special reward afterward.
Trim cats’ nails when they’re napping: Cats love napping, and they often take naps many times a day. So you can try to clip their nails when they are sleeping. It’s ok if you only can clip from one or two nails on a napping cat while having no stress or worry about being refused or scratched. You just need to be quiet and be gentle. If your cats wake up and run, away just wait for another chance when they take another nap.
Just need to cut off the tips of cats’ nails:
The tips of cats’ nails are sharp, so they can puncture or damage your furniture. When cats’ nails are grown, it is easier for you to see the nails’ pink part and also the clear one. Then, what you have to do is clip the end part of the nails’ clear part.
Be careful when you start doing it because if you make a mistake and cut the soft part of their nails, it might cause unpleasant and sometimes bleeding. Furthermore, this will leave a bad experience for your cats, and clipping their nails will be more difficult.
Use a sharp trimmer: One more important thing you should always keep in mind is that the quality of the trimmer. Always use the sharp trimmer. If it becomes dull, replace the blade or get a new one.
If you find it is difficult to clip cats’ nails
Using Sticky Paws: This is a type of double-sided tape that is used to protect the furniture from cat scratching. It will make the furniture’s surface become unpleasant. If cats’ feet touch this glue, they will quickly stay away.
Using Soft Claws and Soft Paws: These products are designed for cats that refuse to use alternative scratching outlets. These nail caps are used to put on your cats’ nails by the groomer or veterinarian at first. Then, you can try to learn to put on it by yourself. This solution might be costly because you have to replace the nail caps after a couple of weeks when cats’ nails grow and the old caps are pulled out.
In brief, it’s not easy to stop cats from scratching furniture. Depending on cats’ personality and behavior, it might take a short or long time to change your cat’s habit and help them get used to the new scratching places instead of scratching your furniture. Just need to be patient and be gentle to your feline friends when following these methods. Scratching in cats’ natural instinct, so it is better to try to help them change their behavior by using alternative cat furniture than trimming their nails.