Everybody loves cats. Their goofiness, mischievous nature makes every cat owner attracted to it. Sometimes cats’ behavior can be cute for the cat owner but sometimes it can be a headache.
Let me break down a situation. You left your cat alone in your living room and when you returned back you see a set of claw marks on your favorite expensive couch. You are angry but don’t know how to react. We know you can relate to this situation and that is one of the reasons why you have landed on this blog.
You want to prevent such behavior of your cat. Don’t worry we got you. Here we are going to talk about how to prevent cats from destroying your furniture. First of let’s look at the reason behind your cat’s such behavior.
Reason Behind such Behavior
Cats have the habit of scratching on the surface that they see. It is common for the cat to scratch on the surface but not great for the owner.
Cat does not scratch your furniture for the purpose of destroying it but they do so instinctively. Here are the reasons why cats love scratching on surfaces they come upon, mainly your favorite furniture.
Cats are possessive animals and like to mark what they think is theirs. From their favorite human to their favorite place, they love marking them.
They mark their territory mainly by leaving their smell to let other cats or animals know that it belongs to them. When the cat scratches a surface, it leaves a scent produced from the scent gland of the catspaw pad. This way they are able to mark their territory.
Different emotions like frustration, stress, excitement, anxiety can build up in cats. If not released then they may suffer different mental problems. So scratching on a surface helps release those emotions. It is a healthy way for the cat to release its pent-up emotion.
Maintain Claw Health
Scratching helps promote the health of cats’ claws. Cats scratch on the surface to shed the old layers of the tip of their claw. This makes their claw sharp and healthy.
Scratching is a form of exercise for your cat. It helps your cat to get a good stretch. It also makes them feel good.
Why Declawing is Bad for your Cat?
You might have heard about the declawing method used to prevent your cat from scratching on surfaces or to remove tumors. It was widely used by many cat owners who wanted to protect their furniture but it is now banned. It was banned for a reason and that was it harmed the health of the cat.
First of all, let us explain what declawing is. Declawing is the process of removing the paw of the animal. The last bone of each toe is amputated with a scalpel or guillotine clipper or laser then closed using the stitches.
The procedure is very painful and it also causes discomfort to the cat in the future as well. Here are Some of the effects seen on the cat after the declawing procedure.
– Physical pain in the treated area
– Aggressive behavior toward the human
– Infection and nerve damage
– Refusing to use the litter box due to the pain from scratching in the box.
– Long term limp
As you can see that it is an inhumane process. Just imagine the same process being used on a human. Now in many countries, it is made illegal to declaw their cats as it is painful and very risky for the cat.
Ways to Prevent Cat from Destroying or Scratching the Furniture
As you know by now that it is natural for cats to scratch on the surface and it is necessary for them to do so. You cannot prevent its habit but don’t worry. There are ways you can protect expensive and favorite furniture from your cat. Here we have talked about different ways to prevent your cat from destroying the furniture.
Trimming Cat’s Claws
Like human nails, cats’ claws do not have any nerves. So they do not feel pain when they are cut. So you can trim their nails. It is a great way to reduce the potential damage on the furniture, on your pet, and on your family members. But keep in mind that the claw is the most sensitive part of the cat.
How to Trim Cats Claws?
Trimming your cat’s claws can be complicated. Most of the animals like cats and dogs do not like their claws being cut. There is also the risk of hurting your cat. Here we have listed key points on how to remember when cutting your cat’s claws.
– First of all, make sure that your cat is relaxed. If the cat is anxious about getting its claws cut then it can lead to accidents. You might hurt your cat in the process or get hurt yourself.
– Make sure the nails of the cat are visible. Remove the fur nicely before starting to cut.
– Avoid the pick area of the claws. The pink area is a very delicate part as it is full of nerves and blood vessels. If your cut through the pink area then your cat may feel the pain and bleed.
– If the accident does happen then apply styptic powder on the hurt area to prevent bleeding.
– You can also provide treats in-between processes to make your cat feel positive about the process.
Making your cat comfortable regarding the trimming of the claws takes patience for both the owner and your cat. So keep these key points in mind.
Providing Plenty Excercise
Cat are predators by nature and love to jump and run here and there. They love using your favorite furniture as a launchpad which gets scratched in the process. This provides these exercises and simulations.
You can play with your cat. Different stimulating cats toys are available in the market. This helps your cat to release its pent-up stress and emotion and also the bonding between your cat and you also increase. This also helps reduce the destructive behavior of scratching everywhere also.
Offering Alternative Scratching Post
Tired of your cats’ behavior of scratching on your favorite furniture then why not get your cat a scratching post. Different scratching posts specially designed for cats are available in the market. When buying a cat scratching post keep your cat referred height, the durability of the material, and many more.
Getting a scratch post doesn’t mean that your cat will go by itself to those scratching posts. You need to redirect them towards those scratching posts. Here are some tips on how to redirect your cat toward those scratching surfaces.
Ways to Redirect your Cat to Scratching Posts
– Put the scratching surface on a place that your cat loves to hang out and play, like the windows, their sleeping area, family room, near their favorite furniture.
– Reward your cat every time it scratches the correct surface. You can also put treat around scratching posts.
– Pick up your cat and place them on the scratching post every time you notice it scratching in the wrong places.
Make the Areas you want to Protect Less Appealing
If you cannot take your cat away from the furniture then why not make your cat stay away by itself. You can make those problem areas less appealing. Here are the ways you can make your furniture less appealing for your cat.
Spraying Citrus Scented Spray
Cats hate the smell of anything that is citrusy. You can make a citrus solution at home made from lemon and water. It is not harmful to your cat and does a great job in keeping them away from your furniture.
Using Cat Scratch Tape
Most of the cat scratch tape is available in panels and in a roll like regular tape. They have sticky sides on both sides. It can be used easily on any surface like fabric, wood, wall, and anything.
Cat hates the feel of stickiness. So the stickiness from the scratch tape discourages the cats from scratching.
Installing Vinyl Guards
Another way to make your furniture unappealing is by installing a vinyl guard. This also protects your furniture from being destroyed or damaged.
The vinyl guard is usually clear and is available in different sizes. So depending on the size of your furniture, you can use the vinyl guard. They come with a screw which makes them easy to install.
Using Nail Caps
Nail caps are soft and flexible vinyl caps that are designed to fit your cats’ claws. They are applied on the tip of the sharp claws like an acrylic nail for your cat. These soft caps last you about four to six weeks. Putting them on your cat is a tiresome job and may require your assistance and practice to do so.
The only drawback about these cute caps is that it gets pushed out by the new growth of nails. So you need to replace them again.
The above mentioned are the ways to prevent your cat from destroying your furniture. Don’t think that these ways will take effect in a short time. It requires great patience and consistency to get the desired result.
Cat caves are also a great alternative for your cat to be away from your favorite furniture. they are quite comfortable and spacious for your cat to play and jump around.
Also, read Why Do Cat Love Cat Cave So Much?