Jordan from Tucson asks:
Hello Jimmie! This question is addressed specifically to Kimberly Baumgart. Could you please forward it to her? I have two cats who are 6 and 8 years old. During the last year, they developed a habit of scratching the sofa and bathroom cabinet. How can I keep them from such behavior
I forwarded this one to Kim, here is her response:
There are two main reasons why cats scratching the furniture.
- First, it’s a marking behavior: a cat transfers scent from glands on her paws to mark the territory.
- Second, she cleans her claws this way, removing the translucent covering from them.
You can’t stop a cat from scratching, as it’s her innate behavior; however, you can redirect her from the furniture with a few tactics:
- First, identify her preferences. Does she scratch carpets, sofas, wood, drapes? Depending on that, you’ll know what types of scratching posts will meet a cat’s needs. In your example, it’s a couch and a cabinet. Looks like your cat loves a combination of soft and dry surfaces.
- Second, provide a cat with alternative options for scratching. We have a guide with the best commercial cat trees and a guide with the best DIY cat trees for any picky cat. You can place them next to the furniture she likes to mark. Spend some time to find an option that will have a matching color and texture to your couch.
- Finally, make a cat’s target furniture less attractive so she could redirect to scratching posts faster.
- Deodorize it with an enzyme cleaner so a cat wouldn’t feel her scent there anymore.
- Use a cat scratching deterrent to prevent your cat from scratching this area.
- Install a couch protector for cats, or use an indoor fence if possible so a cat couldn’t reach items suffering from her claws.
Such a comprehensive approach will definitely result in a positive change because your cat will get a good alternative for scratching and a strong deterrent from scratching the furniture.
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