Q: How can I stop my cat from scratching my furniture?
A: This is a very poplar question with readers so I am always glad to write about it. Scratching and stretching is a key part of our kitties’ daily exercise routine but saving our furniture is very important. To start, I always suggest trying to give your cats something more appealing and interesting to work with then your couch. Very often this is a good scratching post or if you have the space, a carpeted tree house four feet tall or higher.
I am fortunate to have an apartment big enough to keep two large carpeted multilevel tree houses for my kitties. They love them and use them for climbing, scratching, napping and bird watching out the living room window. However two of my cats, Lester and Roscoe, have claimed one as their personal “extreme” raceway. After they have a good scratch, they zoom around the apartment, roar through the living room at top speed and leap onto the tree house, racing up and down it. It is very funny to watch but I have had to secure it to a wall, otherwise it would surely crash down into the living room. I don’t think the fish in my fish tank would appreciate it (or the neighbors below me).
As said, cats need to scratch and if you provide a place for them to do it, they may give your furniture a pass. If they are already scratching something they shouldn’t, put a scratching post right next it. You might also try covering a couch or chair with a microfiber like denim or canvas. If your cat is a horizontal scratcher and has targeted a nice piece of carpet, try putting down a plastic mat over the spot until he gets the idea this is off-limits. To make an area less appealing, try puting some double-sided tape over it — cats don’t like the feel of sticky tape on their paws. You can also purchase furniture repellants at pet stores.
Remember to give plenty of praise and treats to your kitty when they use a scratching post. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. As always, I welcome your comments and stories.