How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Up the Furniture

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How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Up the Furniture

Staff Writer · Mar 24, 2010

When sharing your apartment with your cat, cat scratching is a part of life. Your cat will scratch the furniture for amusement and to sharpen his claws. While it can be a difficult habit to get them to break, there are several methods you can try to keep your pet from ruining your furniture (or your roommate’s).

Buy a Scratching Post

A scratching post will help your cat with his scratching habits. It will keep him busy, so that he doesn’t have the time to tear up your furniture or drapery. Scratching posts can be found at regular pet stores in all shapes and sizes. Place them in the room that the cat is fond of scratching in. Rub catnip on the post every once in a while to keep the cat interested. Using catnip once a week should be sufficient.

Play with Your Cat

Cats often scratch because they are bored. If your cat is scratching out of boredom, purchase some toys to amuse him. Your local grocery store or pet supply store will carry toys for cats. Get all sorts of different toys, rather than just one. All the different sights and smells will fascinate your cat and keep him occupied. Taking some regular string and playing with him for at least 10 minutes will do him good as well.

Don’t Throw away What Your Cat Destroys

When your cat destroys some of your furniture, don’t throw it away. A piece of the curtains that your cat tore can be given to him as a toy, and hopefully he’ll leave your new curtains alone. You can cut the curtains (or whatever has been torn) into thin, long pieces so that it resembles string for your cat to play with.

Spread Aluminum Foil or Plastic

Cats don’t like aluminum foil. It doesn’t feel right or sound good good to them, especially when they try to scratch it. If your cat is scratching the furniture, aluminum foil will help. Lay aluminum foil beside or on the places that your cat is scratching.

Plastic is another thing that cats don’t like. Hardware, paint and pet supply stores sell rolls of plastic. Place plastic in front of the furniture. Your cat will try to avoid it as much as possible.

Using aluminum foil or plastic rolls may help to teach your cat to stop scratching the furniture. You won’t want the plastic or aluminum foil to be a permanent “design element” in your apartment, though, so if these methods don’t work, you’ll have to try something else.

Clip Your Cat’s Nails

If you clip your cat’s nails, it will be harder for it to scratch. Don’t clip down too far or you’ll hurt the cat. Clipping your cat’s nails is not a one time solution. When his nails grow again, you have to clip them again.

When a cat is scratching, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just normal cat behavior. Use the methods above to try to reduce the amount of scratching he does, or to redirect him toward scratching something besides the furniture.

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