Are you familiar with the scene? It’s morning, as you go to the kitchen to get a coffee, you walk through the living room and there it is: a new scratch-made by claws, worthy of Zorro, on the side of your sofa. While you were asleep, your bundle of feline fur and energy added new scratch marks to your sofa.
Your new expensive sofa will arrive in seven days, and you need to make sure your cat does not add its signature to it. How can you teach your cat to stop scratching the sofa in just seven days?
Why do cats scratch?
Before you can teach your cat not to scratch the sofa (or other furniture), you need to understand why It does it in the first place. Cats scratch things for different reasons, including:
- To stretch. Stretching provides valuable exercise and stretching for the muscles and tendons in a cat’s body, from the toes to the neck and shoulders.
- To mark the territory. A cat’s paws contain aromatic glands and scratching releases odors that mark its territory. It is important for feline social structures to use this method of communication. Even if you only have one cat in your household, they will feel the need to convey information in this way.
- To keep the claws healthy. Scratching helps a cat periodically shed the outside of the nails as needed, to keep the claw healthy.
- Feel good. Scratching is just great for cats. Relieves stress and decreases the chance of the cat developing other unwanted behaviors.
Why not cut Its nails?
Now that you know why scratching is important to cats, you may be wondering if it’s better to just cut your cat’s nails so you don’t have to worry about damaged furniture. It’s important to understand cutting a cat’s nail is equivalent to amputating your fingers.
It’s painful, fraught with possible complications during and after cutting, and it changes the way the cat walks, balances, and interacts with its world. You can learn more about why removing a cat’s nails is considered inhumane by many people, as it is banned in several countries.
The 7-day intensive training to make it stop scratching
The good news is that you can absolutely stop your cat from scratching the sofa, even in time for your new sofa’s arrival. Follow the simple steps below to save your new sofa from the same fate as the old one.
Day 1: decide and buy several scratching posts for cats and some interactive toys. This is a crucial step in the process. Choosing the right one is essential because providing your cat with a scratchy surface that they don’t like won’t work. Make sure you choose a scratching post that is strong, sturdy, tall, and covered with a material that cats love to scratch.
Day 2 : strategically place the scratching posts around the house. Choose places your cat already likes to be, such as near the windows and in the living room. Cats love to stretch and scratch when they wake up from a nap, so it’s a good idea to place a scratching post near its usual sleeping area.
Cats scratch in part to mark territory, so don’t put it in an unused corner. Place it almost in the center so that it can attract the cat. It’s also important to place one in front of the area of the sofa that the cat was scratching. When you see your cat investigating new items, praise It with serenity and give It some cat treats if It likes them.
Day 3: Make the sofa an unattractive place for scratches. You can do this using one or more of the following techniques:
- Place a towel around the scratched area of the sofa so your cat can’t touch it to scratch.
- Use double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the sofa.
- Spray the sofa with a citrus-scented spray because cats have a natural aversion to it.
Day 4: get your cat interested in the scratching posts by sprinkling Them with lonicera. (Honeysuckle)
Day 5:Get your cat even more interested in scratching posts by using a toy wand. Start by playing with the toy a few feet away from the scratching post. Once your cat is playing, drag the toy so that its ends rest on the scratching post. Often, when cats “discover” the scratching post in this way, especially when it’s nearby a fun-filled object like this, they will come back to it again and again.
Day 6: At this point, your cat should no longer try to scratch the sofa, but if it still is, consider adding the ” Feliway ” product to your anti-scratch arsenal. Feliway is a product that recalls the feline facial pheromone which makes cats calmer.
If your cat is scratching your sofa because It’s feeling stressed, Feliway can help you. Spray the sofa and any areas your cat normally frequents. Keep playing with your cat near the scratching post and reward It with praise and treats when it uses it.
Day 7 : Enjoy your new sofa, your cat should now use the scratching post instead of your sofa. When your new sofa arrives, you may need to make it unattractive for a few days or a week so it immediately knows it’s not a place to scratch.
Use any method to keep It from scratching the old sofa on the third day. As time goes by, you should keep things interesting for your cat by adding new scratching posts, moving them to interesting spots around the house, and making sure you continue to schedule daily play sessions with your cat, sometimes using new toys.