General Question

meios1's avatar

How do you stop cats from scratching furniture?

Asked by meios1 (2points) April 21st, 2008 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

ketoneus's avatar

We bought a Purrfect Post. As long as we keep it in a prominent place, our cats will use it and prefer it over the ottoman.

Randy's avatar

Squirt gun?

occ's avatar

Buy a scratching post and sprinkle catnip on it. They will love scratching the post so much, they will leave your furniture alone.

gailcalled's avatar

Is it humane to use a squirt gun on a cat? I have a new lodger, Milo, (that my daughter foisted on me)who is getting acclimated. In the three days he has been in residence, hehas trained me to alter most of my behavior, but today I rushed upstairs to change my clothes and found a rug all scrunched up and a still-warm dead fledgling chipping sparrow in one of the pleats.

Milo finds all toys and catnip boring.

delirium's avatar

Squirt guns are fine. I actually have a book to suggest: This book has the MOST vile cover ever… but its an excellent resource and i’ve used it to help many people…

is your cat crazy? by John C. Wright and Judi Wright Lashnits

delirium's avatar

Advice from the book:

1.) Cover the target area with something that feels different from the material you want Kitty to stop scratching. Examples include plastic carpet runner for the rug or couch cushions (feet-side-up is more aversive than smooth side up, but you can try smooth side up first); for vertical objects try double sided sticky tape, aluminum foil, or another nonproferred surface. Many cats prefer soft carpeting for scratching and urinating and reject hard or smooth surfaces.
2.) For locations infrequently visited by people, wipe the scratched surface with something htat smells or feels unattractive to Kitty, such as chlorine based bathroom cleaner, mothballs in a box, or something else kitty can’t lick, or petroleum jelly.
3.) For horizontal surfaces, consider blocking access to the location or (mor aversive) placing on the scratched material the cat oriented, easily set moustrap desinged to keep cats off such surfaces. These suggestions can be used as alternatives for 2.
4.) As a LAST resort, use a commercially available electrified plastic carpet runner or a small security device that produces a loud noice when kitty walks close to the scratched surfaces and disrupts a laser beam. This is likely, however, to keep some cats from even entering the room in which the scratched surface is located.

In addition to making prohibited areas unattractive, try to get hte cat interested in alternative scratching areas. Ways to make the new preferred object more desirable include:
1.) Place the new object (such as a scratching post) next to the inappropriate object. This works well if kitty insists on going to the same place to scratch.
2.)Select a scratching post made from material for which Kitty has shown a preference. Many cats prefer to sink their claws into tree trunks, complete with bark. This should be long enough to let kitty stretch up vertically fully.
4.) for cats who like to scratch a specific material, no matter where it is located, gradually move the new object to a desirable location (desirable from YOUR point of view, but be careful not to insult Kitty by placing it where no one can see it; remember, scratching is often used as a visual territorial marker.)

cheebdragon's avatar

keep them outside…......

Seesul's avatar

@cheebdragon outside cats lives are a LOT shorter and less healthy than indoor cats. They are more likely to pick up diseases that can be fatal or they canget hurt, resulting in a lot of pain and vet bills.

bulbatron9's avatar


Both of our cats have no claws! Also, I have been “clipped” so I don’t want to hear any “hippie wanna-be” garb about inhumanity! They live in my house, and abide by my rules! They eat $30 food and drink filtered water! Bela Lugosi is eight years old, and Lilz McScrilz is still a kitten! They play rough, and thankfully they can’t scratch each others eyes out! Bela is like a dog, he goes outside with me and heels to my every step! Lilz has no desire to go out, since all she knows of outside is 10degrees! Bob Barker will tell you, have your cat declawed!

cheebdragon's avatar

They didn’t ask how to extend their cats life or how to keep it in good health. They asked how to keep their cat from scratching the furniture and I suggested one way of doing so.

andrew's avatar

@bulbatron9: Actually, I think Barker would say “Have your cat spayed or neutered.” My views on why declawing is a really bad idea are summed up in this discussion.

syz's avatar

If you want to know if declawing is humane, volunteer at a veterinary clinic that performs the surgery so that you can see the aftermath of having (what equates to) the last joint of all of their fingers whacked off with a pair of toenail clippers. Then check out an emergency clinic – on an almost weekly basis, I see declawed animals that are still let outside who have been unable to escape or defend themselves from maulings by dogs.

A simple, effective way to retrain your cats to use a scratching post is to place two sided tape on the surfaces that they are now scratching on. They HATE the sensation on their pads. Leave it up for a week or so and then you can take it down (you can find online tape specific for this purpose that has less adhesive so it does not damage your finish). Repeat as needed.

cheebdragon's avatar

why is declawing a cat inhumane but having them spayed or neutered is fine?

syz's avatar

There is plenty of scientific evidence that spaying and neutering has no negative health effects (it does not cause them to be fat, it merely decreases their caloric need) and indeed, increases the length and quality of life of pets. Never mind the epidemic proportion of the problem of unwanted and feral animals that are destroyed every day as a result of uncontrolled breeding.

Declawing, on the other hand, is entirely a convenience for the owner. The pet gains no benefit from it (except perhaps a home that would not have it otherwise) and often suffers ill effects as a result of the surgery. If tissue is left in the pad, the nail will partially or fully regrow and require additional surgeries. Arthritic changes over time are well documented.

Some veterinarians will not perform declaws. Some veterinarians would like to be able to refuse, but do not due to financial concerns. Some vets don’t have a problem with declaws. It is a matter of personal preference or beliefs – I can only express my opinion, which is based on >15 years of experience in the veterinary field.

delirium's avatar

I’m SO happy that someone other than me did the anti-declawing speech.

Seesul's avatar

I apologize if I was considered “off topic”. She seems extremely concerned about the well being of her new house
mates and I was simply pointing out that outside was not necessarily the best solution to the problem.

cheebdragon's avatar

you gathered all that from “how do you stop cats from scratching furniture?”
Your pretty good! : )

Seesul's avatar

No, her other ?‘s about her kitties. I do realize that all cats can’t be kept inside, but the more that can, the better for them. My cats have lived to be 14 and a few days shy of 18. The diseases keep getting tougher and tougher to handle, the bites and infections more and more resistant to treatment. Not to mention the cost and pain involved.

delirium's avatar

<.< I do have to say that i’ve got totally outdoor cats and not one of my cats has ever lived a day shy of their 21st birthday.

Response moderated
Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@cheebdragon “why is declawing a cat inhumane but having them spayed or neutered is fine?” If a cat goes outside they need their claws to climb over things and up trees quite useful if dogs, kids with bb guns, foxes or other potential threats are abound.. And I would rather not have any cats fixed but since you can’t keep all the Toms and queens seperated it is the only way to control the population less you are going to allow the family pets to be hunted by whatever available predator that is around. Or you are ready to feed dozens and more of cats. There is just so many mice and other small game in the wild. Unchecked the cats will soon out strip that supply then you will have sickly cats or dead cats.

And since tubal ligations are reverable these days I say if kids can’t stay naked out of each other’s bed get them fixed until they are 18 but no one can stomach that.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther