How to Stop Your Cats from Scratching

How to Stop Your Cats from Scratching

September 6, 2023

Cats scratching furniture is a common issue faced by many cat owners. While scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, it can be frustrating when your beloved feline friend chooses your sofa as their scratching post. This comprehensive guide will explore effective ways to stop your cats from scratching your furniture and offer product suggestions to help you tackle this challenge.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Cats scratch for various reasons, including marking their territory, stretching their muscles, and maintaining healthy claws. Understanding their motives is the first step in addressing this behaviour.

Cats have scent glands in their paw pads; when they scratch, they release pheromones that mark their territory. This is their way of saying, “This is mine.” It’s also a natural way for them to stretch their muscles and tendons and remove their claws’ outer layer. So, while scratching may be a nuisance for us, it’s an essential activity for cats.

Training Your Cat

Positive reinforcement training is one of the most effective ways to stop cats from scratching furniture. It involves rewarding your cat when it exhibits the desired behaviour, such as using a scratching post or pad. You can use a clicker to mark the moment your cat does something right. Click when they use the scratching post, and then reward them. Treats are a powerful motivator for most cats. If your cat is food motivated, you can use treats to reward your cat when they scratch the designated areas.

Providing Alternatives

Offering appealing alternatives to your furniture is crucial. Cats naturally seek out different textures and materials for scratching, so it’s important to provide them with suitable options, such as scratching posts and pads. It is best to have vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces available for your kitty. When looking for a scratching post, choose one that is tall, sturdy and covered in sisal or cardboard. These materials mimic the texture of tree bark, which many cats prefer. Scratching pads come in various shapes and sizes. They’re often made of corrugated cardboard, which is both durable and attractive to cats.

Deterrents to Protect Furniture

Cat deterrent sprays can discourage your cat from scratching specific areas. These sprays are carefully formulated to be non-toxic and harmless to your feline companion. You can have peace of mind knowing that your cat won’t be harmed in the process. What makes these sprays effective is their scent. They are designed to have scents that cats find unpleasant, deterring them from scratching the sprayed areas. These scents are usually odourless to humans, so your home won’t be filled with unpleasant smells. Simply spray them on the areas your cat tends to scratch to deter them.

Cat Claw Maintenance

Maintaining your cat’s claws is an essential aspect of responsible pet ownership, and it can significantly minimize the damage that scratching may cause. When tackling this task, investing in a high-quality pair of cat nail clippers is best. Low-quality clippers can have a dull blade that poses a potential for injury to your cat. A strong, sharp blade allows the nail to be cut without being crushed. Another innovative and humane approach to safeguarding your furniture is the use of soft nail caps. These ingenious contraptions are both practical and effective. They consist of soft, rubbery caps that are gently glued onto your cat’s claws, rendering them harmless during scratching sessions. Soft nail caps are incredibly user-friendly, making them a convenient choice for pet owners. You can easily apply these caps to your cat’s claws with just a bit of adhesive and a steady hand. They come in various colours and sizes, allowing you to choose the perfect match for your preferences.

Upholstery Protection

Furniture protectors can be an invaluable tool in your arsenal when it comes to keeping your furniture safe from your cat’s scratching habits. These nifty coverings are specifically designed to act as a barrier between your beloved upholstered pieces and those sharp claws. They come in various styles and materials, so you can easily find one that complements your home decor while serving its primary purpose. Some are made from durable, heavy-duty fabrics like canvas or microfiber, which not only deter your cat from scratching but also add a touch of elegance to your living space. Others might be transparent and nearly invisible, ensuring your furniture’s aesthetics remain intact. One of the greatest advantages of furniture protectors is their convenience. They can be effortlessly placed and removed, making cleaning a breeze. This means you can maintain your furniture’s pristine appearance without investing in costly reupholstering or repairs.

Consistency and Patience

Training your cat to stop scratching furniture is a process that demands both time and patience. Consistency is key. Remember that cats are creatures of habit, and breaking the habit of scratching furniture can take some time. To ensure success, you must adhere to your chosen training method consistently. Consistency applies not only to your technique but also to your behaviour and reactions. It’s important to keep a positive attitude throughout the training process. Cats are highly perceptive animals and can pick up on your emotions. If you become frustrated or angry, it may hinder their progress. If you follow these techniques and use the recommended products, you’ll be well on your way to a scratch-free home.


Preventing cats from scratching furniture is challenging but manageable with the right approach and products. By understanding their behaviour, providing alternatives, and using positive reinforcement training, you can create a scratch-free home for both you and your feline friend. Remember, consistency is key. With time, patience, and a loving attitude, you can guide your cat toward healthier scratching habits, preserving your furniture and strengthening the bond between you and your beloved pet.