How Do I Stop My Cat Scratching the Furniture?

Firstly, why do cats scratch?

Cats scratch their nails in order to sharpen them but also, and just as importantly, to clean them. Cats that live indoors will invariably use furniture to do this unless they are trained from an early age to use a cat scratching post instead.

To limit damage to your favorite furniture, it is necessary to train your cat to use a scratching post as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to place the post near to where your cat likes to scratch. You may find that using catnip on and around it will also help to encourage your cat to use it.

What is a Cat Scratching Post?

A cat scratching post is a wooden post that allows your cat to scratch her nails. All cats have a natural urge to scratch in order to sharpen and clean their claws and also to sc mark their "territory". Unfortunately, most indoor cats take this urge out on their surroundings, resulting in your furniture or carpets being ruined. The best way to prevent this is to give your cat a suitable post to scratch. A good post will provide stability for your cat to scratch and allow your cat to stretch and exercise; all whilst distracting it from your furniture and carpets!

It is also an ideal way to encourage your cat to exercise its paws and claws and to use the scents glands under its front paws to mark its scent in a hygienic setting.

If you have more than one cat, you may find it easier to have more than one post as otherwise, the more dominant cat may refuse to use the same post as the less dominant cat.

How to teach your cat to use a scratching post?

#Step 1 – Place a treat or your cat's favorite toys on top of the post to try her to climb it. The higher the scratching post you buy, the more challenging she will find it.

#Step 2 – Cats are curious creatures so you may find that tying some string to the top of the post and allowing it to dangle down will catch your cat's eye and encourage her to climb. If this does not work, try tying her favorite lightweight toy to the string and see if that works.

#Step 3 – If that still does not work, consider rubbing some catnip over the post.

Where should I position it?

As mentioned earlier, your cat has a natural inclination to mark her territory, so basically place the cat scratching post where your cat currently goes to scratch. If your cat regularly uses more than one area to scratch, you may need more than one scratching post to train her.

Do not hide the scratching post in a remote corner somewhere; you can always move it to a more convenient position later, just do it gradually so your cat is not confused. Please ensure that you use a good quality post; your cat will not use the post if it is not stable and she does not feel safe and secure.

Your cat will grow to love her scratching post if you feed her near it and play with her near it; give her a treat when she plays with it and soon it will become a favorite plaything. We have found that a post near where your cat sleeps is very successful as cats love to stretch and scratch when they wake up.