It goes without saying that scratching is a natural distinct of cats that was developed a long time ago. In the wild, the habit of scratching helps cats protect themselves against fierce predators. However, to domestic cats, this habit has turned out damaging to household furniture.
You cannot totally eliminate cat acts of scratching, but you are still able to do something about it. Try applying those following tips on how to keep cats from scratching leather furniture.
Prevention Tips of Cat Scratching
Keep Your Cat Away from Leather Furniture
It is virtually impossible to stop your cat from scratching, so training him not to scratch furniture may be more feasible. Make use of several techniques as follows:
Given that cats are normally allergic to the smell of citrus; an orange peel can serve as a deterrent when being placed near the sofa. Alternatively, orange peels can be replaced with cotton balls soaked in unpleasant smells such as perfume, cologne, etc. As your cat starts to avoid going near the sofa, step by step remove each item.
Cats tend to scratch where there is their scent, so eliminating their scent from their favorite objects is a should-do thing. There are many odor-removal spray products in local pet stores that can help you do that.
At the sign of sofa scratching, spray a few spritzes of water on your cats as a warning notice to them. This can temporarily discourage them from harming the furniture. In the long run, try using a motion-activated compressed air can, which can be set to go off each time they approach the sofa. However, in any case, you shouldn’t physically punish your cats. This only aims to worsen the situation because they may grow a negative attitude toward you.
Keep your cats away from couches also means providing another resting place on the floor for them. Cat condos are often recommended by veterinarians. Go for a smooth and comfortable material so that the condo can give the same relaxing feeling as the sofa.
Moreover, it needs placing near where you often sit on the sofa in the sense that cats tend to develop a strong bond with human. To encourage their sitting in the new spot, giving out some tasty treats and positive feedbacks can be a good way.
Leave some objects on the sofa as obstacles to your cat scratching. They include double-sided tapes, sandpaper, and so on.
Position Scratching Posts Around Your House
Choose the Right One
Cats are inclined to scratch on corrugated cardboard and carpeted surfaces, therefore it makes sense to go for scratching posts made from these materials. Such posts not only keep your furry friend amused but only provide a great chance to stretch their muscles, especially horizontal posts.
Posts can follow the orientation of vertical and horizontal, out of which cats prefer the former. Bear in mind that sisal is much favored by cats and it can be bought at any rug store. Or else, you can turn to your veterinarian or pet stores for advice about where to buy.
Regarding a wide range of sizes and shapes, it is imperative that you choose one of your cat’s preference. Otherwise, he would still scratch on sofas. When it comes to a vertical scratching post, its height should be enough for your cat to stretch out his entire body. Moreover, opt for a stable and sturdy scratching post. If not, the case of its toppling over when cats are scratching can deter them from using it next time. For horizontal scratching posts, remember to place them under another piece of furniture to keep them stay in place while being used.
To make the post look more attractive, catmint leaves or powder can be attached around the post. Or else, decorate the post with his favorite toys. When he plays with the toys, the chances are that he will learn to scratch the post. Pay attention to placing his front paws against the post because this may leave his scent from the paws onto the post, which is more appealing to your pet.
After a long time of use, the scratching post may look worn out, but don’t rush to throw it away. To the cat’s eye, it’s perfectly tattered in the way that he wants.
Locate the Scratching Post
It is vital that the scratching post is placed within the easy reach of your cat. Thus, a corner or a location he hardly visits is by no means taken into consideration. As a rule of thumb, place it where he is used to scratching. If he likes scratching the leather sofa, then put the post by the sofa.
Alternatively, his sleeping area or windows are proper locations to put such posts. It is due to the fact that cats enjoy scratching right after waking up as an instinctive reflex. Thus, he is encouraged to scratch on the post more if it is spotted near the sleeping area.
Train Your Cat to Use the Post
Upon notice of your cat scratching furniture, gently pick him up and leave him near the scratching post. It will help him to figure out where he should and should not scratch. Don’t hesitate to reward him with a treat when he starts to scratch on the post.
Another way to familiarize him with scratching posts is to spend time playing with him. Get down on your knees and scratch the post. He can mimic your action, then in turn develops a habit of that.
Put On Nail Caps
If your cat still doesn’t forgo the bad habit of scratching furniture, try getting him wear kitty caps. There are a variety of sizes and colors to choose from, depending on your pet’s favors. With the application of glue, each cap can stay on cat nails for about 4 – 6 weeks before falling off because of the cats’ natural growth. Given the soft and round edges of such caps, little damages are certainly made to leather furniture. It saves you efforts to closely follow your kitty for fear that he may scratch on furniture.
Don’t forget to trim your cat nails carefully before putting on caps. If not, he may suffer from considerable pain and discomfort when moving to and fro.
Cats scratch for numerous reasons, including sharpening claws, locating territories, stretching muscles or just having fun. To cats, scratching is somewhat a demand, so there is no use forcing them to give up that habit. Instead, applying those tips on how to keep cats from scratching leather furniture is what you should do to protect your interior. Apply them, be patient and your effort will be rewarded once your furry friend outgrows this habit of scratching leather furniture.