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How to Stop a Cat Scratching Furniture and Rugs

Unfortunately, completely stopping a cat from scratching is not going to happen. Therefore, the challenge is to teach it not to scratch the furniture and rugs.

According to animal behaviorists affiliated with The Humane Society, cat scratching is not a display of aggression or defiance or an act of purposeful destruction. Still, it is an instinctive behavior that provides several physical needs. For example, scratching is the way a cat stretches and exercises its muscles, and it helps the cat shed the dead outer layers of its claws.

Scratching is also a way to mark territory, an instinct that many animals possess. For example, a cat’s front paws have scent glands, so when it scratches, it leaves its mark and smell to inform other animals, “I have been here, and I claim this area as mine.”

So, although a cat will never stop scratching, it can be taught to scratch something besides furniture and rugs. It’s only a question of refocusing the cat, such as scratching boxes and posts.

Simple Guide to Successfully Stop Cat Scratching Undesirable Objects

Place a scratching box or post near the furniture or rug you want to stop scratching and put some catnip spray on it to make it more desirable. Also, lightly spray a citrus-scented air freshener on the furniture or rug, which is a very unpleasant odor to a cat. Use a scratching box if the cat is stretching out on the floor to scratch and a post if the cat reaches up to scratch, making sure the seat is sturdy and does not tip over.

When Kitty begins clawing an unwelcome thing, exclaim “no!”” and give a few water squirts. When given the choice of getting wet or stopping what they are doing, cats will choose not to get wet every time. Water squirts and yelling “no!” are appropriate responses.” are a great deterrent. Then get a kitty treat and coax Kitty over to the box or post.

Never pick the cat up and take it to the post because this will only scare it and cause a negative association to the box or stick. Also, never attempt to physically remove the cat from the undesirable scratching areas because this will only cause it to fear you and teach it to do its scratching when you can’t stop it.

Preventing cats from scratching furniture is one of the most challenging behaviors to break. However, there are various ways to stop cats from clawing furniture.

When Kitty comes over to the box or post, place the treat beside it so that Kitty will smell the scent of the catnip while eating the treat. Then move away and allow Kitty to investigate. When Kitty scratches it, give verbal praise and another pleasure to show approval. Do this immediately when Kitty crosses, so the connection between the scratching and the treat is understood.

Continue this until Kitty begins to go directly to the box or post instead of the furniture or rug. Then, keep using the citrus air freshener for a while as a reminder of where not to scratch, always give praise, and, although you don’t want your cat to expect a treat each time it uses the box or post, every so often, give a reward treat to reinforce the training.

Be Patient, and Do Not De-claw

Training a cat to stop scratching undesirable objects will take some time and patience, but it can be done. Sadly, some individuals would rather have their cats declawed than make the effort. All experts agree this is not an acceptable option because it is a painful procedure that maims the poor cat. Can you imagine having the ends of your fingers removed?!

In addition, if an indoor cat should happen to get outside, it is now left entirely defenseless. For example, how will it be able to climb a tree to escape a predator without its claws? So please, put in the time to give your cat just some simple loving guidance, and you will both live happily ever after.