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How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching The Furniture ?

Have you got a problem with your cat scratching your furniture or carpet? Well, this section is for you. Scratching is a very common issue and occurs because of your cat’s underlying nature and instinct to scratch. A cat has a natural instinct to scratch to mark its territory ad assert its role in the environment, to stretch and tone its muscles, as well as shed loose claw and nail ends to keep them sharp. Most cats will scratch daily.

Problem scratching may occur in many parts of the home. This includes carpet, on furniture, on doors or windows, or on walls and wallpaper.

Therefore, no amount of discipline will get your cat to stop scratching. So in order to keep your furniture intact, you need to divert their scratching attention to a scratching post.

A related behavior is kneading. Kneading is when the cat is settling down on you and begins to knead you with its claws. It is a sign of affection and is at the same time, a pleasurable sensation that cats get from toning and stretching their paws in the process, and your clothes on your lap are very good for this purpose. In other words, it is an action which a cat performs when happy and purring, and at the same time, provides a pleasant sensation for the cat as well.

Here are the steps to help your cat to stop scratching you or the furniture.

Step 1:

Make the area that’s scratched on undesirable to scratch.

This is the crucial step to interrupt the pattern that the cat has established that the furniture or other object is a suitable surface to scratch its claws on.

How to do this?

If you have a favorite piece of furniture that is the victim of scratching, apply glad wrap to protect the furniture, then double-sided sticky tape on top of this. The stickiness will almost always deter the cat as it will stick to their paws. Maintain this for 2 weeks after the cat stops scratching the furniture. If the sticky tape is not suitable, you can instead use rags scented with eucalyptus oil or citrus fragrance placed on the area of carpet or sofa that’s scratched on. You’ll have to put up with the scents as well. Again, you must continue for 2

weeks after it has worked.

OK, onto step 2…

Step 2:

At the same time as placing a deterrent, you must provide a suitable scratching post for your cat.

Ideally use a sisal rope than a carpet scratching post, that is stable and will not move when it’s used by the cat. One that moves will not be used. So get one or two now if you haven’t already done so. Ideally, the height of the scratching surface will allow her cat to stand up on her hind legs to get a good stretch and grip. You may need to provide your cat with two posts if one is not enough, especially if your house is large and your cat likes to scratch frequently. Entice your cat to use the scratching post by placing it near the area that he or she is scratching at. So if the area of scratching is a particular spot on the carpet or a particular lounge, then lace the post right on the patch of carpet or next to the couch.

Now onto step 3…

Step 3

This is where your effort comes into the solution.

Doing the above 2 steps is often not enough to ensure that your feline will use the scratching post. What you need to do is to supervise the area if you can. For example, spend some time on the lounge that the cat scratches. The moment the cat comes into the lounge, watch him or her carefully.

a) If the cat goes to use the post spontaneously, great. Simply give verbal praise as he or she is doing so. So say “good girl” or “good boy” in an uplifting, encouraging tone. Remember that cats will understand you based on your tone of voice, and when enjoying themselves on the scratching post, you will have the extra 5-10% of enjoyment with your encouraging tone of voice.

b) If the cat starts to scratch the furniture despite the deterrent and does not pull away immediately from the sticky tape, and for continues scratching, use a disapproving tone of voice such as “uh uh” or other words, with a harsher tone, in complete contrast to an encouraging tone. This, if it surprises the cat, will often stop the behavior immediately.

Then immediately, if possible, place the cat next to the scratching post with his paws on the rope sisal post part, and often the cat will start scratching the post as it feels a suitable texture on its claws. As he does so, give an encouraging tone of voice, and afterward a stroke on its side as a reward, if your cat likes to touch. In either case of whether a) or b) happened above, use this following step c) as well. What is it?

c) It is the power of play and scent.

Play with her near the post, and then start scratching the post with your finger. The sound will often immediately cause the cat to start scratching. Their scratching will deposit some pheromones and scent on the post. When he or she does do, give a verbal reward, with a “good girl/boy” in a happy, encouraging tone. If she does not use the post despite the sound, place her paws on the post and see if she scratches. If she doesn’t. don’t give up, some cats take several exposures to this before they will start to scratch the post.

Play with the cat near the post and do this twice a day, every day for 2 weeks. Remember to always give verbal reward when he or she uses the post. Consistency is the key. And the reason it’s important is that if the cat’s need for scratching is satisfied, they will not feel the need to scratch at other times of the day.

Step 4:

After you have established a new habit of using the scratching post for 2 weeks, slowly return the post to the usual location. Move it a foot or so after a few days, then every few days move it a little further away until it is at a location that is convenient for you.

If using tape on the lounge, remove the tape and just have some plastic wrap there, and after a few more days, remove the plastic wrap.

Bonus Steps

In most cases, the above is all you need.

Here are some extra steps if you feel you need an extra boost to get your cat to use the post.

1. You can rub catnip or catmint on the post when she’s there. Catnip is appreciated by a percentage of cats and enhances the pleasure of the scratching post-experience.

2. Use a cleaner such as a peroxide to clean the furniture being scratched to eliminate the scents of the cat from the area. Beware: you should test the cleaner on furniture, as it will leach natural fibers. The elimination of the cat’s scent from the furniture can help to lose the cat’s reminder that this is the place to scratch.

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