One of the most common problems faced by cat owners is cats scratching furniture. As much as we love our cats, it can be annoying if cats stopped using the scratching post and scratching expensive furniture instead. Which got me thinking many people may want to know how to stop your cat from scratching furniture.
How to get your cat to use the scratching post?
Here’s what worked for us.
Our cat didn’t particularly like the scratching post at first but it didn’t really matter to us until she started scratching one of our expensive couches. When this happens, it’s important not to yell or punish them because it will never work.
Instead, to discourage this behavior, we started training her to use the scratching post. We sprayed some cat nip spray on it and kept it by her bed side. This ensured every time she wakes up, scratching post is the first thing she sees. After waking up & stretching, our cat went straight for the scratching post. The catnip really helped too. Also, we ensured positive reinforcement by praising the cat every time she used the scratching post by rewarding her with a treat or two. Soon enough, this became a habit and with this training, our cat finally stopped clawing at the furniture.
For quick results, you can also get a spray to attract cat to scratching post.
Why do cats scratch?
It’s important to understand why do cats scratch posts and all sorts of different things. According to me, here are the reasons:
Communication & Marking Territory
One of the reasons for cats’ scratching behavior lies in their innate tendency to demarcate their territory. Cats have glands in their paws, chin and behind the ears that secrete pheromones. In the outside world, stray and jungle cats impart their pheromone scent, by rubbing and scratching against the bark of a tree. They do this to communicate with other cats and mark the extent of their territory. Domestic cats are no different. They demonstrate the same behavior by scratching furniture and other things.
Cats claws grow quickly and in order to maintain the perfect length and keep them in good shape, they scratch different surfaces. Usually something like a cardboard box or furniture.
Cats scratch when they are excited eg: when a play session is about to begin. They also scratch when they are angry and scratching releases their pent-up energy.
Do cats need a scratching post?
While I can’t guarantee that your cat will appreciate a scratching post or even use it, it still makes sense to get one because cats’ basic instincts is in wanting to scratch, pull & tear. It’s what makes them cats and you want them to have fun. In many households, it saves expensive furniture and prevents them from unrolling toilet paper.
Do scratching posts trim nails?
Every few weeks, the outer shell of cats’ nails becomes like human dead skin and needs removal. Scratching posts help keep their nails filed and in top shape.
Training your cat to use the scratching post will require a little bit of training, patience and persistence on your part. But, it’s definitely possible and you can even fast track the process using certain products meant for this purpose.