How to Prevent Cat from Scratching Furniture

By Ehtesham

Published on:

Cats scratch for various reasons, such as marking their territory, sharpening their claws, and stretching their muscles. Understanding these motivations is the first step toward finding a solution that works for both you and your cat.

Your Cat’s Behavior

Before diving into prevention methods, let’s delve into why cats scratch in the first place.

1. Territory Marking

Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching helps them mark their territory. It’s a way of saying, “This is mine.”

2. Claw Maintenance

Scratching is essential for cats to keep their claws healthy. It removes the outer sheath, revealing a sharp, new claw underneath.

3. Stretching

Cats scratch to stretch their bodies and exercise their muscles. It’s a natural part of their daily routine.

4. Stress Relief

In some cases, cats scratch when they’re stressed or anxious. It can be a coping mechanism.

Effective Methods

Now that we understand why cats scratch, let’s explore practical ways to prevent them from turning your furniture into their scratching post.

1. Provide Scratching Posts

Invest in scratching posts or pads made from materials like sisal or cardboard. Place them strategically near the furniture your cat tends to scratch. Encourage your cat to use these alternatives.

2. Furniture Covers

Consider using protective covers specifically designed for furniture. These covers can deter cats from scratching because they don’t provide the same satisfying sensation as your upholstery.

3. Apply Deterrents

There are pet-safe deterrent sprays available that you can apply to your furniture. These sprays have odors that cats find unpleasant, discouraging them from scratching.

4. Nail Trimming

Regularly trim your cat’s nails to keep them blunt. This won’t eliminate the scratching behavior, but it will reduce the damage it causes.

5. Positive Reinforcement

When your cat uses the scratching post, offer praise and treats. Positive reinforcement can help them associate the post with rewards.


Preventing your cat from scratching your furniture requires a combination of understanding their behavior and providing suitable alternatives.

By offering scratching posts, using protective covers, applying deterrents, trimming their nails, and using positive reinforcement, you can maintain a cat-friendly home without sacrificing your beloved furniture.


Is declawing a cat a humane way to prevent furniture scratching?

Declawing is considered inhumane by many veterinarians and animal welfare organizations. It’s a painful and unnecessary procedure. There are better alternatives to prevent scratching.

What type of scratching post is most appealing to cats?

Cats have individual preferences, but many enjoy sisal or cardboard scratching posts. Experiment with different materials to see what your cat prefers.

How often should I trim my cat’s nails to prevent scratching?

The frequency of nail trimming can vary, but aim to do it every 2-4 weeks. Be cautious not to cut too close to the quick to avoid injury.

Are there specific deterrent sprays that work best for preventing scratching?

There are several effective deterrent sprays on the market. Look for ones designed for cats and read reviews or consult with your veterinarian for recommendations.

What should I do if my cat continues to scratch furniture despite trying prevention methods?

If your cat’s behavior persists, consider seeking advice from a professional animal behaviorist or your veterinarian for personalized guidance.

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