Saving Your Sofa From Your Cat
When bringing home your new kitten or cat they might start scratching your sofa or carpet. Do you freak out and think if you should have your cat declawed? The answer should be no!
Elective mutilation, also referred to as “declawing”, is never a humane option. While some cat owners feel that they are solving the scratching problem with surgery, they may discover that this choice has created more problems, like not using the litter tray properly, or they may begin to start biting and chewing. The cat may want to avoid the litter tray completely as declawing may hurt their paws. Stepping into a litter tray may hurt and they may start associating the litter tray with pain, as well as other problems, such as shyness and fear.
If you take away one form of defence from the cat (the paw swipe), the cat will use its teeth. This is only natural as that’s all they have left.
So, what is the solution?
Cats are smart, some may say even smarter than dogs and they can be trained. The approach is different as cats don’t think like dogs, they think like cats!
Cat scratching is a natural instinct and therefore a behaviour. They need to stretch to remove the sheath on their nails and more importantly stretch to exercise.
Cats need their nails for many other reasons
Every home with a cat should have a couple of appealing scratching posts. Their post could be covered in carpet, sisal or rope, with climbing shelves or flat from corrugated cardboard. Even an old coir mat will make good scratching material.
Place the post in front of the area where the cat has started to scratch, show him the post by scratching your nails on the post to get him interested. Don’t physically take the cats paws and hold them to the post, they will find this offensive and will avoid the post altogether. It must be the cat’s choice to use the post, it can’t be forced.
Praise your cat every time he or she uses the post with positive reinforcement
Now back to the sofa!
Double sided tape is inexpensive and can be applied to almost any surface. Cats dislike anything that sticks to their feet.
- Get a good scratching post
- Reward appropriate behaviour
- Trim nails weekly
- Temporarily cover previous scratching targets
- Relieve cat’s boredom with interactive play and plenty of toys
What measures have you taken to save your sofa from the cat? Or is it too late to save the sofa? Share your tips or sofa catastrophe with us on our socials.