Did you know that 35.7% of households in the United States own a cat? On average, households that have one cat have two cats. People like cats because they’re intelligent, independent, calm, and low-maintenance. All great qualities to have in a pet!
Cats like to sleep about 12-16 hours a day. This makes them relatively easy to care for. But what about when they’re not sleeping? Whether they mean to or not, cats get into trouble from time to time—and when they do, it may cause some destruction to your home.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Cats scratch for several different reasons. Here are some of them:
- Cats scratch furniture as a way of marking their territory. Cats have scent glands in their paws, allowing them to leave their personal scent on whatever space they choose. This way, other cats know to beware of that space.
- They tend to remove the dead outer layer of their claws by scratching. Cats need to sharpen their claws every so often, and scratching helps get all the old stuff off first. (We can’t think of anyone who would want dead cat nails on their sofa.)
Cats like to exercise by stretching out all of their muscles. In order to stretch, they need to sink those nails into whatever material they’re standing on. Stretching is scratching, and scratching is damaging.
I Don’t Want To Trim My Kitty’s Claws
We can understand why you may not want to interfere with your cat’s all-natural look. They like having their claws! So if playing kitty salon isn’t what you want to spend your free Saturday doing, maybe it’s time to consider purchasing some new accessories.
Side note—if you do try some nail clipping, be careful! Use clippers that are made specifically for cats and do not cut too short. Clipping the very ends is good enough. You can always ask the vet for a quick demonstration of how to do this.
Best Buys For Scratching
If they don’t have one already, you might want to buy your cat a nice bed. Pet beds are a win-win for both you and your cat. You’re saving your furniture, and they’re living large.
We can assure you CordaRoy’s pet beds are not your average buy. They’re called Forever Beds for a reason. Our products are filled with polyfoam stuffing, which is the same foam that pole vaulters trust their lives with every day! This makes for a durable yet soft bed.
Sounds good...but doesn’t a pet bed get kind of gross?
The pet beds we make have an outer cover that is machine washable. We also offer extra covers, so if you need to put a clean one on while you take time to wash the other, that’s entirely doable.
A Scratching Post
A scratching post is a great idea for a cat who can’t seem to stop ripping up carpet, drapes, or couches. Like we said before, felines have a natural urge to scratch, so a great way to let them live freely without sacrificing your furniture is investing in a scratching post.
Don’t forget that cats also enjoy a good climb! Some sources suggest purchasing a post that is at least 31 inches tall to start.
Collapsible Cat Tunnels
Just like any other pet, cats need exercise. Without enough activity in their daily life, cats may choose to act out more often—and this can include more of that scratching. After all, the energy has to go somewhere!
A great gift for a cat with boundless energy is a collapsible cat tunnel. These usually have a reasonable price tag and will keep your kitties entertained for hours.
Why Won’t My Cat Use The Stuff I Bought?
If you spent the money purchasing some of these suggested items and your cat doesn’t seem to have any interest in using them, don’t panic. Just like for any other living thing, change is something that takes time for cats to process.
This is your time to shine! Help your kitty out by introducing them to their new things.
- One way to do this is by demonstrating how to use their new scratching post by using your own nails on the material. This could easily pique their interest.
- To lure them into their new comfy bed, maybe put their favorite toy nearby. Sometimes associating a familiar object with a new object can help something/someone with trusting the new one.
- A third option, which you might have already thought of, is to coax your kitty into using these things with catnip or treats.
Toys, Toys, Toys!
We mentioned how people like having cats as pets because they’re intelligent and independent. While this is true, let’s not forget that all living beings need love. Whether your cat is a social butterfly or a lone ranger, they will want—and need—attention from time to time.
Playtime is an essential part of any pet’s lifestyle. For cats, boredom scratching is a real possibility. Maybe stretching just isn’t doing the trick for them. Do they have enough toys? Thanks to modern-day technology, there are even interactive toys for cats now—like electric mice and automatic laser pointers.
Another great place to integrate toys is the scratching post! Challenge your kitty by hanging a toy that has a string to the top of the post. This will be an exciting change for your cat. Not only will they be stretching with purpose now, but they’ll also be expending more energy throughout the day.
Are There Any Home Remedies To Try?
You may be on a tight budget right now and can’t quite afford to get all of the products you need at once. We get it, so we’ve compiled a few home remedies to prevent scratching, as well.
Try Cleaning The Area
In the meantime, you can try cleaning the spots your cat scratches most. Don’t go ruining your furniture yourself, though! Use a gentle, non-toxic solution to clean the typical areas.
Cats use those scent glands to re-mark territories when the scent they last put there is fading. This is what causes certain furniture in your house to become consistent targets for scratching. If the scent is no longer there, they may not feel the urge to mark the area again.
Most cats are not big fans of aluminum foil. When a piece of furniture is lined with this material, cats will find the slippery texture unappealing and difficult to scratch. This is a trick commonly used by cat owners to keep their pets away from specific surfaces.
Try Adding A Different Scent
If all else fails, there is a home remedy that some use to keep cats off the couch. Felines have sensitive noses—much more sensitive noses than we do. If you have tried everything in terms of redirecting your cat’s scratching, you can consider spraying furniture with some scents and/or oils that will deter your cat.
Non-toxic oils like lemongrass, peppermint, or lavender can help steer them the other way. Make sure to add just a bit of these scents to a decent portion of water to ensure you aren’t overwhelming your cat’s sense of smell. The plan is to sidetrack your furry friends, not upset them.
Positive Reinforcement Is Key
Learning anything can be made easier when the concept of positive reinforcement is being used. Positive reinforcement is a type of conditioning that involves rewarding a subject for desired behavior.
That’s right, folks. We’re back on the treat train. Rewarding your cat as they start to transition from scratching your furniture to scratching their own belongings is highly suggested.
It’s important to get to the root of the problem when it comes to our loved ones. Pets are family—and family is worth the time, the money, and the effort. Luckily for you, cats are easy family members to spoil.
There are plenty of ways to save your furniture from further damage. It all comes down to what your cat needs. Maybe some cleaning and simple scents will do the trick, or maybe giving them their very own bed to stretch on is what will change everything. Last but not least, don’t forget activity! Exercise is crucial.
Data shows that, on average, each cat-loving household in the United States has two cats. Dare we suggest you get your cat a friend? It seems like it’s all the rage these days.
They sure would get more playtime—which would mean less boredom scratching for you to address. Just make sure they both have a great pet bed. We wouldn’t want anyone to get jealous.