Can I Stop My Cat From Scratching My Sofa?

Offer your cat scratching posts in a variety of materials. Some cats prefer carpet-covered posts to sisal, for instance, while others like corrugated cardboard best. If your cat really enjoys lying on his back while clawing and pawing, consider a covered bed or box made of a sturdy claw-worthy material like corrugated cardboard.

A scratching post should be sturdy and able to support your cat’s weight as he digs, scratches and paws at the surface. Many cats like to get a full stretch and prefer posts that allow them to extend their limbs fully while clawing. Consider scratching posts that offer both horizontal and vertical options for scratching and stretching. Your cat may enjoy a horizontal scratching post, especially if he’s already scratching horizontal spaces.

Teach Your Cat to Love His Scratching Post

To help deter your cat from scratching your furniture, place his scratching post near your couch. This makes it easier to distract him from off-limits spaces and redirect him to more appropriate surfaces.

At the same time, teach your cat to associate your couch with activities other than scratching. Feed him his meals near the couch and spray pheromone spray in the space to encourage him to rub the area with his facial scent glands. This can help decrease his desire to use visual markings to make others aware of his presence. You can also invite him to snuggle with you on the sofa and reward him for sitting peacefully.

Encourage your cat to explore the cat trees and scratching posts with draws of toys, catnip and treats. Channel his excess energy and scratching toward other acceptable activities as well, including food puzzles and toys, particularly toys compatible with solo play when he is alone. Reward your cat for using his cat-specific spaces with petting, play, treats and praise.

You may need to use a temporary barrier to prevent your cat from utilizing the space beneath the couch as his hideaway. Citrus scents, double-sided tape and overturned floor mats with the prickly side facing upward can serve as potential deterrents as needed. But before you block his access to the sofa, be sure he has adequate replacement spaces where he can safely get away and hang out.

More on Vetstreet:


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!