There are many tips out there on how to deal with cat scratching, so to help you out, we’ve chosen our top five tips. If you’ve got more tips, feel free to share them on our Facebook page!
You can’t stop her from scratching, so don’t try. Cats scratch for several reasons. One being exercise, another is to mark their territory. They have small glands in their paws, and leave a scent that humans can’t notice. A third reason to scratch is that it feels good. Instead of stopping your cat from scratching, use your energy to help her find more suitable places to scratch.
To give your cat an alternative, you need to find something she can scratch that won’t drive you crazy. A scratch post is a good alternative, but make sure you get a post that’s solid enough to handle an adult cat doing exercise on it. If it starts wobbling, you can be pretty sure she’ll remember and stay away from it. Start by putting the post close to a place she normally scratches, and if you see her get ready to scratch something that’s not her post, gently guide her in the right direction. Reward with treats when she makes the right choice.
If you find you can’t keep watch all the time and she’s pretty insistent on scratching a certain piece of furniture, try to cover that part with something she won’t like. Use double-sided tape, for example, to make the surface sticky. Or fix some aluminium foil there to make the surface uncomfortable.
There’s much to be said on the subject of scolding cats, both verbally and physically, and generally it’s nothing positive. However, if you really need to give your cat a firm signal that scratching certain places is a no-no, a water spray bottle can come in handy. A short squirt of water won’t hurt her, but it will give her clear and quick feedback that scratching this object isn’t tolerated.
Be patient. Cats are creatures of habit, and you probably want her to stop destroying your furniture right now. However, if you push things too hard and get angry, it might affect your relationship, and not for the better. If the scratching issues continue, get your vet’s advise as other underlying conditions may be affecting your cats behaviour.