Worst case scenario: you’ve returned home from work after a long day to find your beloved cat has scratched up your leather sofa. Frustration and anger are probably your first emotions but before shouting at your cat, take a moment to understand why they are scratching and what you can do to stop it happening again.
Why is your cat scratching the furniture?
Firstly, scratching is natural behaviour for cats. It is often used as a way of marking their territory and establishing their presence within your home. Your cat’s paws leave a scent on whatever they scratch, protecting their home that they love so much.
Scratching also has benefits. It removes the dead outer layer from their claws, promoting healthy growth, just as we do with trimming our nails. Not to mention scratching is great exercise as well as being fun for your cat.
Cleaning Scratched Furniture
Cleaning the scratched furniture with a solution of washing powder and surgical spirit will deter your cat from scratching the area again. If you do not clean the area your cat may be attracted back to the spot to re-scratch, remarking their territory for everyone to see.
It is important to provide your cat with an alternative to your sofa, such as a scratching post. Once you’ve purchased your post, rub your cat’s paws against it to mark their scent. It is advisable to do this several times to ensure their scent is fully spread across the post. If your cat needs a little encouragement to use their post, try making it more attractive by sprinkling cat nip in the area or attaching their favourite toys.
Trim their Claws
Trimming your cat’s claws is a great way of reducing the damage but remember, this won’t stop them scratching completely. You can purchase your own claw trimmers from many pet shops or visit a local groomer for a professional trim.
By following these methods and providing your cat with a safe, secure home we are sure they’ll stop scratching in no time, leaving you and your sofa in peace!
Find out more information about cat health and nutrition as well as training and behaviour by visiting our advice centre.