Birds fly, dogs bark, horses gallop and cats scratch; that’s just how it is, it’s something they’ve always done and it’s something that they’ll always do. Though, this presents a conundrum for feline parents who wish for their good couch to remain unscratched, as it were. So, how do you stop a cat from scratching your furniture? How do you stop any animal from doing something they’re instinctually programmed to do? Read on and find out!
The Ol’ Switcheroo:
Managing your cat’s expectations is a key part of owning and caring for a cat. If you’d prefer for them to do something else, then it’s up to you to provide a suitable alternative to whatever it is that they’re currently using to sharpen their claws. Of course, you can’t just buy a couch for the sole purpose of letting your cat scratch it; there are plenty of alternatives out there, such as scratching posts, sisal posts, and heavy duty cat commodes — if you can think of it, it probably already exists.
So, you’ve gone and bought the ultimate scratching accessory from your local pet store and have it proudly set up in the middle of the sitting room. Good job! Getting an alternative is the first step in this process. However, you may soon discover that your cat wants nothing to do with your new solution. They’ve eyed it up, they’ve smelled it, they’ve gone so far as to enter the base but, as of yet, they haven’t actually scratched. At this point, many cat owners would be inclined to launch the ultimate scratching accessory in the bin and blame their cat’s personality, but cats don’t operate like us humans do; they need time to adjust to changes, new things.
We would first recommend moving your scratching solution into a place that your cat often frequents, a place where they may like to spend their days lounging. Next it is important that you deny them access to the thing which they’d truly like to scratch, i.e your good couch. If you still find that you’re having trouble, you can implement a toy, treat or even cat-nip to try and coax them into using the post. In truth, your cat will gravitate towards your store-bought solution over time; to the point where you’ll never be able to get them off of it again!
The earlier you start to train your cat, the quicker they’ll adapt to the rules you’ve set out for them. This goes for litter training, knowing where home is and what they are and aren’t allowed to do around the house. Of course, every kitten one day becomes a cat, so training an older panther will take longer than it would to train a kitten. Then, there are cats that really don’t care about what we want. I wish you the best of luck if that reminds you of your own cat! (I can feel my own trouble-maker’s eyes glaring at me as I type this).
Lastly, any good internet scroller will know that there are mountains of sprays and solutions for getting your cat to stop scratching, but we firmly believe in training pets, as opposed to forcing them to cope. Give your new scratching post time to work and give your cat time to acclimate. You’ll soon be able to sleep easy, knowing that the good couch is safe and sound.
More cat tips, tricks and feline advice is available here. But for now cat-fans, we bid you adieu!