How to Train Your Cat Not to Scratch Furniture


Cats that have the run of the outdoors find that nature has provided a wide range of scratching materials. However, many cats are kept indoors and need to be trained to respect your belongings if both of you are going to coexist happily together.

Equipment: Optional – claw-clippers, scratching post, water-spray, aluminium foil.

Training objective: To transfer your cat or kitten’s scratching skills on to a more cat-orientated surface, and to prevent damage to your home.

Training steps

  • Trim your cat’s claws on a regular basis.
  • Provide an adequate cat scratching post or play centre, and train your cat to use it in preference to your own furniture.

  • Arm yourself with a water pistol or water spray. Use this as a method of disciplining your cat when he scratches any home contents you regard as sacrosanct. As you spray him with water, say “No” in a loud, firm voice. Then, take your cat to his scratching post and encourage him to use it.
  • Cover and tie any forbidden surface with aluminium cooking foil or plastic carpet runner, used the pointed side up. Double-sided sticky tape is also useful for sticking to forbidden surfaces. Cats have an intense dislike for this type of surface.
  • Wipe wooden furniture with cotton-wool balls soaked in lemon grass oil or any other form of citrus oil. Pin fresh portions of orange peel on to furniture fabric. Citrus-based aromatherapy oils are nature’s ‘turn-offs’ to your cat. One word of warning: use a non-seen area of your furniture or soft furnishings to test these products and make sure they do not cause any damage. If you are in any doubt, a liberal application of scented wax polish is also a useful deterrent.
  • Some cats scratch and damage home contents purely because they are bored. If you are out at work every day and cannot spend sufficient time entertaining your cat, think about obtaining a suitable companion for him.
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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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