I spent several hours wistfully browsing around the internet for a new couch recently, but given the elaborate landscape of claw marks on the arms of my current couch, I feel hesitant about making a purchase. But as it turns out, there are lots of smart ways to stop cats from scratching your furniture. It may be too late for my couch, but if you prevent your cat from scratching furniture before it becomes a habit, it doesn’t have to be too late for yours.
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1. Provide a Scratch-Friendly Alternative
If you don’t want your cat scratching up your furniture, your best bet is to provide another option. Keep in mind that scratching serves a purpose for cats: As well as being exercise, it’s a way to clean and sharpen claws, and to mark their turf. So while it can feel like a frustrating habit to pet parents, scratching is a biological necessity for cats. Avoid your furniture’s destruction by providing your cat with a scratching post — catnip is a great way to encourage them to scratch the assigned area, rather than your furniture, as is placing the scratching post strategically close to the furniture your cat usually relishes destroying.
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2. Clip Your Cat’s Nails
Part of the reason cats scratch is to keep their nails filed down. Help them out by making it a point to trim their nails every few weeks. Some cats are more amenable to this process than others, but with a bit of practice — and maybe a treat at the end of the spa treatment? — most cats will allow owners to trim their nails. Trimming their nails might not stop them from scratching all around your living room, but it could potentially lessen the damage.
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3. Discourage Them From Scratching Furniture
There are all sorts of options available when it comes to discouraging your cat from scratching places you’d rather be kept pristine: One simple hack is to place double-sided tape (the ultimate tool in cat frustration!) on areas you don’t want them to scratch. If you see cats scratching, you can say an angry “no,” make a loud noise, or give them a spritz of water from a spray bottle.
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How do you stop your cat from furniture destruction? Tell us in the comments! And if you’re in need of a scratch post, cat nail clippers, or any scratch-deterrents, consider joining PetPlus, a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.