How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Couch, Chairs, Curtains, And Other Furniture

If you’re reading this, chances are your cat is probably destroying your furniture as we speak.

What now?

Should you punish it? Should you declaw it? Should you just give up and accept the idea that you won’t have a single piece of furniture left untouched?

Take a deep breath before you start panicking and forget about the declawing option. DO NOT DECLAW!

If you think declawing is the answer to your problems, you’re wrong. PETA offers a total of eight essential reasons why you should never opt for declawing your kitty.

Before we delve into the healthy and efficient ways to stop your cat from scratching your furniture, let’s focus on the act of scratching itself.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Apart from self-defense, cats scratch for several reasons.

The first is exercising. Felines stretch their muscles and keep themselves active and well-exercised by scratching their nails on something. The process comes naturally to them and it’s a healthy activity which shouldn’t be discouraged.

Excessive scratching isn’t a bad thing as it maintains the condition of the cat’s nails. They need to be groomed and trimmed just like the kitty’s fur.

Felines enjoy the experience of scratching and without it they will feel vulnerable and possibly aggressive or depressed, as they will be deprived of one of their most important and natural instincts.

How To Prevent A Cat From Scratching Furniture

Well, you can’t really stop a cat from scratching its nails against something.

However, you can redirect the kitty to some other target. Think of it as teaching the cat where it must and where it mustn’t scratch.

Since cats will be cats and not dogs, they won’t respond well to punishment, scolding, and aggression. Felines are quite whimsical and they won’t appreciate it if you start yelling or punishing them.

The proper way to train your kitty is to apply positive reinforcement at all times. This means discouraging the unpleasant stuff and encouraging the proper behavior by playing various mind tricks.

So, how can you actually make your cat stop scratching your furniture?

Buy Scratching Posts

It might sound quite obvious, but scratching posts are an essential must-have item for every pet parent who’s looking after a feline creature.

There are many scratchers on the market these days. Many cat furniture items, such as cat houses and condos, feature scratching pads. On top of that, there are some cat toys which also come with small scratching pads that keep your kitty both entertained and well-exercised.

Getting a single scratching post won’t do the trick. You’ll need to get several pads or posts and place them strategically.

For example, if your kitten seems to have taken up a liking towards the sofa, you should place a post in front of the sofa or next to it. Make sure there’s at least one post in each room the cat walks into.

Young kittens will learn the art of scratching the post more easily than older or senior cats, so be patient with your pet. Encourage it with verbal and physical praising, including petting and giving treats.

You can also train your cat by showing it how to scratch the post with your own hands and nails or by gently placing the kitty’s paws on the post and slowly stroking it. Some cats may feel uncomfortable with this practice, so if your kitty is showing signs that it doesn’t like this type of forceful behavior, don’t apply it.

You should opt for a vertical or a horizontal scratcher depending on your feline furball’s preferences. Consider – is it scratching the carpet or the sofa?

Use Catnip

Catnip is a magnet for cats of all breeds and ages.

Many cat toys are filled with catnip. If you want your kitty to be attracted to the scratching post or pad, you should encourage it by spraying some catnip spray on it, sprinkling some loose leaf catnip, or by applying several drops of catnip oil. It will do the trick!

The idea here is to discourage the cat from clawing your furniture pieces by making the post more appealing than the sofa or the armchair.

Of course, this practice of re-directing won’t make the kitty forget about the furniture from day one, so be patient and don’t expect your furball to immediately stop targeting your furniture pieces from the very beginning.

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Get Furniture Strips

Ever heard of furniture strips? They are the best possible option if your kitty just simply will NOT give up scratching the furniture, even when it has other places to do so.

Pioneer Pet’s Sticky Paws roll

Pioneer Pet’s so-called Sticky Palls rolls are the ideal solution to your problem.

These rolls are affordable, easy to use, and extremely efficient when it comes to making your cat’s favorite scratching surface less appealing.

So, how do they work? It’s easy. Simply stick parts of the rolls to whatever surface your cat prefers to jump on, regardless of the material it’s made out of. That’s right – they are perfect not only for soft fabrics (like sofas and armchairs), but also for hard surfaces like tables, stools, doors, or countertops.

The roll is made out of transparent tape, which will stick to any surface without leaving a visible trace. It will make the desired surface repulsive to your cat due to the sticky feeling.

Once your cat has gotten the idea that said surface is unpleasant and unappealing, you can easily remove the transparent tape and it won’t leave any traces!

The roll is 32.8 feet long and can be used on any surface. On top of that, it’s super affordable and efficient! If you’re looking for a way to re-direct your furball’s scratching habits, the Sticky Paws rolls are definitely the thing you need!

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Furniture Covers, Slipcovers, Throw Cloths

Furniture covers or slipcovers are ideal for pet owners who want to protect their furniture pieces from dirt, hairballs, or scratches.

Of course, you can always use a plain blanket for your sofa and armchairs, but there are various slipcovers which are actually designed to protect your furniture pieces strictly from domestic pets like cats and dogs.

Karuilu Home’s Sofa Cover

Chances are the sofa in your house or apartment will be targeted by your feline pet as it provides the widest and softest area for scratching.

Karuilu Home offers a variety of throw covers for sofas which are specially designed to protect the furniture from damaging activities by kids or pets.

The cover comes in 11 different colors and a total of 5 sizes to match your needs and preferences.

It offers a simple and stylish solution to the scratching problem, which won’t cost you as much as re-upholstering the entire couch would. On top of that it’s machine washable and offers an easy slip-on mechanism. It also comes with additional pins for perfect fitting.

The multi-textured fabric of this throw cover and the anti-slip backing are ideal for sofas of any sizes, it’s easily adjustable and you can get a sample of the fabric before you order the cover.

However, there’s one small disadvantage – even though it comes in various sizes, it won’t work on sofas made out of leather, as it will keep slipping off the leather fabric.

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Link Shades Anti-Slip Recliner Armchair Protector

If your cat prefers clawing the loveseat, the recliner or the armchair, don’t worry – Link Shades has you covered with this ah-mazing slipcover!

When it comes to protecting your furniture from your kitty’s claws, your ideal throw cover or slipcover should be the one which you can fully wrap around your furniture pieces.

Link Shades offers a great solution to your scratching-related problem. The slipcover comes in three neutral colors – natural, chocolate, and black – and its price won’t set you back with tons of money. In fact, this is among the most efficient and affordable slipcovers on the market!

The cover comes with straps, which help you adjust it onto your furniture, and its several sizes are ideal for extra-large sofas, standard sofas, recliners, loveseats, and armchairs.

The fabric is made out of microsuede and is water-resistant. It’s not 100% waterproof, but it helps against sudden spills, messes, and most of all – kitty claws. It’s machine washable and its anti-slip backing cuts down on any slippage.

Furthermore, it works even on leather furniture pieces.

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Sure Fit’s Throw Cover

If you’re looking for an extremely thick and durable throw cover to protect your furniture against your kitty’s destructive claws, then Sure Fit’s products are definitely the thing for you.

This company offers a great throw cover for sofas made specifically to protect your upholstery from domesticated pets.

Unlike the slipcovers with straps, this particular throw cover is easily adjusted and is designed to unfold freely on most couches and sofas. Sadly, this item comes in a single universal size.

The throw cover is made out of 100% cotton and the back side is made out of polypropylene.

The extra thick fabric is extremely durable and will protect your furniture from stains, spills, messes created by children and most for all – your feline pet’s clawing. It comes in black, which guarantees it will fit any other color scheme in your home.

This particular cover is ideal for those cat breeds which tend to shed a lot of fur and are particularly disobedient when it comes to scratch training.

The best part, however, is the fact that it offers noteworthy durability and reliability at a moderate price.

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Trim Your Kitty’s Claws

Trimming your feline furball’s nails is part of the grooming procedures, but it’s not as easy as trimming human nails. If you aren’t being careful, you can injure your furry pet. Head over to your vet’s office and ask for a neat trimming. This will reduce the destructive effects of your cat’s constant scratching.

Whichever of the above methods you decide to choose, always make sure that you aren’t harming your kitten in any way – including scolds, punishment, or declawing.

Get as many scratching posts and pads as possible and place them strategically. Re-direct your kitty’s scratching habits to the posts and pads by applying the positive reinforcement training techniques, and always keep in mind that your whimsical furball won’t learn the lesson from the very beginning.

However, if you’re being patient and devoted to your pet’s well-being, it will reward you with affectionate and cherished moments.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!