Your cat will scratch objects within their environment

Scratching is perfectly normal behaviour for a cat and it is not uncommon for them to take a liking to your furniture, especially new furniture that does not have their scent!

Cat Scratching Furniture

Remember they are not trying to be annoying or destructive, there are lots of reasons why they are so keen to scratch.

For example:

As a means of self care to remove the outer layer of their claws

Marking their territory – they have scent glands on the underside of their paws

Keeping fit by stretching their bodies and flexing their feet and claws

Maybe they have excess energy they need to work off

Encourage your cat to scratch acceptable objects

You must provide objects for scratching that are appealing and convenient from your cat’s point of view. There are loads of products available to help, such as sisal rope-wrapped posts and willow wall panels that you can find at Oscar & Millie or you can do it yourself with corrugated cardboard or even a tree log.

Placement of the object should be near to where the scratching is already happening. Make sure the objects are stable and won’t fall over or move around when your cat tries to use them, as unstable items will put them off. It is a good idea to have several items around your property as the urge to scratch can strike at
any time!

Cover the objects you want to protect with something your cat will find unappealing, such as aluminum foil, sheets of sandpaper or a great idea is to use plastic carpet runner with the pointed side up. You can even temporarily attach cotton wool balls that are covered with a smell that is unpleasant to your cat such as muscle rub.

When your cat is continually using the new acceptable objects, you can move it gradually, 10cm per day, to a location that is more more suitable for you. If possible it’s best to keep the appropriate scratching objects as close to your cat’s preferred scratching locations as possible. Don’t remove the unappealing coverings or odors from the inappropriate objects until your cat is consistently using the appropriate objects in their permanent locations for several weeks, or even a month. They should then be removed gradually, not all at once.

Should I punish my cat for scratching?

In our opinion no!

Should I declaw my cat?

In our opinion no!

For your cat, scratching is a normal behavior and one they are highly motivated to display, so it’s not realistic to try to prevent them from scratching. Instead, you should redirect the scratching onto alternative and appealing objects. Take a look at some of our great cat scratchers.

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