Why do cats scratch furniture?

There are various reasons why cats scratch. Scratching removes the dead layer of claws and keeps the claws healthy. Just like humans indulge in various activities to relieve stress, cats indulge in scratching. It also allows your feline baby to mark its territory. Territory marking is an important way of communication for cats with other cats. Even though you have only one cat, she would still indulge in this form of communication. Lastly, scratching allow the cats to stretch which is good for the health of their muscles and tendons. Claws fulfill emotional, social, and physical aspects in a cat’s life. Scratching is both normal and necessary for them. 

Should you declaw your cat?

If there are other cat parents that you know of they might have suggested declawing your cat. No claws, no scratching. If you are thinking of declawing, stop right there and keep reading. 

In simpler words, declawing is a surgery that amputates one-third of your cat’s paws. It often results in chronic pain in cats and some develop litter box issues. The surgery also permanently alters the gait of your cat, is rife with complications both during and after the surgery.

Claws are a feline’s prime defense mechanism. Declawing your cat would mean robbing your baby of its defenses and making them vulnerable to its predators. A declawed cat can only remain indoors as they have no ways to defend themselves.  

How to prevent your cat from scratching your furniture?

Since we have chucked declawing out of the window, here are other safer and healthier ways to prevent your lovely cat from scratching your precious furniture.

  • Install scratching posts: If you don’t want your cat scratching every piece of furniture yet be able to indulge in its natural behavior, scratching posts are an awesome idea. These are cat-safe pieces of furniture that you allow your pet baby to scratch. You can either buy them online or surf the net for some DIY cat furniture ideas.
  • Use cat socks and nail caps: Imagine your cat baby in cute little cat mittens! Adorable isn’t it? Cat socks ( or mittens) are a great alternative to declawing. Nail caps are another way to prevent your cat from scratching your furniture. The caps stick to your cat’s claws and greatly minimizes the damage. 
  • Use cat scratch tapes: Did you know that your bundle joy doesn’t like the sticky feeling on its paws? The market is flooded with cat scratch tapes. These scratch tapes work best with leather furniture, carpet, fabric, and hard surfaces like walls. Cat scratch tapes are either double-sided rolls or panels and are super easy to install. 
  • Buy/ DIY scratch spray: A scratch spray makes your cat believe that it has already marked its territory. Purchase it or make it yourself, cat spays are a good option especially when paired up with cat scratch posts. 
  • Install clear vinyl panels: Among the other options to prevent scratching is installing clear vinyl panels on your furniture on the spots where your cat scratches. Available in a diversity of sizes, these vinyl panels are high on the ease of installation.

Related: Furniture Maintenance: How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing the Furniture?