How to Train a Cat Not to Scratch: A Step-by-Step Guide to a More Peaceful Home
If you find yourself searching on the internet for tips and tricks on how to train a cat not to scratch, chances are the situation has gotten from bad to worst. We can all agree that cats are among the cutest yet nastiest creatures on the planet.
Unlike dogs who are very easy to train, cats seem to make up their own rules, and it is not always easy to have them behave how we want to.
For first time owners, it can sometimes be overwhelming to discover scratch marks all over the house every single day. Scratching is a common behavior for cats, and most of the time, it is not bad.
But once your furry friend does it on your furniture, it can be a really bad habit that you just wish would stop.
From upholstered sofas to wicker chairs and wooden tables, these items will all fall victims to your cat’s claws—albeit teeny tiny ones—until it learns that that is unacceptable behavior. Before we share with you some of the most effective ways to train your cat to stop scratching, allow us to tell you why they do so in the first place.
Reasons Why Cats Scratch Everything
To Mark A Territory
Hidden in your cat’s paws are scent glands. Through scratching, your cat attaches its own scent onto your furniture as an act to mark its territory.
It is their natural way of telling you, or other cats in the house, that she has chosen that piece of furniture to be hers and hers only.
To Exercise Muscles and Tendons
Scratching, for cats, is a form of exercise that allows it to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons from all over its body—from the neck and shoulders down to its toes.
To Maintain a Healthy Claw
In order to keep the claw healthy, cats need to shed the outside nail husk from time to time. It does this, unfortunately for you, through scratching things.
To Feel Good
Aside from being a form of exercise, scratching is also a way for cats to relieve stress. Simply put, it just makes them feel really good. This also significantly decreases the development of other annoying behaviors.
How to Train a Cat Not to Scratch
So far, we have established that we cannot stop cats from scratching because it is in their nature to do this. What we can do, as their keepers, is to make sure that they do not leave these scratch marks on valuable things around the house.
Check out some of the things that you can do to address this problem.
Invest in Scratching Posts
In order to develop healthy scratching habits that do not threaten to tear down the whole house, consider investing in a rough-textured, stable, and sturdy scratching post or pad. This trick will work best when you start doing them as young as when they are still kittens.
You may use a good quality catnip to attract the cat to this new “furniture” to scratch on, along with giving it praise and treats whenever it uses her designated scratching post or pad. There is a vast selection of scratching posts that can be found online or at local pet stores.
Fight Boredom with Playtime
All the energy stored inside its tiny body needs to be released somehow, which is why sometimes it chooses to scratch on things. If you noticed that your cat looks a little bored, spare a few minutes of your time and play with them using their favorite toy.
Do this a couple of times each day, and it is a guarantee that you will notice fewer scratches in your house.
Trim The Nails (But Don’t Declaw!)
Every two weeks, trim your cat’s nails by using a good quality nail clipper. You can ask your local veterinarian how to do it to ensure that you are not hurting your precious kitty friend.
It is not advisable to declaw cats as they will become defenseless when they go outdoors. Also, declawing is a very painful operation that includes amputation of the last bone on each toe.
For a short-term solution, you may also choose to buy your cat a plastic claw that it can wear whenever you leave it alone in the house. This will provide a temporary solution to your big problem.
Make Use of Deterrents
Another trick to stop your cat from scratching furniture in your house is to make the surface unpleasant to the cat’s touch. You can use double-sided tape to make the surface kind of sticky, or aluminum foil to eliminate the relaxing sensation they get from scratching your furniture.
Alternatively, you can also spray a citrus-scented solution on the furniture as cats do not like this smell. On the other hand, use a feline facial pheromone spray on the scratching posts to encourage the cat to use it more often.
Once your cat starts to use the scratching post or pad that you purchase, reward them by providing them with treats and praises. This act will eventually turn your cat into a well-behaved furry friend.
In this article, you were given a list of the things that you can try if you want to know how to train a cat not to scratch on your furniture, floor, and everything else around the house. We have also discovered that scratching is a rather normal behavior and it is the cat’s way of marking its territory, exercising its muscles, and fighting boredom.
Among the tips and tricks that you can do to stop this unwanted behavior is to invest in a good scratching post. These are tall, stable, and durable posts that are wrapped in a rough material, which makes them very unattractive to cats.
There are also other options such as playing with your cat more often, trimming its nails more frequently, and making use of deterrents to change the way she feels about the furniture, a.ka. the victim. Never give in to pressure and have it declawed because it is a very painful and horrible procedure that you would not wish to happen on anybody, much less to your adorable cat.