If you’re a cat parent, you’re probably desperate enough to know what home remedy will keep cats from scratching furniture – after all, cats like to scratch on things and every cat parent has experienced coming home to scratched sofas, deck posts, table legs and even chairs. It’s a nightmare! But we still love our furbabies, right? At the same time, we know for sure there’s got to be a remedy or some solution to make cats stop this nasty habit once and for all.
Why Cats Love Scratching On Things
Cats love to scratch on objects because it serves as a full-body workout that stretches their entire back. This is the reason why they prefer to go after tall, sturdy and vertical objects, like decks posts and legs of a table or chair. In addition, it helps remove their claw sheath while maintaining the sharpness of their nails.
Scratching leads to the release of secretions which convey their signature that is unique to the cat, and pheromones, which are scents used to communicate with other cats. By scratching, they tell these other cats they’ve been to that place and for how long. It is believed that such scent will help keep the cat secure in that environment, by leaving a marking that identifies their territory. Lastly, cats get bored that’s why scratching gives them something to do. When they scratch, cats release that untapped energy which could have been released during playtime. This is the reason why it’s important to spend some time with your cats to help them release so much of their energy.
A Word On Declawing
Unfortunately, many cat parents choose to go radical and declaw their cats. By getting rid of their hunting weapon, you are disabling their natural instinct which they can’t help. Worse, it will lead to more serious repercussions involving their health. According to Humane Society, cat declawing is dangerous because of its complications and health risks. Moreover, it will alter your cat’s personality and behavior and will cause more problems in your household.
Your cat will be more aggressive as she uses biting as her defensive mechanism. Since your cat can no longer shuffle and walk on her litter without feeling the pain, she’ll look to eliminate elsewhere that’s so much easier. And that is outside of her litter box.
What Home Remedy Will Keep Cats From Scratching Furniture?
You don’t have to be radical and have your cat declawed just because of a particular unwanted behavior. A home remedy will help deter your cat from scratching on her usual spot.
You’ve probably read a lot about certain smells that cats don’t like, such as citrus essential oils. According to some blogs, cats hate the scent of citrus so spraying your furniture with citrus will help keep those cats away. Unfortunately, those essential oils are harmful and could be poisonous to your cat. According to APVet, some essential oils contain phenol which pose health risks to your cat. Irritation, vomiting, and respiratory problems are a few of these repercussions, so you have to stay away from these scents. A good alternative would be rosemary oil.
Add 10 drops of rosemary oil with water and use this mixture to deter your feline friend from scratching. Spray on surfaces where your cats like to scratch everyday.
Meanwhile, teach your cat to scratch someplace else (later on this) so she would not scratch on your furniture anymore.
How To Stop Cats From Scratching Your Furniture
- Use scratch posts and trees
Scratch posts are every cat parent’s best friend. If you want your cat to stay away from your furniture, this one is a good alternative. Scratch posts are made exclusively as a scratching toy for cats. They are available in various colors, height and material, so you won’t have a hard time choosing what your cat likes. A popular material is sisal rope because not only is it durable, its texture also feels good against cat claws.
To train your cat to scratch on these scratch posts, pour some catnip all over them as encouragement for your cat. Whenever you catch your cat scratching on your furniture, bring her over to the scratch post and encourage her to scratch there instead. It will make sense to place the scratch post right where your cat frequently scratches – just like what you want her to.
Cats also like to scratch after napping. So bring her over to the scratch post when she wakes up, and when she scratches there, praise her as always. Praising her gives her an idea that scratching on these posts are pleasurable.
Scratch trees are similar to scratch posts. They are also available in different colors, height and material and serve as a good outlet for your cat’s scratching habit.
- Tire her out
Even though cats seem to be solitary creatures, that doesn’t mean they should be left alone all the time. In reality, cats need a healthy balance between solitude and bonding time with parents and other cats. If she doesn’t have her playtime, she will release all that untapped energy on scratching and chewing which could turn your house into a mess.
This is why you need to have some time with your cat. Get her to engage in physical activity. A good way to achieve this is by installing cat shelves, where she can leap and run from one shelf to another, tiring her out in the process.
Another way to tire your cat out is by using interactive cat toys on her. Cat toys are called interactive when they engage the cat mentally and physically. These interactive cat toys encourage the cat to hone and nurture their predatory skills. In other words, these cats pounce, grab and even bite because that’s what cats do in the wild.
There are lots of interactive cat toys to choose from. Examples of these toys are:
- Clean scratched surfaces
Your cat will likely return to the same place where she scratches over and over. Little do humans know that cats leave their scent, which is undetected to humans, when they scratch. To combat this, you should apply a solution that breaks these scents down. A good product that does this is Rocco & Roxie. It breaks down the enzyme in the cat scent so when you wash it away, the scent completely goes away.
When you apply the solution, make sure your cat never scratches there again. That’s why it’s important that you present to her an alternative that doesn’t involve furnitures.
- Cover with aluminum foil or sandpaper
Cats hate the feeling of aluminum foil or sandpaper against their claws, so after applying the rosemary solution to scratched surfaces, cover them with aluminum foil or sandpaper. Keep them covered for at least 2 weeks to deter your cats from scratching. All this time, you should teach your cats to scratch on scratching post or trees.
- Cover your cat’s paws with socks.
You can stop your cat from scratching temporarily by putting on socks on their paws. This is much safer than declawing your cat.
- Keep her secure.
Sometimes, a cat begins to scratch out of nowhere due to sudden changes at home. Is there a new member in the family? Has there been a renovation? Have you moved?
If you recently underwent changes in your household, that might explain why your cat scratches all over the place. To address this, keep your cat secure by giving her access to one or two rooms only. Letting her wander through the rest of the house could be stressful because you’re letting her be assaulted with new scents and see new people, and well know that cats are adverse to changes. So let het stay in one room with all her things in there to keep the stress down low.
- Never hurt nor yell at your cat
I get it. Training your cat can be frustrating and a little difficult, too. But that doesn’t mean we should just take out our anger and our frustration on our cat, because that would be unfair. Your cat doesn’t understand human language that’s why she’ll never get what you mean even if you yell at her. In fact, reprimanding your pet will only make things worse because you’re making your cat anxious and stressed, which will only result to more scratching incidents and other unwanted behavior. So, don’t let your cat see you as a source of anxiety and stress. She will shun you.