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 page about preventing cats from scratching furniture.


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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.

By Patti from Ewing, NJ

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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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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

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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.

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?


May 20, 20080 found this helpful

If you don't have a scratch post for the cat it would be a good investment. Also try hanging some catnip on the scratch post.


The next time you see your cat sharpening its claws on the furniture. Hit the cat with a quick squirt of water from a spray bottle. The cat will soon learn to stay away from the furniture.

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with MCW. The spray bottle works and a post with catnip will be welcome. My neighbors have leather furniture and a large cat and nothing is scratched. That cat has worked over the post and loves it.

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

I've never had a cat but I know they sell things you can put over, either their feet, or the nails.

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

I agree to use a spray bottle but also most pet stores have a type of 2 faced tape that is clear and will stick to furniture without causing any harm and is nearly invisible. It comes in about ft long strips. I have used this with much success as sometimes cats will scratch behind the furniture where water can't reach them or will carry on the scratching when you are not at home.


I have also used this to keep them off of things I don't want them on. If used on wood it will come off cleanly with WD40. I am sorry I can't rem. the name of it but cats do hate the sticky stuff and once getting a paw on it will stay away.

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

There is a pet-off solution that you can buy at most pet or farm stores that one can spray on furniture. It leaves no marks. It has a scent that pets don't like. That along with taking your cat to a scratch post that has been rubbed down with catnip should do the trick. One of the things I have done with my cat when introducing them to the scratch post is to take their claws and actually claw the post with them. Seems to work.

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

We have 3 cats and none of them scratch the furniture, although they will scratch on the carpeting occasionally. We have 2 cat condos with scratching posts, a scratching pad that looks like a little ramp, and a Turbo Scratcher which they love to play with and can do a search for them on the internet to see what they look like.


I even found some videos on YouTube of cats playing with them!

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By Paula Jo Carr Mebane, NC (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

We have 3 neutered males and 2 spayed females cats AND they do not scratch the furniture BECAUSE when I see them getting ready to "do it", I squirt them with water that comes out of an old windex bottle. When they see me heading toward the squirt bottle they all vanish knowing all to well that one of them is going to be squirted!

They know they are not to scratch on the furniture or whatever the offense may be, like jumping up on the kitchen cabinets etc. We bought them a special rug that they can scratch on. I just took their paws and showed them where they could scratch at by rubbing their little paws on the rough fabric AND now that is the only place they go too to scratch. We live in a small 1216 square foot home and have a real 3 piece set of leather furniture and it is still fine.


Good luck and I know this does work and quickly to train them to not do what they are doing no matter what it may be.

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

My cat is 13, and has developed some bad habits, but I drape matching throws over the arms of my couch and love seat. He is not interested in scratching on the arms when they are covered.

We have a scratch post and a scratch box, but he still likes the furniture, if the throws are not covering up the arms.

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By J & My Three Purr-Sons (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 Chrissey (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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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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What is the best way to keep a cat from clawing upholstered furniture?

Cajun62234 from Munford, TN

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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

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February 7, 2005

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.


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 Elaine (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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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

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

By 44delta from Edmonton, AB

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May 27, 2011

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

By Pam

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July 10, 2013

This is a page to using nail caps on cats. 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.

Using Nail Caps on Pets

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 22, 2008

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


Keeping Your Cat From Scratching Furniture


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

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 Jennifer

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 Athena

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 Shera

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 (02/17/2008)

By Rick Suddes

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September 28, 2010
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