Having a cat around can be a heart-warming experience. The furry four-legged creatures are friendly and get along well. However, if you are a cat owner you will agree that they can wreak havoc on your sofa with their scratching habits.
They can completely ruin your newest furniture with this habit. But this isn’t their fault either. In this article we will tell you why cats need to scratch, and how you can save your sofas too.
Reasons why cats need to scratch
To begin with, let us tell you that cats are not at fault for their scratching behavior. There are reasons behind this which you need to understand before anything else. Cats scratch for several reasons. This includes the following.
- To mark their territory- Cat paws contain scent glands that release odor when it scratches things around. This is their way of communication and marking their territory.
- To stretch- Scratching is a way for cats to stretch their muscles and tendons from their toes, shoulders, and necks. It gives them a feeling of relaxation and hence, they need to do so.
- To feel good- Cats need to scratch to release stress and feel good. Scratching also decreases the possibility of your cat developing unwanted behaviors.
- To maintain claw health- By scratching, cats are able to remove the outside husk on their nails. This way, they maintain their claw health.
Different ways to save your sofa from cat scratches:
It’s now clear that cat’s scratch as a part of their natural behavior and not to purposely destroy your sofa or other things around. While you can’t stop them from this natural act you can help them to scratch in the right place to minimize the damage.
This can be done in two ways- by introducing them to the right scratching post and by safeguarding your furniture.
Introduce cat furniture as an alternative:
A simple and effective way to protect your lovely furniture and also letting your cat scratch is getting those scratching posts and pads. This way you will not be harming their natural instinct and also giving them ample opportunity to scratch.
Since there is a large variety of products available there are a few things that you need to consider before buying any posts and pads. Remember the four S’s and you will never go wrong.
Angles of scratching and stretching can be an important factor. Your cat does not want posts and pads that are only vertical. They may also want to experiment with horizontal and diagonal shapes. So, give them choices and they will be happy.
Cats may have their own personal preference about the surface that they like to scratch.
They may also enjoy a bit of variety when it comes to scratching. After all “variety is the spice of life”. On a serious note, surfaces like sisal rope or fabric, cardboard or uncovered even wood will also be loved by your furry companion.
If you have decided to get your cat a scratching post or pad, it better be a stable one. We’re sure you don’t want any of your family members or the cat to be injured with the post falling over them. Hence, make sure that the post is sturdy and stable.
If you want to provide a good scratching post to your furry friend, it needs to be tall enough. This is especially important for vertical posts. Tall posts and pads will give them a good stretch.
Protect your furniture
Well, it’s not just enough to give your cat posts and pads. They may still want to turn to your expensive sofa for a good scratch. So apart from getting them a separate post you also need to take steps to protect your furniture.
- Consider covering your sofa with covers to safeguard them from cat scratches. You can also cover the area that your cat loves the most with a towel. Remember to wash the towel every two days.
- A furniture guard is also a very good option to protect your favorite sofa. A cat scratching guard will protect the sofa legs, corners and upholstery from being damaged by your cat. Such guards are easy to install and do not damage your sofa.
- Cat deterrent spray is yet another effective way to keep cats away from the sofa. You can apply cat deterrents directly on to the sofa or other places. This creates an invisible layer of cat-repelling protection. Such sprays will deter your cat from scratching the sofa and it will seek other surfaces.
You can consider using citrus-based scents or apple cider vinegar as cats are completely turned- off with these fragrances.
- Double-sided tapes will also do the trick and keep cats away from the sofa. Since cats resist sticky surfaces, these tapes will help to keep them away from the sofas. You can try sticking tapes on her favorite spot and she will definitely not like it. It will thus compel her to find a better place.
- Training your cat to use the post and pads and rewarding them each time they do so, will go a long way in protecting your sofa and other objects. Also, telling them a big, yet polite ‘No’ each time they turn to the sofa will teach them that they should not be coming near those places.
- Trimming the claws will help to minimize the damage to the sofa. You can try to keep the claws clipped close, but not too close. Trimming the claws will make the nails dull and is also a very safe thing to do.
These were some of the ways that we think will effectively help you to protect your sofa and other furniture from cat scratches. You need to be patient and work consistently towards training your cat to use the appropriate object for scratching and stretching.
Since scratching is a natural and essential behavior, all the strategies that you employ will be worth the time and effort for both of you. Don’t let this natural instinct compromise your relationship with her. Continuous efforts will help to keep your kitty content and your sofa safe!