How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching the Sofa
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 chatty miaow-versation, 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 couch, or scratches a lot, consider if anything is stressing them and keep them calm with distractions.
For example you can:
- Give them 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, so make sure the post is tall enough.
- 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.
- Use FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY. Using this on the scratching post encourages your cat to use the post - the visual (blue lines) and “territory messages” direct your cat to scratch where it is applied.
3. Keep the Area Clean of Scent
Scent is another way for your kitty to communicate. When they scratch, they’re creating “territory messages” which they find comforting. But, as these little 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 or simple soaps to remove the scent, will help to limit return scratching.
4. Consider Deterrent Methods
Sometimes, even with a nice scratching post, our kittles are a little bit stubborn and don’t want to change their behaviour.
In these cases, it may help to use your tone of voice to communicate to your cat that you don’t want them to scratch the sofa. Saying a sharp “No!” or a loud noise can deter them - but 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 using FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY can help your cat feel happier when using a scratching post.
However, if your cat has been scratching for a long time you should also consider using FELIWAY - spray it on scratched areas (after cleaning them with water and soap) to discourage your cat from scratching there. This sends “happy messages” which provides reassurance but remember, it should never be used on the scratching post as it would prevent your cat from using their post.
Want to see how much you know about your cat’s scratching habits? Take our ‘Scratching is a must!’ quiz now to test your catty expertise!