Sometimes all your kitty needs is a good scratch and stretch! It feels good, it helps them sharpen their claws and makes them feel at home! But what can you do if your friendly feline has taken an interest in your sofa? It’s not their fault - sometimes our sofas are just too appealing and they just want to dig their claws in! But that’s often not ideal from a human perspective! Luckily there are a few simple ways to prevent your cat from scratching where they shouldn't.
4 Tips To Stop Your Cat From Scratching the Sofa
1. Distract Your Cat
Have you ever wished your cat could talk to you? Though we love having a cat chat your kitty can communicate in other ways. And if they frequently scratch the sofa, it might be a subtle signal from them that “something’s not quite right". Scratching is a natural activity that cats use to calm themselves - they release invisible “territory messages” that comfort them when they scratch. So if your cat has suddenly started clawing the sofa, or scratching a lot, consider if anything has changed that could be stressing them out. You can help decrease their stress by offering distractions.
- For example give them you can: lots of love and attention - easy!
- Have regular playtimes to occupy them
- Keep a mix of toys around the house - such as moving toys on the end of a string.
- Place food and water bowls in easily accessible places, and
- Ensure each cat has their own bowl - they prefer not to share food!
2. Encourage Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post
Does your cat have somewhere special they can go to scratch, away from the sofa? Every kitty needs their own space to stretch their claws - scratching posts provide that little bit of territory that your cat needs. To find the perfect post for your cat, follow these scratching post “golden rules”:
- Make sure it’s sturdy. A scratching post should feel safe and solid, and not wobble!
- Keep it interesting. A post with different levels and perches can be more fun.
- Choose a tall post. Cats like to stretch their bodies fully when scratching. Make sure the post is tall enough, at least 30" tall.
- Think about location. Place the post by your cat’s bed - this encourages them to use it for their morning scratch. You can also place posts near already scratched areas. Cats tend to return to areas where they have already scratched.
2. Keep the Area Clean of Smells
Smells are another way for your kitty to communicate. When they scratch, they’re creating “territory messages” which they find comforting. But, these messages also work as a scratching reminder. They can draw your cat back to the same area to scratch again.Cleaning all unwanted scratching areas with warm water and soap to remove the scent, will help to limit return scratching.
3. Consider Deterrent Methods
Sometimes, even with a nice scratching post, our kitties are a creature of habit and it can take more to help them change here they scratch. Remember to keep calm and don’t shout; your cat is more likely to scratch if they feel uncomfortable. Equally, be sure to reward your kitties with affection when they do use their scratching post - encourage them to keep scratching there!
Saving Your Sofa
There’s no need to give up and sell the sofa if you follow these 4 simple tips to redirect your cat’s scratching. It’s important to always remain patient and if you've just got a new kitten, take a look at our 7 ways to stop a kitten from scratching blog.
Using a FELIWAY Optimum Diffuser, plugged into the place where your cat spends the most time, can help to support a calm environment, and is clinically proven to limit scratching, spraying and hiding behaviours.