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Pet Care Tips
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cat scratch

How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture

Scratching is natural for cats. They do it when they’re playing, when they’re stretching, when they’re grooming and, sometimes, they even scratch when they’re purring or feeling happy. People commonly mistake cats using their claws as a sign of a bad attitude when in fact, they’re just doing what comes naturally.

Cats scratch for a number of reasons and unfortunately the object of their scratching tends to be our furniture or even worse, us! When your cat has resorted to scratching you, don’t stress! You don’t need to become a human scratching post. There are plenty of ways to divert this behaviour and move them away from scratching you and your furniture.

Why Do They Like Scratching?

This natural instinct of scratching is behavioural and has evolved over time for cats to minimise contact with other cats. Scratching is highly territorial and shows other cats in the surrounding areas that the space they’re entering is inhabited by another cat.

  • Territory marking - Scratch marks are a visual reminder that the area surrounding your cat is their own. Cats will often scratch around the garden or house if you’ve just moved to a new home or when a new pet is introduced into the family. Cats also like to mix their scent with your scent. This means they like scratching areas you spend the most time in like your bed or couch.
  • Remove dead outer layers of claws - When cats feel that their claws are becoming too long or maybe a bit dirty, they will begin to scratch rougher surfaces to file their claws down a little.
  • Stress relief - Scratching can be a therapeutic release mechanism for cats when they become wound up. It helps cats remove any tension in their body and is mentally relaxing. Your cat may scratch when they are frustrated, such as if they have a run in with another neighbourhood cat. Scratching helps them to wind down a little bit and stay calm and healthy.

Cats also scratch to stretch and exercise their body, or simply as a fun activity.

Ways to Stop Your Cat Scratching

If you’re wondering why your cat is using your furniture as their scratching post, chances are it is because you do not have a scratching post. If you do have a cat scratcher already and your cat still decides to use your furniture, consider the area that the cat scratcher is in. Is your cat scratcher too hard to get to for your cat or is it somewhere unpleasant for them? Your cat usually won’t make a special effort to visit their scratcher if it is in an isolated room or area in your house.

The best place to put your cat scratcher is right next to the item of furniture that they love to scratch the most. By doing this, you’re giving them an alternative that is accessible and directly available to them.

Book a Consultation Today at Kirrawee Veterinary Hospital

For more advice or any other veterinary assistance with your cat, get in touch or book an appointment at Kirrawee Veterinary Hospital to see if our dedicated team can help improve your pet’s comfort and quality of life. Call us today on 02 9521 6422 or contact us online to book an appointment.


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