Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
single

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR Newsletter

As much as we adore them, it can drive cat lovers crazy to see their beloved feline claw at their furniture. Cats are capable of precious snuggles, amazing acrobatics, and hilarious antics but watching furniture get torn to shreds is not fun! 

Of course, clawing is a completely natural behavior for cats. According to PAWS, cats will scratch at furniture, carpet, and other objects for numerous reasons, such as to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, to mark their territory by leaving a visual mark and scent (cats have scent glands on their paws), as well as to stretch their bodies and paws. Unfortunately, for some inexperienced guardians, a cat’s need to claw might drive them to return or abandon their new feline. 

70 percent of shelter cats end up being killed including strays, feral and surrendered cats, so it’s important we keep cats happy and safe in their home by any means possible, and keep them out of shelters. So, if your cat is scratching at furniture and other items in the house, here are some tips for how to deter them.

Cat Trees and Scratching Posts 

8883233086_723f83a491_o

Flickr

Although I don’t live with a cat (I do have two very awesome rescue dogs, though), I do foster cats and I’ve invested in a cat tree so that the foster cats will have a place to scratch that is all their own (and of course, they love to lay and play on the cat tree!).  Scratching posts are another great investment. You may want to consider offering different materials like carpet, sisal, wood, and cardboard, as well as different styles (vertical and horizontal). You can use toys and catnip to help entice your cat into using them for scratching.

If your kitty has an appropriate outlet to get their scratching out, they are less likely to terrorize other less desirable targets.

Use Special Tape

64183._AC_SL1500_V1460478783_

Amazon

If even with the cat tree and the scratching post, your cat still prefers your sofa for scratching, don’t worry, there are still ways to deter them. There is a special tape, such as Sticky Paws, that you can place on furniture to deter your cat away from scratching. It’s safe for furniture, as well as drapes and carpets.

Trim Your Cat’s Nails

4006115240_f135d97322_z

Flickr

Trimming your cat’s nails is important for maintaining their health. The ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States both offer detailed tips for how to trim your cat’s nails, but if doing it yourself is out of the question (personally, I wouldn’t even attempt it for fear they would bite or scratch me!), many groomers will trim a cat’s nails, as well as veterinarians. Trimming your cat’s nails is also a humane and effective alternative to declawing a cat.

Whatever You Do, Please Don’t Declaw

While removing a cat’s claws may seem like an easy, harmless way to avoid scratches or damaged furniture, this practice is actually extremely harmful to one of our favorite four-legged friends and the process is far more serious than cat guardians may perceive.

26123087915_ab16b17550_z

Flickr

Declawing is not a manicure. Declawing, also known as onychectomy, is performed across veterinarian offices across the United States, despite growing awareness of the practice as inhumane. Most people think that declawing just involves pulling a claw out which, if you can imagine having all of your fingernails yanked out, is frankly, awful enough. Declawing is actually 10 separate amputations of the last bone and nail in each toe. If performed on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle, warns the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

These procedures risk long-term lameness and behavioral problems, including making it less likely for a cat to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat. Side effects of declawing include pain in the paw, infection, tissue necrosis (tissue death), lameness, and back pain. Removing claws changes the way a cat’s foot meets the ground and can cause pain similar to wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes. There can also be a regrowth of improperly removed claws, nerve damage, and bone spurs.

For those of us who love cats enough to have one (or more) in your home, please love them for what they truly are – claws and all. They shouldn’t be penalized for doing what comes naturally. Instead, love their wild side and give them more options that are acceptable.

Do you have any tips for deterring a cat from scratching furniture or other items in the house? Leave a comment below to share with other cat lovers! For more information on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, check out the below articles.

Lead image source: stratman/Flickr

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

Speciesism in ‘Planet of the Apes’ and What We Can Learn For Our Own Sake

What to Do If Your Dog Is Barking Obsessively When You Leave the House

14 Quotes Every Animal Advocate Should Know By Heart

14 Quotes Every Animal Advocate Should Know By Heart

15 Hilarious Pet Photos Taken at The Perfect Moment

10 Pet Pictures Taken at The Perfect Moment

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

0 comments on “How to Keep Your Cat From Scratching Furniture – and Why You Should Avoid Declawing at All Costs”

Click to add comment
Judy
8 Days ago

We put pieces of aluminum foil on the floor at couch corners and upholstered chairs. Our cat won\'t go near foil! She also has a nice carpeted scratching tree that she loves.


Reply
Stephanie
9 Days ago

I have had 2 cats that were declared prior to joining the family. Both were abandoned and left outside. I have another I raised from 8 weeks. He still has his claws. His personality and heath is so much better then the others were.


Reply
BOBBIE
9 Days ago

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH DECLAWING THAT I AM AMAZED YOU DID NOT MENTION... THOSE BEAUTIFUL CLAWS ARE FOR SELF DEFENSE. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR DECLAWED CAT GETS OUTSIDE (IF AN INSIDE CAT) OR YOUR INSIDE/OUTSIDE CAT GET INTO TROUBLE WITH DOGS OR WHATEVER?? THEY HAVE NO WAY OF PROTECTING THEMSELVES BY CLIMBING UP A TREE OR SCRATCHING. THAT IS THEIR ONLY DEFENSE AGAINST THEM, OR JUMPING UP TO A HIGHER LEVEL, WHICH BY THE WAY, THEY DO SOMETIMES NEED THEIR CLAWS FOR THAT TOO. HOW DO I KNOW??? FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE. LONG EMOTIONAL STORY SHORT, MY CAT "SLICK" COULDN\'T FIND A PLACE WHERE SHE COULD GET HIGH ENOUGH FROM TWO SAVAGE DOGS. NO SHE WASN\'T DECLAWED BUT THE RESULT WAS THE SAME. SHE COULDN\'T DEFEND HERSELF BY CLIMBING UP A TREE. A DECLAWED CAT WOULD HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. PLEASE...DON\'T DECLAW.


Reply
Celia
9 Days ago

As a pet trainer I have advised people to spray the item with Bitter Apple which can be found at Petsmart or on line, and trust me....it tastes nasty/ they also don\'t like the smell of citrus....there is a citrus deodorizer you can use. Movie trainers have used it to keep animals away from things. Blow up balloons and tape them to area. Lastly put a sheet of aluminum foil on area...they don\'t like the feel of it. For furniture corners the is as small plexiglass piece to attach as a deterrent. All out of any other tricks.


Reply
Suzannah Rodriguez
9 Days ago

The tape worked like magic on my cat! She quit scratching the couch after the first encounter with the tape.


Reply
HAROLD NASH
10 Days ago

my daughter has a beautiful little cat who was a runt , she had her nails cut of of which i told her not to as its part of a cAts make up , she said i dont know what i talking about , any way the mogi survived thank god and she has recentaly lost an eye due to an axident by climbing up a gArden wall and falling of , i told my daughter its because she had no claws to grab hold on to the wall , again my daughter said i dont know what im talking about , , the mogy is fine now with one eye and no claws , she is such a little darling i love her , but my daughter grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Reply
Celia
14 Jul 2017

Let her know that declawing is the same as our fingers being removed at the first knuckle! So glad the little sweetie is ok!!

Eva Williamson
15 Jul 2017

I\'d grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr too.

Cat Parents
10 Days ago

Cats hate lemons and the scent of real lemons when cut open.
Hang a wedge or set a wedge of lemon where ever there is a problem.
Change frequently. Works for us.


Reply
Bett
10 Days ago

You can also try Soft Paws, which as plastic nail caps. https://www.softpaws.com/ It may take a little while to get them used them, so you might have to do only 1 or 2 at a time a first. I always give my cats their favorite treats after we do SoftPaws, so now when I get the SoftPaws bag out, they eagerly come because they know they get treats afterwards. Also, I do not do what the SoftPaws website says and cut the claws before applying the nail caps. I found that when the claws are cut and shorter, then you push the claws out to apply the nail caps, when you allow the claw to go back to normal, the nail cap will hit the skin and aggravate the cat. Just cover the whole claw.


Reply


Subscribe to our Newsletter




Follow us on


Do Not Show This Again

×

Submit to OneGreenPlanet


Terms & Conditions ×