Stop Cats Scratching and Clawing, Sofas, Furniture and Carpets

Cats that scratch your furniture can be very annoying, and can cause a lot of damage. Scolding your cat doesn't work. Why doesn't your cat use the fabulous and expensive scratching post you bought? Why do cats have to scratch things in the house anyway? What can you do about it?

Cats are generally such clean and tidy creatures, so why scratch and make a mess.

If you are frustrated with this, then you have a lot of company out there, as it can be of the worst features of owning a cat.

This article shows you why catch scratch, how to stop them ruining your furniture, how to encourage them to use their scratching posts and how to restore sanity back into your relationship.

Why Do Cat Scratch Where You Don't Want Them to?

You Can't Stop your Cat from Scratching!

Cats are particularly stubborn and hard to train and they seem to have attitude.

To twist Mark Twain's famous quote:

'Never try to teach a cat to sing. It wastes time and annoys the cat'.

Cats can be very frustrating as you can not make the cat do anything, anytime, the does not want to do.

Cats simply don't understand physical punishment (though dogs do and are much more compliant).

Cats never seem to get the message that you're punishing it for scratching the sofa. The cat will simply think you are being nasty to it, and this may make the situation worse.

Similarly pick up the cat when it starts scratching the sofa and transferring it to the scratching post seldom works either. The cat simply does not get it! Great game that!

Provide Appropriate Scratching Post

Buying a scratching post can be a frustrating experience as well. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Don't think that you can show your cat how to scratch away at the new expensive toy that you have brought. But make sure you provide an appropriate scratching post that your cat will like. Here are some tips for good choices:

Sorry, the scratching post has to be in the living area because that is where your cat wants to mark its territory. Placing the post in a back room or a distant out of the way corner won't work. It is probably best, to place it quite close to your sofa or furniture that is currently being scratched. You may be able to gradually move it further away as you change your cat's behavior. The only thing you can do it to make the sofa less appealing in some way. You want your cat to think: " Ah I feel like a scratch. Yuck the sofa now smells yucky. That post looks good I'll give it a try"

Tricks to get your cat to use the post:

The next step to make the switch is to make the sofa and furniture LESS attractive for scratching and clawing. Here are some suggestions:

Alternate More Desperate 'Last Resort' Remedies

Trim your the cat's nails regularly. BUT, never declaw a cat as this maims them and is cruel.

Cat claws can be trimmed regularly and there are various claw covers available. This depends on the cat! It my take a long period of time and careful preparation before your cat gets use to it.

Ready for another scratching session
Ready for another scratching session
       Source: By Vannie (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Now where will the cat start scratching next?
SNow where will the cat start scratching next?
       Source: Henri Leys [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ah! So innocent after the sofa has been destroyed by scratching
Ah! So innocent after the sofa has been destroyed by scratching
       Source: Kamée (Own work), [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Sofa scratchers in training!
Sofa scratchers in training!
       Source: Public Domain, GNU Free Documentation License
Who Me?
Who me!
       Source: Public Domain, CCO
Cats scratch where they stretch
Cats scratch where they stretch!
       Source: Public Domain, CCO