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Three Steps to Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Furniture
Does your furniture look like it’s been through a shredder? If you have a cat that has not been declawed, it’s likely that he has become accustomed to sharpening his claws on at least one of your sofas or table legs. While scratching is a part of your cat’s natural behavior – it stretches his legs, marks his territory, and keeps his claws sharp and ready for action – it’s a behavior that you can control and modify. Follow these three easy steps to stop your cat from shredding your furniture.
Here’s a video from Jackson Galaxy about how to stop your cat from shreding your furniture.
1. Purchase several scratching posts.
You will never get your cat to stop scratching your furniture if you don’t give him another place to scratch. Purchase several high quality scratching posts and place one near each piece of furniture that your cat has been scratching. Most cats prefer scratching posts that are vertically mounted. Some models stand on their own, while others require that you mount them on a wall. Consider the material of the scratching post you purchase, too. Cats love tough sisal and rope material, but are unlikely to scratch on softer, fluffier posts. Make the scratching posts even more appealing by sprinkling a little cat nip on them.
2. Spray your furniture to make it less appealing.
There are several sprays on the market that you can apply to your furniture to make it less appealing to your cat. Look for one that uses natural ingredients, such as bitter apple or citrus oils. Cats are naturally opposed to these ingredients and will be less likely to touch your furniture. As an added bonus, your home will have a pleasant, fruity aroma.
3. Praise good behavior.
Cats respond more effectively to positive reinforcement than they do to negative punishments. When you see your cat using the scratching post rather than the furniture to sharpen his nails, praise this behavior. This praise can be anything from a soothing “good boy” to a cat treat. A good method is to start by rewarding your cat with appealing treats or a bit of chicken, and slowly progress to only offering verbal praise as he begins to use the scratching post more often. He’ll learn that in order to please you, he needs to scratch on the post.
If you follow these steps, you can stop your cat from clawing your furniture without resorting to dramatic steps like surgical declawing. Once your cat gets used to scratching the posts rather than the furniture, you can remove some of the scratching posts and he’ll adapt to using just one or two that you leave behind. The sooner you take action, the easier it will be to modify your cats behavior, so install your scratching posts, spray your furniture and start praising your cat today.