How to stop my cat scratching

Many cat owners by now will probably recognise the sound of their cat happily dragging their claws down their furniture. The main issue can be knowing how to re-direct them from doing it on your favourite possessions and onto a proper scratching post instead.

Cats need to scratch something and you should never try to stop them from doing this. It’s part of their perfectly natural and normal behaviour as it keeps their claws in good condition, stretches their bodies and helps them mark their territory. Usually they will use scratching posts but some cats like to claw furniture and carpets, especially if the scratching posts provided aren’t ‘quite up to scratch’!

There are some top tips to help your cat scratch in the right places, away from your beloved sofa.


Provide scratchers

Cat using scratching post

Make sure your cat has a few sturdy scratching posts that they can use around the house. You don’t have to keep to the standard posts either – try using a variety of different scratchers to keep your cat occupied. Post scratchers must be stable and tall enough for your cat to exercise at full body stretch. Make sure you replace worn posts. To encourage your cat to use these scratchers, try marking them with a pheromone scent, or placing them in front of the more undesirable places they usually choose to claw.


Keep them stress-free

Sleepy looking cat

Your cat may suddenly start scratching furniture if they become anxious or stressed. Be sure to keep them as stress-free as possible. You can even purchase pheromone diffusers to help them keep calm, or calming sprays that are safe to spray on furniture. If your cat is showing signs of stress, then the best thing may be to visit your vet to discuss how to reduce their anxiety.


Protect new furniture

Cat on a sofa

If you’ve just bought a brand new sofa, your cat may be tempted to scratch it. It smells strange to them so they might want to leave their scent on it by scratching. Put some cardboard temporarily around the places they are most likely to scratch to try and deter them by placing sturdy scratching posts nearby as an alternative.


Keep out unwanted visitors

Photo of a cat watching from a window

Your cat may feel the need to scratch more in the house if a strange cat is coming in. This can also cause them a lot of stress. The best way to keep unwanted cats out while still giving your cat free access to outside is by getting a microchip cat flap that only your cat is able to use.


Keep them occupied

Kitten playing outside

Sometimes cats will scratch if they are feeling playful. Make sure to spend time playing with your cat every day. If they look like they might be about to scratch your furniture, try to get their attention with a toy and play with them for a while to redirect their energy.

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