Are you looking for tips how to prevent cats from scratching furniture ?, then this article for you
To prevent a cat from scratching the furniture, it is essential, first, to understand why it is doing it and act accordingly. In general, felines tend to carry out this behavior as a form of marking, to file their nails or as an effect of stress, anxiety or boredom. Once the reason has been identified, a series of techniques and steps must be carried out to help the animal redirect its behavior towards the appropriate objects and, in cases of stress, combat this tension.
In this article we will detail the different reasons that can lead a feline to feel the need to scratch this furniture and we will share the most effective solutions so that your cat does not scratch the sofa ,
Tips how to prevent cats from scratching furniture
Why is my cat scratching on the sofa?
Feline language is complex and we must learn to interpret it to improve coexistence and cover all the animal’s needs. In this sense, a cat can scratch the sofa or other furniture for two main reasons: marking and nail filing.. When a feline does not have the necessary resources to keep its nails in perfect condition, it is normal for it to look for suitable surfaces to wear them down and, at the same time, exercise. In general, when it comes to this reason, the cat scratches the sofa upright, that is, in an upright position, fully stretching its back. Likewise, this same exercise can be carried out to stretch the muscles. Marking, like grooming, is part of the cat’s nature and can be done for territorial reasons, stress, or both.
If the cat scratches the sofa to file its nails or as a stretching exercise, it will be easy to guide it to an object suitable for these purposes; the real problem lies when you do it by marking. Cats are very territorial animals by nature , and they have three different ways of marking: with their face, nails or urine. Marking with urine can have different origins . Facial marking is not usually associated with something negative by guardians, since it does not leave a visible mark and is even pleasant when the cat rubs its face with objects, animals or people to leave an olfactory mark and associate everything marked as part of its territory.
However, scratches in unwanted places do concern tutors and to correct them it is important to understand them. Cats mark their territory by scratching for two reasons: to leave an olfactory mark and a visual mark. Both marks indicate to the rest of the animals that this territory belongs to them. In general, the scratches are usually vertical and the marked areas are always the same, since these animals choose strategic areas for them to limit and mark their territory. As you scratch the sofa again, the marks become deeper and therefore more visible. As for the olfactory mark, the same thing happens. Through the sweat glands of their paw pads they emit pheromones that they deposit through scratches, it is for this reason that cats feel the need to scratch.pure instinct . But can it be corrected? Yes, scratches cannot be removed but they can be redirected to the desired objects for it.
You already know why cats scratch the sofa, and then we are going to explain how to redirect this behavior to prevent yours from continuing to do it on the furniture.
How to prevent a cat from scratching the sofa?
If the cat scratches the sofa to file its nails or exercise its muscles, the measures are simple: check the environmental enrichment . This usually occurs in homes without scrapers, with inadequate scrapers, or few scrapers. In this way, if we offer the animal the correct objects, it will quickly begin to use them. Likewise, especially if more than one cat resides in the home, it is important to guarantee an adequate number of scratchers and place them in the areas of greatest activity for them. A scratching post for all cats is not enough, remember that they are territorial animals, and what begins as wear and tear on the nails can turn into stress marking.
On the other hand, whether the cat scratches the sofa to file its nails or if it does it to mark it, the first thing to do is to thoroughly clean the furniture . For this, it is essential to use enzymatic products or a neutral soap , since cleaning products made from bleach or ammonia do not remove the scent marks and, therefore, do not prevent it from continuing to mark, on the contrary.
Once the environmental enrichment has been reviewed and the sofa thoroughly cleaned, it is time to redirect the behavior towards a suitable object, such as the scraper.
Scratchers, your best allies
To prevent your cat from scratching the sofa, you should get several scratchers that are stable , that is, they do not lie down easily or are too fragile, that have a minimum height of 40 cm and are made of quality materials. Most cats prefer scratchers whose fibers are placed in a vertical or diagonal position, however, as each cat is different and, in general, they are exquisite and selective animals, we recommend that you meet your companion to offer him the one that best suits him. like him. In relation to this same point, many kitties opt for horizontal or floor scratchers, instead of vertical or high ones, although these have a tendency to scratch the carpets, for example, instead of the sofa or the curtains.
Once you have selected the appropriate scraper, you should place it right next to the sofa . If the animal used the furniture to groom its nails, the use of synthetic pheromones is the most appropriate. For this, one of the most recognized products for its effectiveness is by FELIWAY®, which consists of an exact copy of the natural pheromones that cats emit to mark by scratching. By placing the product on the scratching post, an olfactory and visual signal is emitted that causes the cat to redirect its behavior towards the object “marked” with the product. Since it is a clinically proven product, it is not harmful to animals or toxic.
If, on the other hand, the sofa scratches due to stress, the FELIWAY range includes other products to improve the well-being of the cat, making it feel more secure and comfortable at home.
Another natural product that cats love that can help redirect scratches to the scratching post is catnip, also known as catnip.
Finally, and linked to the fact of guaranteeing a correct environmental enrichment, it is recommended to provide more than one scratching post, as well as other stimulating toys that keep it entertained and prevent the cat from scratching the sofa.
Limit access to the sofa
If after cleaning the sofa with the appropriate products and placing the scratching post right next to it, your cat continues to scratch the furniture, the most recommended is to apply FELIWAY Classic Spray to clean areas, once dry, to mark the furniture as part of its area. safety and change, thus, the marks (pheromones) that incited him to scratch there.
Another option is to cover it with less stimulating fabrics for the animal, such as old sheets, or materials that it does not like, such as plastic, and limit its access until you manage to redirect its instinct.
Keep it nails in perfect condition
In addition to offering scratchers that allow the animal to file its nails, it is essential to check them regularly to ensure that they are not too long and thus prevent the cat from scratching the sofa. For this, there is the possibility of going to the feline hairdresser or maintaining its hygiene at home. In case of wanting to cut the nails in the comfort of the home, it is essential to accustom the cat, first, to the fact of manipulating its paws by touching them daily and rewarding it every time it is calm, so it will relate this act with positive stimuli , which can be treats, caresses, etc.
Once the cat has adapted to the manipulation of the paws, we will go on to relate the scissors, too, with positive stimuli, letting it sniff them and rewarding the animal. As you accept the presence of this utensil, we can begin to look for the right moment, guarantee a calm environment, and try to cut a nail without weighing you down and with patience.
Provide a stress-free environment
Many are the cats that scratch the sofa and other furniture as a result of the stress and boredom of a sedentary life, or from spending long hours alone at home. As we say, when this is the reason that explains why a cat scratches the sofa, it is usually accompanied by scratches on other objects and other behaviors such as nervousness, loss of appetite or, on the contrary, increased appetite, or aggressiveness.
To avoid this, it is essential to find the cause of stress in the cat and treat it, as well as improve environmental enrichment, follow the instructions regarding the use of scratchers, offer a quality diet and spend time with the animal.
FELIWAY Classic Diffuser is an excellent solution for cats to feel comfortable at home and prevent behaviors such as urine marking, scratching furniture or hiding, creating a pleasant environment at home.
Do not scold him, always reward good behavior
Punishments do not get cats to stop performing a certain behavior, but rather they develop a series of negative consequences for them and for their guardians. Some of these consequences can be aggressive behavior out of fear, hiding in the presence of humans, increasing unwanted behavior or the appearance of other problems. Therefore, regardless of whether you observe your cat scratching the sofa, the solution to avoid it is not to scold it, but to redirect its behavior by placing the scratching post, encourage it to use it and, above all, reward it with words of encouragement, caresses, treats or shared games . Positive reinforcement is always the best option when looking for solutions to prevent a cat from scratching the sofa, since the animal understands that by guiding its behavior towards another object, it obtains a reward and, therefore, that is the right thing to do.
Watch the video: How to Prevent Cat from Scratching Furniture. Make It Easy
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