how to keep a cat from scratching the funiture?

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

Tinker Bell- 2003-2006

The life of a- friend is always- too short
Purred: Fri Apr 26, '13 12:58am PST 
Well, we might be adopting a kitten in a couple of months. smile Still thinking it over, not entirely sure it'd be a good idea yet.

I'm an adult, but I still live with my family for now. My mom's worried about the cat scratching furniture. We have a new couch that's not yet entirely paid for.
Tinker Bell did some damage to some of our furniture when we had her.

We have the advantage of having already known the kitten's mother, since she belonged to a neighbor of ours. From what I've seen and asked, the only time she scratches furniture is when she kneads it.
Then again, she's also a partially outside cat. If we get a kitten, he won't be.

I assume that there really isn't any 100% effective way of keeping cats from scratching furniture?
I know you can provide a scratching post, but in my experience the cats usually prefer the furniture. Is there any particular quality to look for in a scratching post that a cat may like? Is there any way to encourage it to scratch that instead of furniture?


World's Best- Kitten- Socializer
Purred: Fri Apr 26, '13 5:21am PST 
All scratching posts are not created equal. A scratching post should probably have some sisal on it, not just carpet. Sisal is more durable and a hardier material for cats to scratch on. Also, your scratching post should have a post tall enough for a full grown cat to fully stretch and still be able to scratch. Cats also like options. Some of mine scratch vertically, some horizontally, so having a sisal scratcher that can stay on the floor might not be the worst idea. Use the scratching posts as positive alternatives to any impulse to scratch furniture. If the kitten starts to scratch at the furniture, tell him no firmly, then move him to his scratching post and praise him when he scratches on it instead. Kittens aren't typically responsive to cat nip, but as the cat grows up, catnip can be used to attract him to scratching post.

If you're getting a kitten, as soon as the kitten is old enough to get a toenail trim, start trimming his toenails. Cat nail scissors are under $10. If you get a cat comfortable with toe nail trims early, you can do them whenever you need to. This will also help keep the scratching to a minimum. I have 4 cats, three of whom I got when they were kittens. All four of them will let me trim their nails with little to no problem.

Sticky Paws double sided tape can be used for any places that the kitten thinks he may want to scratch on the furniture. It doesn't leave any residue when you remove it from furniture after kitty has figured out that it's no fun to scratch where the Sticky Paws is.

Tinker Bell- 2003-2006

The life of a- friend is always- too short
Purred: Fri May 17, '13 7:30pm PST 
Are the correlated cardboard scratching posts/boards any good?

Went to the petstore today to look at items and compare prices. We haven't bought much yet, but we have a good idea which ones we'll be getting. Found some nail clippers. How old should the kitten be before these are used? We'll be getting it next month, and it'll be about two months old.

Saw some Sticky Paws there, too, but my mom didn't want to use it on our couch since it said it could damage microfiber surfaces. We'll definitely keep it in mind in the case that he begins to scratch other pieces of furniture, though.

Edited by author Fri May 17, '13 7:31pm PST



Can we play??
Purred: Sat May 18, '13 10:03pm PST 
When we got Cookie at the age of three, she used the cardboard scratchers at her birth home. We only have the carpeted scratching posts. But she started to use the Lazyboy chairs as her scratching post. I got her a new cardboard one. And to get her away from the Lazyboy chairs, I got an idea!! I bought cheap packing tape, it was $0.99 a roll. I completely cover the bottom half of the furniture with the cheap tape. It took me half hour to tape one chair and used half a roll of tape. Still not enough scratcher. I bought more & more. We have some cardboard ones that are at 90 degree ans one 180 and one at a 45 degree angle. They are all over the house. You may have to buy at least one of every type of scratching post if you can. The winner will be know in a few weeks. Then you have run out and get more of them. (I got some at Big Lots on the 20% weekends sale they have.)

I thought of using the claw nail caps. Thought they were much work. But Cookie gave up on clawing the furniture after 10 months. I completely removed all of the tape!

Here my list of what I have for three cats: one carpet post in the basement (the oldest one that sheds before I end up throwing it away.) On the main level, I have 2 carpet posts, 1 condo carpeted furniture (homemade), 1 pedestalled carpeted bed (homemade), 1 carpeted tunnel, 1 "S' cardboard scratcher, 2 cardboard benches that I hot glued to make one large one (They lay on it in the summer to keep cool), 1 single cardboard bench and 1 over the door knob cardboard scratcher. They are all over the house. More is always better once you find the right one.

I trimmed Cookie's nails more often the first year we had her too. I praise the cats when they use the scratchers. They love the attention. We got Candie the following year. Since we had all the scratcher she liked, she did not even try to claw the furniture. Candie really loves the praise & petting I give her to use the scratchers. I sit on the floor too and play with them. I make a point to have the scratchers in the play area too.

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Sun May 19, '13 5:30am PST 
Some cats prefer corrugated cardboard to sisal/carpet scratchers shrug Offer a few scratchers with different textures to see what the cat prefers. Some cats also prefer upright scratchers while others prefer ones that lie flat on the floor or at a angle.


I will rule the- world right- after a nap
Purred: Sun May 19, '13 3:16pm PST 
Scratching post..*coughs* erm, that's already been covered.

Slyvy kept at the furniture even after 5 different posts but I fixed that habit. *cackles* oh yes, a little bit of double sided tape on her favorite areas fixed it right up.


Tell me again- how cute I am...
Purred: Mon May 20, '13 4:08am PST 
I got Groucho when he was two months old. My friend found him in the woods. He still will not use a scratcher of any kind. I have cardboard, rope, carpeted, and wood. They are different styles, flat, straight, angled. He lets me clip his nails. I touched the clippers to his nails everyday, only clipping when needed. I wanted him to get accustomed to the feel and me handling his feet. He is now almost 4 years and totally relaxed when I clip his nails. He scracthes at the furniture but he somehow doesn't scratch it up.