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Pet Behaviour Articles - Feline Behaviour
How To Stop Your Cat Scratching Your Furniture - Forever!
by: Larry Chamberlain
Your cat scratching at your furniture can not only leave you out of pocket but also very
frustrated and annoyed at your cat for being such a bad little kitty. Cats need to scratch, it
is something that cats instinctively do, not as you may think, in order to sharpen their
claws, but to remove the old layers of their nails.
Do not punish your cat for scratching, or for anything you see as bad cat behavior.
Punishment is unlikely to have any beneficial effect whatsoever. Your cat simply will not
understand if you try to punish her in any way for something she has done, cats do not
relate punishment to the "crime", they are far more likely to relate the punishment to you!
Even cats that are allowed outdoors will sometimes scratch your furniture, although not as
often as indoor only cats. Trees are the natural scratching surface for cats, and to a cat that
is kept inside the arms and legs of chairs, and other furniture, sure seems like a suitable
The most common answer to this cat scratching problem is, of course, a scratching post, or
even two. A great variety of posts are available from pet stores and online pet suppliers.
They are fairly simple things to construct, but if you do make one yourself, be certain that
there are no nails or other sharp things left sticking out to snag your kitty. And make sure
that the base is heavy enough, if it falls over your cat will not want to use it again. Cover
the post with rope rather than with carpet, the last thing that you want to do is give your
cat the message that it is OK for her to scratch carpet!
Ensure that the scratching post is tall enough for your cat, cats like to stretch when they
scratch it exercises their muscles. Spread cat nip on one of the platforms to make the post
even more attractive to your cat, and attach a few toys to the post so that they hang down
If you just put a scratching post down in front of your cat, what is she going to make of it?
It may look like a good place to scratch and claw, but then she has been mildly admonished
for scratching at things. You may have to teach your cat that it is OK to use the post, that it
will not upset you, that scratching the post is what you want her to do.
Every time that you see your kitty about to scratch your furniture, pick her up and gently
place her in front of the post. If she decides to use it give her plenty of praise and
encouragement. Cover the furniture she scratches with some netting, or aluminum foil. Your
cat should soon learn that it is unpleasant to scratch furniture, but great to scratch her post.
If your cat is in the habit of scratching wooden furniture, or doorjambs then strong smelling
polish, or vinegar are often good deterrents, if you try the vinegar, check that it won't harm
the surface of the wood. Some cat owners report that half an orange or lemon place by the
problem has good results. Do not remove the disagreeable smells or covering from your
furniture until your cat has been using her scratching post for about a month.
If your cat is a horizontal scratcher rather than vertical one, in other words she scratches
up your carpet or expensive parquet flooring, try persuading her to use a piece of rush
matting, tape the matting down to prevent the mat moving.
What ever you do to solve your cat scratching problem, do not even think of declawing, it is
About The Author
Larry Chamberlain is a lifelong lover of cats and lives in London England. He is the
webmaster and owner of http://www.best-cat-art.com. If you have a pet related web site
and you wish to reproduce the above article you are welcome to do so, provided the article
is reproduced in its entirety, including this resource box and live link to