How to Stop Destructive Cat Scratching

How to Stop Destructive Cat Scratching

We love our cats, but that doesn't stop them from ruining our favorite furniture and other household surfaces. If you need assistance curbing destructive cat scratching, check out these tips!

Trim Claws

A preventative measure to limit the damage caused by feline scratching is to clip their claws. It is best to start when they are a kitten and to trim their claws every two to three weeks. 

When cats have shorter claws, they may not have the need to scratch as much. Coastal Lil Pals Kitten Nail Trimmers have a long-lasting, sharp cutting edge along with a comfortable grip to help you clip the nails of your small cat or kitten. If you have a difficult time trimming, try doing it when they are napping or by going slow and using treats to reinforce positive behavior.

Scratching Posts

If you already have a scratching post, try not to replace it with a new one as cats prefer shredded posts because their claws can really get into the material and they look and smell familiar to them. If you don’t have any, then be sure to purchase cat scratching posts and place them in areas that your feline spends their time. For instance, you can place it near their sleeping area so they can stretch when they wake up from a nap. Additionally, if your furry friend has certain locations that they have been destroying, place posts in front of that area.

Consider using scratching posts that have various qualities and surfaces such as cardboard, carpeting, wood, sisal and upholstery. You’ll also want a post that is tall enough that your cat can fully stretch. If they need some encouragement to use them, sprinkle catnip or hang toys on them. 

Scratch Spray

A quick fix for cat scratching is to use a deterrent spray, like Nature's Miracle No Scratch Deterrent Spray. This long-lasting formula discourages cats from scratching on repeat surfaces by eliminating the pheromones cats leave behind on their favorite areas.

Deter and Praise

Couches are common household furniture that are victims of cat scratches. To prevent clawing, tuck a sheet tightly around the desired area so they can’t get under. Also, try using double-sided tape, sandpaper, upside down vinyl carpet runners and aluminum foil on areas they are drawn to.

If you catch your feline clawing an inappropriate item, startle them with loud noises or squirt with water. However, be mindful to not scare your cat too badly as they may learn to fear you. On the other hand, when your furry pal is using their scratching post, feel free to reward them with praise and treats so they have a positive association with it.

Consider Stress

Your cat may be clawing furniture and other household items because they are feeling stressed. Use a calming spray or diffuser like the Comfort Zone With Feliway For Cats to help them out. This drug-free odorless natural pheromone covers up to 700 feet and mimics the natural pheromone that cats mark their territory with when they feel safe, secure and in control of their environment. The feeling of safety can help limit stress-related unwanted behaviors. For sprays, mist the areas that your feline scratches and areas they hang out in.