How to Get Your Cat to Stop Scratching Your Furniture


Are you tired of your cat’s claws ruining your furniture? Do you want to know how to get your cat to stop scratching your furniture? There’s no need to worry! We have some easy tips to protect your furniture from cat scratches and keep your cat happy (all at the same time). There are simple and effective solutions for destructive cat scratching.

Destructive scratching is not only annoying but also expensive.

Learning how to keep your cat from scratching your furniture can save you a significant amount of money, and protect your furniture and your sanity. In order to keep your cat from scratching your furniture, you need to provide her with some gentle training and an appropriate place where she can scratch. This will allow her to engage in healthy scratching while keeping your furniture from being scratched.

We will go over some great techniques, including using Kiwi’s Climber’s (a unique cat climbing and scratching post), to help retrain your cat to scratch appropriately instead of destructively.

In order to change your cat’s destructive behavior, it’s important to understand why cats scratch, and why cats actually need to scratch. When you’re armed with more knowledge, you can redirect your cat’s natural instinctual behavior to appropriate behavior to prevent unwanted behaviors.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Cats scratch instinctively. Scratching is a perfectly normal part of a cat’s behavior. They are not intentionally destructive and actually need to scratch. Scratching things, like your furniture, lets them stretch their muscles and groom their claws. Remember, cats don’t have nail trimmers like we do.

It’s also a way that they mark their territory. When they scratch they leave their scent behind. This helps them communicate with other cats. Scratching is also one of the ways cats relieve stress. It is a natural behavior and part of how cats socialize with other cats.

  • Cats need to stretch
    Cats have a natural instinct to stretch their paws and their muscles.
  • Cats have an instinctual need to mark their territory.
    Cats use scratching to leave their scent around your home. This not only marks their territory but makes them feel safe in your home. They recognize their own scent, which is one of the reasons that they like to scratch things.
  • Scratching is how they groom their claws.
    One of the most important reasons cats need to scratch is to keep their claws healthy and groomed. Scratching removes the top layer of dead cells from their claws, leaving sharp new claws to come through. Scratching improves the blood circulation in their paws, which is really important for your cat’s claw health.
  • Scratching makes cats feel better
    Cats have a natural urge to scratch. It is part of a cat’s instinctual behavior. Training a cat not to scratch will be difficult because cats need to scratch. Instead of trying to train your cat to not scratch, it’s important to instead provide them with an appropriate place to scratch.

Why Not Declaw?

cute pair of cat claws

Inappropriate Way to get your cat to stop scratching furniture.

Declawing is an inhumane procedure that involves removing the last digit on a cat’s paws. This method may seem effective in controlling destructive scratching, but it is painful and traumatizing for cats.

Instead of opting for this cruel method, here are some reasons why you should avoid declawing your cat:

  • Declawing can lead to complications and health issues such as painful paw infections, arthritis, and nerve damage, which may impair the cat’s balance and ability to walk.
  • Declawing takes away the cat’s primary defense mechanism, making them feel vulnerable and less confident. Cats may also resort to biting or other forms of aggression as they feel defenseless after declawing.
  • Scratching is an innate behavior for cats, and they need to stretch their muscles and maintain claw health. Declawing can affect their quality of life, leading to psychological and behavioral problems such as depression, anxiety, and litter box avoidance.

It’s important to understand that even if you declaw your cat, it may still exhibit scratching behavior as other parts of her body can still have sharp nails. Instead of declawing, provide her with an appropriate scratching surface, gently train her to use a scratching device like Kiwi’s Climber, and trim her nails regularly.

Many people are not aware of how harmful and inhumane declawing is. It is outright banned in several countries. It is a cruel and unnecessary procedure. Instead of resorting to tactics like declawing, it’s better to understand your cat’s behavior and provide them with a healthy way to groom, climb, exercise, and scratch.

Declawing is an extreme measure that basically amputates the last bone on the cat’s toes. Think about having your toe amputated. That is a drastic measure and can cause lots of physical and mental issues for your cat.

If you love your cat and your furniture, try out these suggestions instead. Your house and your cat will be happier and healthier.

Let’s start with one thing every cat owner should know. Punishing a cat for scratching will not stop the behavior and will only result in fear and anxiety, which may make them scratch more to relieve stress.

When training your cat not to scratch, it’s important for you to provide a place to scratch and positive reinforcement for scratching in the appropriate place.

Tips to Prevent Destructive Scratching

  1. Trim your cat’s nails regularly.
  2. Keep your cat’s paws healthy by cleaning them regularly with a soft cloth.
  3. Provide an appropriate place for her to scratch: Purchase a high-quality climbing and cat scratching post, like Kiwi’s Climber, while your cat is young and train him to use his climber instead of furniture. (tips below)
  4. Don’t reinforce bad behavior: Don’t shout, yell, swat, punish, or use negative reinforcement to stop your cat from scratching as it will only reinforce the behavior, and may make it worse.
  5. Gently interrupt him when he scratches your furniture: Interrupt your cat when he starts scratching unsuitable objects or furniture and gently guide her towards Kiwi’s Climber by using treats or toys.
  6. Make your furniture undesirable to your cat: Cover your furniture with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, block off your cat’s access to furniture, or use sprays with scents that are designed to repel cats and discourage them from sitting on your furniture.
  7. Cover your cat’s nails: Soft Paws are soft vinyl nail caps that glue onto your cat’s nails to prevent damage when they scratch.
  8. Provide your cat with a way to exercise: Play with your cats and provide them with mental stimulation. This prevents boredom and may reduce their desire to scratch.
  9. Reward your cat when she uses her Kiwi’s Climber instead of your furniture. Consistently reward your cat’s good behavior with treats and praise whenever you catch your cat using their climber instead of your furniture.
  10. Use patience and gentle positive reinforcement. This is the key to training your cat not to scratch the wrong things.

6 Steps for getting your cat to stop scratching your furniture.

beautiful cat sitting in a chair and not scratching it

There are a few steps you can take to teach your cat to stop scratching your furniture. The first one is to provide your cat with an appropriate place to scratch like Kiwi’s Climber. Remember your cat is not being mischievous. She needs a place to scratch.

Step 1: Purchase a high-quality cat scratching and climbing post that your cat will like and use. We recommend Kiwi’s Climber, of course.

  • Place Kiwi’s Climber in an area where your cat spends most of its time.
  • Make sure to purchase enough sections for your cat to fully stretch his body.
  • Encourage your cat to use Kiwi’s Climber by showing her how to scratch on it. Use your nails to scratch on Kiwi’s Climber.
  • Use catnip to get your cat interested in Kiwi’s Climber and treats to reward her when she uses Kiwi’s Climber to scratch.

Step 2: Purchase cat toys, catnip, and treats for your cat.

Consider purchasing toys for your cat to encourage her to exercise and provide her with mental stimulation. Remember, the more your cat likes the toy (or scratching device), the more likely they are to use it instead of your furniture.

  • Toys give your cat something to do besides scratching your furniture. Your cat needs mental stimulation and exercise. Kiwi’s Climber is one fun thing for your cat to do, but consider purchasing some additional toys while you train your cat to stop scratching your furniture. This will not only give her something to do but reward her for good behavior.
  • Toys and playtime help you to bond with your cat. Playing with your cat with toys will help her to bond with you, and keep her healthy and happy.

Step 3: Cover your furniture with a natural cat-repellant spray, plastic wrap, sticky tape, or aluminum foil. 

Don’t worry, you won’t be stuck with aluminum foil on your furniture forever. Once your cat learns to scratch and climb on Kiwi’s Climber, you can remove the tape, plastic wrap, or foil.

  • Cats dislike sticky surfaces or crinkly surfaces. This will help deter them from scratching your furniture while they learn to use their climber.
  • Make sure to reapply the repellent spray every day or so, and replace the tape or foil when you need to.

Step 3: Get your cat curious about Kiwi’s Climber by sprinking it with catnip.

  • Sprinkle catnip on Kiwi’s Climber to make it more appealing to your cat.
  • Place small amounts of catnip on or around Kiwi’s Climber to get your cat interested.
  • Try moving Kiwi’s Climber to different areas of your home where your cat likes to play.
  • Use a toy to get your cat to play near Kiwi’s Climber. 
  • Attach a toy to the top of Kiwi’s Climber to encourage her to climb.
  • Keep repeating this process. Over time, you can gradually reduce the amount of catnip. Eventually, your fur baby should be happy scratching or climbing on Kiwi’s Climber without needing any extra encouragement.

Step 4: Use positive reinforcement ONLY to train your cat.

  • When you catch your cat scratching your furniture, gently redirect her to Kiwi’s Climber.
  • Offer praise and treats when your cat scratches Kiwi’s Climber instead of your furniture.
  • Be consistent with your training and be patient with your cat. 

Step 5: Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation for your cat.

  • Cats may scratch furniture out of boredom, stress, anxiety, depression, or frustration.
  • Play with your cat!
  • Provide your cat with toys, and attention, and make sure they get some sunshine by leaving your blinds open.

It’s important to mention that some cats may require more time and patience than others when it comes to breaking the habit of scratching furniture, especially older cats

It is much easier to train a cat to use Kiwi’s Climber when they are younger. Still, with consistent training and positive reinforcement, you can retrain your cat to use Kiwi’s Climber instead of your furniture. Note: Older cats or overweight cats may not climb on Kiwi’s Climber, but they can still learn to scratch and stretch their paws on Kiwi’s Climber.

We hope we have given you some great tips for how to get your cat to stop scratching your furniture. These techniques may require patience and time, but they are effective and gentle. 

Introducing your cat to Kiwi’s Climber, trimming her nails regularly and playing with her, will not only save your furniture but will also keep your cat healthy and happy. Remember consistency is key, and positive reinforcement is a must.

Start using these techniques every day. Over time, your cat will stop scratching your furniture, and start scratching on Kiwi’s Climber instead. You can enjoy a scratch-free home, and your cat can fulfill their natural scratching instincts and have a little fun.

If your cat continues scratching your furniture even after using all of these tips, you may need to seek professional advice from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can provide additional support and guidance to stop your cat’s destructive behavior

happy woman kissing her happy cat

FAQs about How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Furniture

What are the best ways to stop your cat from scratching your furniture?

There are several gentle and effective methods for stopping your cat from scratching your furniture:

  • Provide a place for your cat to scratch instead of your furniture.
  • Use a deterrent, such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil, on the areas of furniture your cat likes to scratch.
  • Trim your cat’s nails regularly to reduce damage to your furniture and reduce the need to scratch.
  • Provide your cat with toys and playtime to keep her active and from scratching your furniture.
  • Cover her nail with a soft covering like Soft Paws.

Why do cats scratch furniture?

Cats scratch for many reasons including:

  • To groom their claws.
  • To mark their territory through scent glands in their paws.
  • As a way to exercise and stretch
  • As a stress reliever and way to alleviate boredom.

How can I make my cat use Kiwi’s Climber instead of my furniture?

To encourage your cat to use their Kiwi’s Climber, try the following:

  • Place Kiwi’s Climber in an area where your cat likes to scratch.
  • Show your cat how to use Kiwi’s Climber by scratching it yourself or attaching a toy to it.
  • Place treats or catnip on Kiwi’s Climber to encourage your cat to use it.
  • Praise and reward your cat when they use Kiwi’s Climber instead of furniture.
  • Move Kiwi’s Climber to different rooms in your home so they don’t get bored of scratching in the same place.

Is it okay to declaw my cat to prevent them from scratching my furniture?

Declawing a cat involves amputating their toes at the first joint and is considered a cruel and unnecessary procedure by many veterinarians and animal rights organizations. Not only is it painful for the cat, but it can also lead to health problems and behavioral issues such as biting and litter box avoidance. Instead of declawing, it is recommended to use alternative methods like trimming your cats claws regularly and giving her a fun place to climb and scratch.

What if my cat continues to scratch my furniture despite trying these methods?

If your cat continues to scratch your furniture despite trying the above methods, it is important to first make sure that there are no underlying health issues causing your cat’s behavior. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns. If there are no health issues, consider consulting with a professional cat behaviorist to address the underlying cause of the behavior and develop a personalized plan to stop your cat from scratching your furniture.

Looking for a fun and engaging way to keep your cat from scratching your furniture?

Kiwi’s Climber is an innovative modular floor-to-ceiling climbing and scratching post that offers a fun and stimulating environment for your cat without taking up any valuable floor space or requiring any drilling. In just a few minutes, your cat can be enjoying hours of entertainment on their very own Kiwi’s Climber. Don’t wait any longer to give your furry friend the gift of playtime – order your Kiwi’s Climber today and watch your cat’s happiness and health improve!

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