Before you decide to get rid of your cat because his scratching and clawing is driving you bonkers, try some of these simple tips for how to stop a cat from scratching or clawing your furniture and draperies.
- Buy or build cat scratching posts and place them where your cat is sure to frequent. Different cats like different types of cat scratching posts, so you might need to try several kinds.
- Encourage your cat to use the scratching post by putting catnip on and around it, and reward your cat when he scratches the post.
- Try putting the scratching post next to your cat’s napping area, or bring your cat to the post after a nap. Cats love to stretch and scratch after naps, so make it easy for him.
- NEVER encourage your cat to scratch on old furniture. Your cat doesn’t know the difference between old and new.
- NEVER punish or yell at your cat for scratching or clawing your furniture. This will just teach your cat that he shouldn’t scratch when you’re around and can result in stress and anxiety (which usually results in worse behavior).
- A quick spray from a water bottle isn’t punishment. The trick is to not let your cat know that the spray is coming from you. Hide the bottle and give him a little squirt when he’s not looking at you. He’ll get confused and eventually realize that scratching the furniture results in getting wet. Most cats hate that!
- Consult your vet for alternative scratching solutions.
Scratching and clawing is natural for cats. They do it to sharpen their claws, stretch their muscles, and mark their territory. You can’t take that natural tendency out of a cat. But with proper training, your cat can learn to use the scratching posts, and not scratch or claw your furniture.