Scratching is a natural instinct for your cat, so it's difficult to keep your cat from scratching. But that doesn't mean you have to let them scratch your furniture. It's possible to fulfill your cat's need for scratching without sacrificing your furniture. Unfortunately, many people give up after trying a few things. They purchase a post or two, but their cat keeps going after their furniture. Some choose to find a new home for their cat or have them declawed out of sheer frustration. Before you do anything rash, try changing the behavior the right way.
Get the Right Post
In the wild, cats scratch trees, so they prefer something tall, rough, and easy to sink their claws into. Keep this in mind when picking out scratching posts for your home. If a post is shorter than your cat when they stretch up as far at they can with their paws, it probably won't work. Posts made out of fluffy or soft materials usually don't attract them either. Choose a tall, sturdy post with rough and course fiber rope wrapped around it.
Place Posts Strategically
Don't merely place scratching posts in whatever open corners you have. Think like your cat and try to place posts where they will use them the most. If they like to scratch a certain chair, place a post near it. Be sure to purchase more than one post, so your cat has lots of opportunity to scratch. Keep in mind that cats like to scratch to mark their territory. They don't want territory away from the main action; they want territory where their family spends most of their time.
Train Your Cat
If your cat isn't taking to post scratching as well as you'd like, you can train them to use it. Rub catnip on the post and praise your cat each time they use the post. Dangling a toy over the top of the post may also attract your cat to the post. If you have a personal item that your cat loves, such as your favorite pajama bottoms, you can dangle it over the post as well. Also, let your cat see you scratching the post.
If your cat is destroying your furniture, you don't have to simply live with it. There are several things you can do to deter destructive scratching. One of the best things you can do is to provide your cat with an alternative to your furniture, such as a tall and sturdy post. For further assistance on guiding a cat toward better behavior, contact a local veterinarian, such as one from After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc.