Cats are lovely creatures that will bring joy to your family, and keep your kids active. However, cats may exhibit certain undesirable behaviors that may make you rethink your decision to add a cat. One of these behaviors is cat scratching. If you are currently facing such a problem, I can imagine how your nerves are worked up.
No matter what you do to the cat, nothing seems to help. Rather, any steps you take to make the cat stop the problem seems to escalate the scratching. Cat scratching is a natural behavior that cats exhibit when growing up. You should understand why the cat acts that way and find a way to solve it.
Reasons for Cat Scratching
Cats have funny ways of marking their territory, either by spraying urine or scratching carpets or furniture. By scratching your furniture, they make visible markings that they recognize every day. Just the same way human beings create fences around their homes.
Cats may scratch your furniture as a way to feel good and release their emotions. They will do it again and again even if you try to stop them from destroying your sofa further.
Scratching allows your cat to work out and stretch their front quarter muscles. Unless you give them something else to scratch, they will continue “gym-ing” with your sofa.
How to Stop Cat Scratching Behavior (Without sending them away)
The remedy to cat scratching is not stopping the cat from scratching but providing alternative areas to scratch. Some cat owners result to punishing the cat which is unlikely to work. Instead, the cat may develop even more undesirable behavior and can lead to insecurity.
Unlike humans, the cat may not understand the reason for the punishment. Here are other desirable solutions to cat scratching:
Scratching posts provide an alternative surface that the cat can scratch. They should be at least 28 inches tall with a large base so that the cat can have ample space to stretch and play. The scratching material should be covered with a rough material like sisal that is same or tougher than the furniture covering.
Position the scratching post in an area that the cat spends most of the time. Try playing with your cat near the post and scratching the covering with your nails to attract your cat.
Cover the Scratched Area of your Carpet
If the cat is scratching your carpet, try covering the scratched area with a small piece of carpet. Make sure the smaller carpet has a rough surface or turn it over so that it can scratch the lower side. Secure the carpet with a duct tape so that the cat does not move it aside when scratching the surface.
Make Scratched Areas Less Desirable to Scratch
If these solutions do not work, make the scratched surfaces less desirable to scratch. For example, try covering the scratched areas on your sofa with an aluminum foil or double sided tape. The idea is to provide the cat with a surface that will not produce the scratching sound or one that he cannot scratch.
Also, you can use pet odor removers to remove the cat scent on the scratched areas. Cats use scents or scratched areas to mark their territory, therefore, making them undesirable will discourage the cat.
The solution to cat scratching is not stopping the cat from scratching but providing alternative surfaces that the cat can scratch. Scratching is a normal behavior exhibited by cats, and they may not understand why they are being interrupted. If the bad behavior is stretching your nerves, buy a scratching post for your cat to help manage the behavior.