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As much as we love our cats and kittens, watching them destroy our couches, bed frames, dining chairs, and other furniture can be frustrating to say the least. In the wild, cats scratch on trees to mark their territory and keep their claws sharp for hunting. While there may not be a need for this in a modern-day home, a cat’s instinct to scratch isn’t something humans can expect to go away with age or change in environment. Taking the time to know why cats need to scratch will help you understand how to get cats to stop scratching furniture.

Place Scratching Posts in Your Home Strategically

two cats on a cat tree

Cats have a natural need to scratch for two reasons. First, scratching helps remove dead layers of the claws to keep them healthy and sharp. Second, cats have scent glands between their toes, so scratching allows them to mark their territory and communicate with other cats. Because scratching can never be completely eliminated, the best course of action is to provide your cat with something they can scratch on, which is most often a scratching post.

Scratching posts and cat trees come in a variety of materials, so you may want to buy multiple posts with different types of surfaces and place them throughout your home. Place the scratching posts in areas where your cat is most likely to hang out. This will vary from cat to cat, but you know your cat best! Maybe it’s that spot near a large window that gets a lot of sunlight. Maybe it’s a comfortable corner near your bed. If there is a certain piece of furniture that your cat really likes to scratch, try placing a scratching post right next to it to make redirection easier.

Encourage Your Cat to Use Scratching Posts

Placing scratching posts in the corners of your house and expecting your cat to know what to do with them doesn’t always work as quickly as we may like. It might take a little training before your cat really gets the hang of what’s expected. To build interest in the scratching posts and stop cats from scratching furniture, try playing with your cat near it using feather wands and other toys. You can also try sprinkling some catnip or yummy food such as Marie’s Magical Dinner Dust on the post itself.

gray cat on scratcher

Discourage Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

While you’ll want to encourage your cat to scratch on his or her cat tree, you’ll also want to discourage them from scratching on your furniture. To do this, keep an appropriate scratching post near the piece of furniture your cat is scratching. Any time you catch the cat scratching on your furniture, redirect them onto the scratching post and reward them with toys or treats. You can also attempt to make your furniture less appealing to your cats by using specialized products such as anti-scratch tape and anti-scratch spray.

Trim Your Cat’s Nails

Regularly trimming your cat’s nails can significantly reduce instances of your cat scratching furniture. If you’re unsure how to get started on feline nail trims, check out our helpful guide full of tips and tricks for trimming your cat’s nails. If trimming your cat’s nails isn’t feasible for you, you can also try alternatives such as nail caps for cats or socks for cats.

Keep Your Cat Healthy and Nourished with Stella & Chewy’s

gray cat eating Stella & Chewy's

Cats get bored just like we do, so it’s important to provide your cat with regular enrichment to keep their minds busy. A cat that isn’t feeling well is also one that is more likely to scratch. To prevent this, we recommend keeping your household cats on a healthy diet such as Stella & Chewy’s cat food. With raw, dry, and wet cat food options to choose from, there are plenty of solutions for keeping your cat healthy and happy.

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At Stella & Chewy’s, we want all cats to feel happy and be healthy, which means feeding them the good stuff! For more helpful articles, product information, and updates, check out Our Blog: For the Pet Obsessed.