How to keep the cat from scratching the sofa or other furniture is usually a headache for many owners. You must understand that this is natural behavior in cats and you must also know how to control it to avoid problems.
How to prevent the cat from scratching the sofa without harming its well-being?
For a cat, dogging is what, in ethology (the science that studies animal behavior), is defined as a “behavioral need”. This means that it is a natural and necessary behavior of the feline species. A cat prevented from using its nails will be an animal that will not have an optimal level of well-being. His nature forces him to claw and mark objects with his claws. Therefore, the first thing to keep in mind when asking the big question of “how to prevent my cat from scratching my couch” is that the solution is to redirect this “feline craze” and not to ban it. If we want to know how to prevent the cat from scratching the sofa without affecting its nature, we must teach the cat to scratch other surfaces than our furniture or our sofa.
Why do cats scratch?
There are several reasons why dogging is a natural behavior for any cat. Cats claw for:
- Mark their territory: cats have glands between their fingers (interdigital glands) that give off pheromones, which are chemical particles that other cats can detect. These pheromones are used to transmit identity information and to warn other cats that the marked territory belongs to the cat that scratched it. In addition, by clawing an object, cats leave a visual mark also detectable for other cats that can invade the territory. This mark serves as a warning.
- Take care of your nails: by scratching, cats get rid of the remains of their nails.
- Stretching the muscles: you just have to see the position that a cat takes by clawing at a piece of furniture or a sofa, the whole body stretched.
When a cat lines or scratches an object, in addition to marking it with its interdigital pheromones, it adds the visual mark that we have already mentioned. The more the same object is scratched, the more obvious the olfactory and visual clues it leaves there. Therefore, clearer is the warning to other cats, potentially invaders, that this territory belongs to it. It is, in short, a feline communication. Although there are no more cats to compete at home, felines instinctively mark the territory. They are territorial animals and this is implicit in their nature.
Practical instructions to prevent the cat from scratching the sofa
Cats choose places and objects to scratch or scratch and it is difficult to get used to scratching elsewhere. However, it is possible to achieve this. Here’s how to keep the cat from scratching the sofa or other furniture in your home:
- Replace household items with scrapers suitable for cats: you should replace household items that the cat likes to scratch with scrapers that have a texture and look like these items. If your cat, for example, likes to scratch the sofa, you should look for a scraper made of fabric similar to that of the sofa.
- Place the scraper in the correct position: the scraper should be placed horizontally or vertically, depending on what your cat prefers, and distribute several scrappers throughout the house. If you wish, you can use both types.
- Pay attention to the location of the scraper: The scrapers should be located near the areas where the cat has already scratched naturally, and make sure that they are well fixed and do not move or fall. If they are not properly attached, the cat may be afraid and not reuse them.
- Wrap the furniture that the cat is scratching with unpleasant materials: to prevent it from scratching your furniture or your sofa, you must prevent your cat from accessing the scratched object or cover it with certain materials that are unpleasant to the touch. You can use a plastic case, aluminum foil, etc.
- Put catnip on the scraper: this is a trick to get the cat’s attention.
- If you are going to adopt a cat, make sure the scraper is already at home before the cat arrives at the new home.
Is declawing a valid solution to prevent the cat from scratching the sofa?
Deungulation or surgery to remove a cat’s nails is a type of mutilation and is prohibited by law in many countries. In addition, it causes chronic pain in cats similar to that which would cause amputation of the first phalanx of a finger in humans. As we have said, dogging is a natural and necessary behavior in cats and any attempt to eradicate it threatens feline well-being. If you do not know how to prevent the cat from scratching the sofa or other furniture in the house, the solution is never to remove the nails. Apply the guidelines we explained in this article and you will certainly notice improvements.