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.
Does any one have a way to stop a cat from scratching furniture? We just got a new living room set and he has already started to scratch it. We do have a large scratch post for the 2 cats. Please help before he ruins the new set.
By Donna from Ontario, Canada
Here is their scratch post we made them .. And our new furniture...
That's an EXCELLENT post! My cats would love something like that. We started making one for them last fall, but never finished. We got the big circular forms that they use when pouring concrete . . . I think it's like a heavy cardboard with a slight plastic coating . . . that was going to be a tube for them to lie/hide in. (We really should finish that project!)
I hope you find a good solution for the scratching. And I hope your cats enjoy their fresh catnip! We rescued our youngest cat last summer. Until a week or two ago he had only been exposed to dried catnip (which he enjoyed). But then I got a fresh plant and gave him a few leaves. Oh, MAN! He turned into a maniac (more than normal). It's quite entertaining. :-)
Let me know how it goes with the scratching . . . best of luck!
My cat liked to sharpen his claws on my new hooked rug. He hates the smell of my hand lotion so I put a little hand lotion on a kleenex and tucked it under the rug, He never touched it again. I understand cats do not like the smell of Avon Skin So Soft bath oil. Might be worth a try. Good luck. I have used the sticky tape too. It worked well.
Mrs. Story, We found the log down the back of our property and thought it would make a good scratch pole and place for maxx and charlie to play..
Try buying a bottle of catnip spray. It drew all 12 of my cats to our scratching post, now they are happy to scratch that more than the couch, when they stop I respray it with the catnip spray again and they all come back to the tower.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How do I stop the cat from scratching my leather sofa?
By Margaret Gibson from London, England
I had the same problem on my fabric couch. I tried everything from sprays to covering it with sticky tape. My cat even goes outside and would come in to scratch. One thing I learned is that you need to keep their claws trimmed which is why they scratch. I tried all different kinds of scratching posts till I found the one that works for her. I also sprinkled catnip on it to encourage her. I make sure I praise her when I see her scratching on the post. For me, it was trial and error because I would rarely catch her scratching on the couch. Good Luck. (04/28/2009)
By Rose Smith
I would try this, it may or may not work depending on her personality and style.
First get a catnip toy and put it next to the cat scratch post. Call the cat.
Have a bag of yummy treats, hot dog pieces that are no bigger than the size of a pencil eraser or smaller or some other treat like you can buy at stores that come in small pieces in bags.
Put the catnip toy in front of the cat's nose and then onto the cat scratch post so that it is on the top laying down. (the toy). When she goes over to investigate it, make a clicking sound with your mouth and throw a bit of the hot dog over to her.
At this point you will see whether this will work or not. She will either eat the hot dog and then come over to you for more or go on about her business and you can keep pitching hot dogs to her whenever she is close to the cat scratch post or when she goes near it. If she comes to you, lead her to the post and when she is near it, click and throw a piece by the scratch post.
If she runs to you for the treats, you go to the post. When she gets near or sniffs the post by accident, then click your mouth and throw a treat down by the post. This can happen as many times as you want it to. If the cat gets good at sniffing the post then wait for her to touch it almost with her head or paw and then reward. If she won't, hold the hot dog piece next to the post and when she sniffs it click and treat.
Always follow a mouth click with a treat. This is really fun to do with dogs and I was wondering if it would work really well with cats. Hope this has helped.
I know that dogs and cats need 30 or more repetitions in order to learn, so it takes a lot of work so why not have fun doing it with clicker training?
By Robyn Fed
Clip your cat's nails with fingernail clippers if possible. Try placing foil on the area that they are scratching on as well. (04/29/2009)
By Janis Bowen
I discovered this many years ago and it has always worked. Spray the area that your cat is scratching with very inexpensive perfume. It will stop immediately as they do not like the taste when licking their paws. I have been using this for 35 years and have not found a cat yet that continued to scratch my furniture. I hope this helps you too. (05/03/2009)
There are caps you can glue onto the front claws to blunt them (and they come in wild colors). Google it. (05/05/2009)
Every day rub catnip, fresh or dry, on the scratching post and take the cat to it. Play with him a bit and then let him enjoy the catnip. It's a bit messy, but eventually you can stop doing this. A few of our cats, would eat the catnip. Although, I did own one cat that didn't have any interest in catnip.
You can grow catnip in a container in the house. They absolutely loved fresh catnip. Our cats never bothered it when it was in the pot. It seems that when I would pick off the leaves and crush them, was when they went after it.
To keep dogs and cats from furniture and such, use Vicks Vapor Rub. Apply a bit to foil, and devise a way to place it on or near wherever or whatever you want the pet to avoid. They hate this smell as well as some people. So after awhile, when you feel your pet is broken from its bad habit, you can then remove the Vicks Vapor Rub.
For training purposes, we used this on a frisky young Rottweiler puppy. We applied some to the back of our hands and when he would misbehave, we would calmly walk over to him, and matter-of-factly, put our hand near him and firmly say no. We didn't wave our hand, just got close enough. Since dogs have a strong sense of smell, this worked great for us. (05/06/2009)
I just got 2 of the cutest kittens, but they like to scratch on the furniture, vacuum bag etc., everything else but their scratching post. Any suggestions or helpful advice? Thanks!
Julie from Albany, OR
I'm sure you know the deal about spraying them with water and saying "no" very loudly, but you have to be there to do that. I sprayed my cats scratching post with catnip and then rubbed some catnip leaves into the thing and he took to it then. (11/15/2008)
We have a cat in the house. What I would suggest is to get them declawed, otherwise they will tear everything up.
There also are sprays you can use in areas where you don't want them to claw, but I would put it on a cloth instead of directly on the furniture. In terms of declawing, talk with a vet, but only do the front paws. Also, positive reinforcement goes a long way, tell them how great they are when they are on the scratching post. (11/15/2008)
I put tape, sticky side up, on the area the kittens are scratching. They do not like the feeling of sticky tape on their paws. Also, rub catnip on the scratching post. (11/15/2008)
My cat used to do the very same thing until I found a material he prefers to "everything" else. He finds his special scratching mat irresistible. I found it quite by accident when I needed a good mat to wipe our feet on. I'll try to describe it: It's a half circle mat that's made to wipe your feet on. This mat is made of jute or natural jute-like fibers.
They make 2 kinds, one is made of loops or twisted fibers. Don't buy one of these because the loops make it impossible for cats to rake their claws through. Mine is made of tiny straight pieces of a natural jute-like fiber that stick up with a rubber backing. This mat doesn't have other fibers or rubber mixed in patches, it's all made the same stuff on the front.
First, buy a test mat to see if your kittens will like it, if they do, you should buy several of them, possibly 3. I have one at my back door and one at my front door for us humans to wipe our feet on when we come in. I also have another one that's placed near my cat's bed. I would recommend you cut one of these mats up and attach part of it vertically it to a wall, a post, or a box that you can move around from place to place. You can use an empty box to attach half of this mat to and put several cans of food in it to weight it down. I would also recommend placing a mat close to your sofa or your kitties favorite place to scratch.
In the beginning, when my cat would start to scratch, I would pick him up and drag his little foot over the matting to show him where he was supposed to scratch. Now, when I see him scratching where he's not supposed to I'll say, "No!" sternly, sometimes he'll stop and sometimes he'll just ignore me (as all cat's do!), but if you put enough of these mats around the house, your kittens will surely pick them over the furniture eventually.
I didn't realize at first that all cats "have" to scratch until a vet told me that they get a flaky type of buildup on their claws that bothers them. This buildup has to be removed. That's why they need to scratch. The jute-type fiber mats work very effectively. I think the fiber feels good to their claws, because my cat can hardly walk by his mat without using it!
My daughter couldn't stop her cats from scratching and didn't want to discipline them anyway so she hung a towel with safely pins on the arms of her furniture to help protect it. I've also read that cats have scent glands in their paws and are leaving their scent and marking their territory when they scratch.
Lots of people use a piece of extra carpeting for their cats scratching needs, but this only confuses them because they then think scratching carpeting is the okay thing to do. The problem is made even worse if you use a slice of your own newly installed carpeting on scratching posts, etc. Because this is "exactly" the same as your home's carpeting. I've read that if you do use a piece of carpeting, make sure it's different that your home's carpeting.
Please do not de-claw your cats! Rubbing catnip on the mats as the post from Glen'sMom said is a good idea too! (11/15/2008)
My cat used to scratch until I got scratch boxes from Wal mart. They are boxes that have corrugated cardboard in them and some cat nip on the bottom. They have never touched the couch again. I replace the box every 2 months or so too. (11/15/2008)
I would try rubbing some cat nip on your scratching post and you should look into Soft Paws. They are these nail caps for cats that allow them to scratch without ripping anything up. They have been a lifesaver (or I should say furniture saver) around my house! (11/17/2008)
If all else fails (as it did in my case), hang throws over the arms of the sofa, and put things, ie. wastebaskets, etc, in the way so cats can't get at the good furniture to scratch it. My cats like the scratch box with corrugated cardboard in it, and a carpet covered lounger thing that we got at the hardware store. They have nothing but dirty looks for any scratch post we ever had. (11/18/2008)
By Louise B.
I hung what was called a "Cat Dancer" from the top of my scratching post to encourage them to climb it and then they got the hang of clawing it. (11/20/2008)
I just heard about this the other day on TV. A host Vet said to spray some vinegar on whatever you do not want the cats to scratch on. My cats are outdoors so I don't know if this will work or not. (11/23/2008)