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Preventing Cats from Scratching Furniture

Category Cats
Scratching is a normal part of cat behavior but when our indoor kitties begin to use the furniture, it is time to intervene. This is a guide about preventing cats from scratching furniture.
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By 8 found this helpful
April 25, 2011

We had a new leather rocking chair that our cats loved to scratch. We tried the water, the scolding, and even aluminum foil around the base of it. All to no avail.

To "cure" our cats of the leather chair fetish, we put several coins in the bottom of an empty can. We placed it in a precarious spot on the top of the chair, so that when the kitties scratched, they knocked it over and the sound of the coins inside the noisy can (or coming out of the noisy can) was too loud for them.

After a few "unpleasant" trips to the chair, they associated it with too much noise and didn't want to go back. You can also set this up for when you are not home.

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By patioelf from Ewing, NJ

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April 26, 20110 found this helpful

You didn't say, but did you give them something that they could scratch on? Cats have an innate need to scratch. For one thing it's how they keep their nails filed down, Plus the scratching also satisfies other needs in their nature.

It's good that you were able to teach them to leave your chair alone, but you should also give them an alternative.

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By 1 found this helpful
August 14, 2013

Just figured out how to stop the cat (temporary solution) from scratching furniture. I blast them with canned air when they scratch my box springs and mattress. Runs them off.

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August 15, 20130 found this helpful

I think this is a great idea too! I saw on the TV the can of compressed air being used to deter their cat from scratching. The only difference was that there was a motion sensor with the can so that it doesn't need monitoring. Brilliant!

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July 10, 20131 found this helpful

Using Nail Caps on Pets

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This is a guide about using nail caps on pets. Many cat owners prefer to not have their pets declawed, however those pointy, sharp claws do need some type of attention. One option is using nail caps.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 2, 2007

Here is something that helps keep cats from scratching furniture.

Sticky Paws is a double-sided tape that adheres to your furniture on one side and is sticky on the other. Cats do not like the stickiness on their paws and as a result do not scratch on the surface.

It does attract hair and other dust particles, so you will need to periodically change the tape.

By April from NY

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
July 23, 20090 found this helpful

I've used them twice. The first time didn't work on my 10 year old cat because he licked off the sticky part. But I got my mom and stepdad to use them for their 3 year old cats and it's wonderful. I know have 2 9 week old kittens and I use them to keep them off the coffee table and its working like a champ!

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2008

I have a cat that is 3 years old who I love dearly. The cat is at the point of scratching furniture. How do I stop it from happening without declawing her?

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

Most commercial scratching posts are perfect in size for kittens but too short for adult cats, especially large ones. How high on your furniture has your cat been scratching? Although the bases seem wide and stable enough, vigorous scratching near the top can pull the post over... usually onto the cat! Feeling insulted, they never go near the post again.

Larger cat"trees" or condos are better but expensive; and they take up a lot more space.

Scratch pads that lie flat on the floor are great for most of my cats, although some continue using posts successfully. I use various pads (all include catnip) made from

a) low cardboard boxes packed with strips of cardboard (bought in stores)

b) sisal rope wrapped around carpet-covered wood (both surfaces are available for cat)

c) just carpet-covered wood

d) accordion-folded carpet remnants, finished size about 2 feet by 3 1/2; to 4 feet.

At first I keep pads right in front of furniture that's been scratched. Gradually I move the pads away to the least attention-grabbing but still effective place.

I also trim my cat's claws regularly so if they do attack furniture occasionally, they won't be as destructive. Train cats with treats to accept the trimming. For us it's a good time for snuggling before and after.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

I have six indoor only cats (yes, six - I'm crazy). Mine never scratch on the furniture or the drapes. I have two carpet covered scratching posts and a large cat condo for them to scratch on.

The last cat I brought home didn't want to use the scratch post - he thought my couch was better. So, I just took some clear packing tape and put that on the corner (you can't see it) then set one of the scratch posts by the couch. It took him about 30 minutes to figure it out.

You really don't need to buy the expensive, fancy double side tape. Regular tape works just fine. The cats don't like the texture and won't scratch on it. After a week or so of it being there, the cat will "forget" about it and be used to using the appropriate spot.

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May 21, 20080 found this helpful

If you want her to stop scratching furniture, give her something she would rather scratch. I made a floor to ceiling scratcher for my Maine Coon because nothing else was large enough. Of course, the other 3 love it too and leave the furniture alone.

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October 9, 2011

As an anniversary present, our daughter is purchasing brand new furniture for our great room. I am very thankful for her generosity. I also have two cats who either like to sleep on the couch, or worse yet, claw the couch. That's one reason for the new ones.

Does anyone know of a way to first: stop the kitty from sharpening his nails on my new stuff, and second: how to keep the older one off of the couch so I'm not cleaning up fur every day. Both cats are brushed daily, but also shed daily in addition. There's probably an answer somewhere in ThriftyFun, but your assistance to my problem will be appreciated ten fold. Thank you.

By Marilyn

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October 11, 20110 found this helpful

I rescued 3 kitties one time and started immediately using a spray bottle of water to train them. Once in awhile, one will try to claw furniture but a good NO! will send them running. They still stay off the kitchen counters.

Pat

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October 14, 20110 found this helpful

Pretty throws could work on the couch, maybe just draped over one cushion. Or even a cat bed. You'll have to keep putting them in the right spot for awhile and spray them when they go to an unprotected area. Wipe off the furniture with a damp sponge to collect a lot of the fur. As far as the scratching, put lots of posts around. There are sprays for furniture that can discourage them from scratching but I haven't found any that work really well. I keep my couch against the wall with tables, etc. on each side. They can only get close to the front. Put something under the seat cushions that will drape down and cover the front/bottom of the couch. I'd start doing some of this while you still have the old furniture, if it's not too late. Other than the suggestions we've all given, the only other option is having them declawed. There's a lot of controversy over this, but we brought them into our homes, and we'll never be able to get rid of their natural instincts. That's asking too much. So declaw if nothing else works for you and remember that we've already domesticated them so much that a little more isn't that bad.

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Anonymous
March 30, 20160 found this helpful

By 2 sided tape! It sells at Petsmart either in wide or single. It is very safe for furniture. I put it on my new leather chair where the cats had already begun clawing up on the front and back, also the side. You can barely see it when after its on. The cats don't like sticking to the tape. Mine havent scratched once since i applied the tape 2 days ago. The tape can be used on anything it sticks to. Curtains, sofas, chairs, beds. It has pretty much saved my furniture being I have 5 cats all with claws. Next Im going to trim the nails and put cat claw caps on them. they come in different sizes and colors. They also prevent any clawing. Amazon sells them and also most pet stores. Hope this helps...Good Luck

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By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2012

I need to know the best way to keep my cat from sharpening her nails on my furniture. Keeping her outside has always worked best for me, but recently I have begun to let her stay in. She knows she is doing something I don't like because she stops and runs when I react to the pawing.

By tharris62 from Texarkana, TX

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 29, 20120 found this helpful

Hi,

Your cat is doing something that comes natural to her, unfortunately there is wood under your upholstery and they normally will sharpen claws on trees outside.

There are things you can buy, spray, tape etc to put on where you do not want her to scratch. You should also either make or buy a scratching post. Buy a bottle of the catnip spray and spray it and she will want to go over to it and will start to claw that. You also need to keep her nails cut as short as possible, your vet may do this for free if you do not want to do it yourself.

We have one cat out of 13 that still insists on using the couch, he likes the fabric on it I think. I keep a spray bottle with water in it and all I have to do is pick it up and he runs away, I will then spray the tower and put him on it, he is using that much more now and scratching and clawing couch less, the other twelve use the tower now. They like the texture of sisal or scratchy type rope and carpet mixture.

You can also buy a cardboard thing for them that is inexpensive and they will use that also, again either rub catnip on it or spray with catnip spray, I find catnip spray much cleaner to use and they all love it. I save the green stuff for the toys. You can save money and make your own scratching post with the rope and carpet on it.

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January 31, 20120 found this helpful

She may be marking her territory since she was just brought into the house. There is a product called "soft paws" which are plastic nail covered that you put over their claws. It does not hurt the cat and prevents any damage to a surface they try to scratch.

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August 24, 20160 found this helpful

Cats still need to scratch, so I'm trying to understand the nail covering, "soft paws ". Also, the nails keep growing.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 22, 2008

What is the best way to keep a cat from clawing upholstered furniture?

Cajun62234 from Munford, TN

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 23, 20080 found this helpful

I mix some Dawn dish detergent with enough water to make it thin and sprayed it on the spots my cats liked to scratch. They hate the taste and never wanted to get that nasty stuff on their paws again! Problem solved at our house with 4 cats.

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Much easier solution. Pet stores sell covers for the claws. They don't hurt, aren't dangerous and a single application lasts about three months. They are teensie (individual claw size) little blue plastic slippers that go on with the same type of glue used for false eyelashes. The vet recommended them and they work very well.

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Give them something else that they would rather scratch. Most scratching posts aren't tall enough for cats, so you'll need to find or make something that is. I made a floor to ceiling post and have the lower 4 feet wrapped in sisal rope. They never touch the furniture because scratching and climbing the pole is much more fun!

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By 7 found this helpful
September 28, 2010

I am having new furniture delivered soon. How can I get my two cats to not scratch the furniture? They have scratching posts. They are part Siamese. Thanks!

By Patty from FL

Answer Was this helpful? 7
September 28, 20100 found this helpful

I've used Sticky Paws tape on my furniture. It's a big double stick tape. Here is a link from Amazon, so you can see it, but I've gotten mine from Petsmart.

http://www.amaz  ords=sticky+paws

I also figured out that my different cats like different kinds of scratching surfaces. Two of them like vertical surfaces (regular scratching posts), and the other likes the corrugated surface that lies on the floor.

I've heard other people recommend Soft Paws. They're little covers that go over their claws, so they can't scratch things. I've never used them.

We got new furniture about 1 1/2 years ago. I was *so* worried, because our old couch was all scratched up. I was very vigilant about putting the tape on the corners of the furniture, and keeping posts blocking their favorite corners. And I'm happy to report that my cats don't scratch the new furniture! I don't know if the old furniture felt or smelled different, or if it's all the preventative measures I took. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your new furniture!

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October 11, 20110 found this helpful

You could get "Soft Paws", an acrylic nail cap you put over your cat's nails. It does not harm the cat, and they won't damage the couch if they try to scratch it.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 8, 2010

How do you make a cat repellent, so they stop scratching furniture?

By 44delta from Edmonton, AB

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May 8, 20100 found this helpful

We finally found out how to stop this and I couldn't believe how cheap it was, AND that we had both ingredients in the house. We took the lable off of an emtpy can, put several coins in it and placed it on top of the chair where Molly liked to scratch. The can made such a racket that she jumped a foot and will not go anywhwere near that chair. She then tried the couch, so I put the can near that spot, she only had to hear that can and coins fall once there too. She now uses her scratching posts which have been here as long as the furniture. Silly cat.

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Anonymous
May 10, 20100 found this helpful

A jet stream spray from a water bottle when you catch them in the act works wonders and it only takes a few times to work ;-) Oh, but say not a word when you do it so they don't associate the act with your voice!

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful

What are some ways to make cats not scratch furniture? I have tried sprays, tape, etc. Any suggestions?

By Pam

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Try sprinkling black pepper on the arm and right at the base of foot. Just a little, cats don't like black pepper and it won't damage the furniture.

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February 7, 20050 found this helpful

I have a lovely wooden sculpture on my front porch. My cat has started using it to sharpen her claws. Does anyone know of anything that I can do to prevent her from ruining my sculpture?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Tuey

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 7, 20050 found this helpful

I think there is a spray called Feliway that should do the trick.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 9, 20050 found this helpful

You might try spraying it lightly with vinegar water every couple of days until your cat gets the hint.

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October 22, 20080 found this helpful

How do you keep a cat from scratching up your furniture besides buying a cat post? Is there something I can spray on it?

IMAQT1962 from ILLINOIS

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Answers:

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

We have two cats that used to like to scratch our furniture too. We bought some of that spray-on stuff that smells funky and is supposed to repel them. The only thing was, it repelled us, too. So we ended up buying several little squirt bottles (water pistols leak too much) and put them within easy reach in each room where they like to scratch the furniture. We filled them with water, and then every time we heard the tell-tale scratching, we'd yell at them and squirt them like crazy. It doesn't hurt anything except their pride, and now our cats only scratch their scratch box. Have fun! (05/14/2007)

By Beth - MA

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

The way we stopped out beloved Persian from scratching the couch and chair is to tape aluminum foil to the places she liked to scratch. Looks a bit funny, but they will get the hint in a few weeks. I actually read this tip for places other than the litter box where they like to potty. A cat will usually go back to the same spot. Just tape tin foil over the spot, and it doesn't hurt to have a clean litter box right next to the spot. (05/15/2007)

By Margie

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

I had a cat that ruined a couch (it was on its way already though). When I got the new couch, I got the spray on stuff and it worked. I didn't notice any ugly smell with it. I don't know the brand I got, sorry. But I did buy a scratching post at the same time and saturated it with catnip. The cat became very interested in the post and when she would go near it, I would pick up her front feet, push her claws out and scratch the post for her. She soon got the idea and never again scratched the couch. (05/15/2007)

By Noella

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

I heard alum powder, it's used for dogs. You need to research this product for cats. Many products cannot be used for both dogs and cats.

Jennifer CA (05/15/2007)

By jjager

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Years ago I used the spray on stuff for furniture and it works. But for my present cat who is now 13 yrs old, I only clapped my hands and said "no." She is trained pretty much like a dog. I think when she was scratching, she was really trying to get my attention. Animals are just like kids in that respect. If the clapping of hands (just a little) works, be sure to reward with petting and maybe a treat.

My cat is proof that most of us don't realize how smart our pets really can be. I think it depends on who raises them.

Good luck (05/15/2007)

By Carol in PA

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Pet Smart has what is called Sticky Paws. It is clear two faced tape. Put it on the furniture where they scratch, and they'll stop. No smell, no chemicals, and very easy to remove (though it lasts a very long time). (05/15/2007)

By Graycrab

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Every time you see your cat scratch in a place that they are not supposed to, spray them with water. That should do the trick.

Zig (05/15/2007)

By Ziggee

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

I have a little tin which I filled with small pebbles. When a cat scratches, shake the tin. They hate the noise and stop scratching right away. Also, trim their nails so they aren't so sharp and don't do the same damage to your furniture. The last thing is to have a place they can scratch. So once you stop the scratching with the tin, put them in this area where it is okay. This could be at a scratching post, or outside at a tree. They do need to scratch and it is a natural instinct. So teach them what is acceptable. (05/16/2007)

By katvn

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

With my cat, rewards work much better than "training". My cat had no interest in her scratching post until I started putting her treats on top of it. Now she goes over and scratches and about half of the time, she gets a treat. Of course, sometimes her scratches are only token efforts. Now that she uses her scratching post, she pretty much ignores the furniture. (05/16/2007)

By Amity

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

I have five cats and we go to the pet store and buy apple bitters. You use it for ferrets and cats to keep them off your furniture. Ask at your pet store, it won't hurt the cats either. (05/16/2007)

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

I used a spray bottle of water on my cats maybe 4 times in all, when they were scratching on my furniture. To them it feels like another cat is spitting or hissing at them.

And we got them a scratching post. It is best to put the post in an easily accessible, and at the same time not too public. a place. Kittens aren't motivated by catnip so we hung a few dangly things to entice them to play.

Another thing I discovered in my reading at the time, was not to let them think they are being pushed into doing it. They want to feel that it's their own idea and their own discovery. Whatever you do, don't take the cats paws and rub it along the post.

My cats do pretty much what they want, even jump on the table, but furniture scratching was really something I wouldn't allow.

Ya'll are lovely people! (07/10/2007)

By Sheraone

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, run to it and purchase one of their cat scratchers.
It's in a flat box form, has a bunch of corrugated cardboard in it, and it also comes with some catnip.
I live in Calgary, or I'd be buying them in bulk, lol!
My cat loves it, and she was very guilty of scratching our furniture, but it doesn't happen anymore. (07/24/2007)

By Cindy

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

I have a 12 and 10 year old cat. I have always left a fire log out behind a chair or in a dark corner somewhere in hiding. They go to town on that thing! I discovered this when they kept scratching my firewood in front of the fire place. I've been doing this for probably about 7 yrs or so. They have never touched the furniture since. Works for me! (01/09/2008)

By Trisha

Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Go to www.rataway.com (02/17/2008)

By Rick Suddes

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 28, 20100 found this helpful
I hope you can use this tip. It has saved me a lot of headaches and my couch. My cat insists on using the end of my couch for a scratching post, especially when I am on the computer. I swear she does it on purpose. She has all kinds of scratching pads and other posts and she knows she will get my attention if she goes after my couch.

My mother raised me with this thought and I quote, "there are no problems, only solutions." Well ok, I had tried everything I could purchase, I tried spraying her with a misty water spray. Well she ran all right and got inside the bedroom door, then she peeked around the corner as soon as I turned my back and here she came again.

Voila! I came up with a solution (ha, you thought I would never get to the point, huh?). So here it is. I had an old sheet and cut it to fit the end of the couch which already had two flat scratching pads which she chose to ignore.

I laid the square of sheeting on the floor; I had already hemmed it and marked where the corner came to. Then I laid the two scratching pads on the material, drew out my hot glue gun and pointed it at the material. I raised the pads, shot the material with the glue, slapped the two pads on top of the glue and let it set for about twenty minutes. Then I got out my handy upholstery needle and sewed the material to the ends of my couch. It is very sturdy. It took her one day to use it. So in the meantime all is well. Well, so far anyway. I wonder what her next line of attack is going to be.

You know I got her from a shelter and they said she had been there seven years. She is all black and you know some people don't like black cats, but I think it was her ornery disposition that kept her there. When I walked into the shelter, she saw sucker written all over my forehead (I swear I think she can read). But that's ok, I have had her for three years and she is so lucky. I love her. After reading this, you might think this lady needs to get a life. You know I've tried, but no one will let me have theirs. Best to all.

By letageraldine from Tucson, AZ

Answers:

Preventing Cats From Scratching Furniture

Great idea. I need to do something because my cats are re-learning old bad habits and I will NOT buy new furniture until they stop. I must scream 'sucker' from my rooftop because all of the starving, abused, or just abandoned cats show up at my door!

Thanks for the tip! =^^= (04/20/2010)

By mbnorton59

Preventing Cats From Scratching Furniture

What has worked best for me over the years of many rescues is simply a good old fashioned jet stream of water from a spray bottle (no words spoken so they won't associate it with you). ;-) They don't like that one little bit and it cures them in less than a dozen squirts.

Also, when you do see them using their scratching post, give them lots of sweet pets of love and softly spoken words. (04/20/2010)

By Deeli

Preventing Cats From Scratching Furniture

You are a very few who would take an animal that had been there so long. What a life she has had and has now. I applaud you. Everyone should have a soul. (04/22/2010)

By YORKIEPOO

Preventing Cats From Scratching Furniture

Love your outlook on life. I agree with you on cats being able to read. They certainly know how to read a human being, especially black cats. I have one and you can see the wheels turning in his head. I wouldn't give him up for the world! (04/22/2010)

By jagegr

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

April 20, 20100 found this helpful

I'm in a quandry of how to stop my cats from sharpening their claws on the arm of the couch! I will not de-claw. I've tried to replace the arm with nice scratching posts!

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