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Why Do Cats Scratch Furniture?

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At Zoopar we love dogs and cats and have products to suit any active travel lifestyle for cats and dogs. In this post, we want to talk about the reasons cats scratch, how to stop them from scratching and how to protect furniture when you travel (especially helpful if you stay with friends or in hotels!)

Cat parents know cats love to scratch. They will scratch the couch, carpets, walls, doors and more. They will scratch posts or other cat-specific items if they are available to them. Why do cats scratch? It’s instinct, plain and simple.

To keep your cat from scratching items you don’t want her to, you need to provide items that are acceptable to scratch and that allow them to give in to their instinctual behaviors. To keep your cat from scratching the couch, it’s up to you to give him a scratching alternative.

Did you know: You can train a cat, through positive reinforcement, to scratch items that are acceptable (a scratching post) and to leave unacceptable items (the couch, for example) alone. When your cat tries to scratch an item you don’t want him to, move him to a scratching post. In fact, put the scratching post next to the item you don’t want him to scratch. When he starts scratching the couch, move his claws to the scratching post. Give him a treat when he uses the scratching post. Your cat will get the hint.

Why Do Cats Scratch The Furniture?

To truly understand, you need to know why cats scratch. Those reasons include:

  •        It feels good to them
  •        It rids their claws of dead layers of skin
  •        They combine a stretch with scratching
  •        It communicates happiness
  •        Scratching helps alleviate stress
  •        They will scratch if they’re frustrated
  •        Scratching marks the cats’ territory. When a cat scratches it leaves behind their scent and lets other cats in the household know, “this is my area.”

There are myriad reasons your cats will scratch furniture and doors, walls and window sills. If you travel with your pet and don’t want them to damage a hotel room you need to travel with their favorite scratching post. Traveling can lead to stress and frustration in a cat and having an item from home – their favorite scratching post – gives them an acceptable outlet for their frustration and stress.

Here are tips to keep your cats from damaging items while you’re traveling:  

  1.      Don’t forget to bring a scratching post with you. When you’re packing for a road trip with your cat, you need to save space for your cat’s favorite scratching post.
  2.   To keep a cat from scratching an item you don’t want destroyed, place the scratching post by the item the cat is scratching and encourage her to scratch the post not the furniture.
  3.   Test out different types of scratching posts until you find one your cat will use. Some enjoy scratching on sisal, others like carpet-covered items, others enjoy scratching on cardboard scratch pads or a piece of natural wood or a log. If your cat doesn’t like the first option you offer, try another.
  4.   Praise him when he scratches the scratching post. Positive reinforcement is key.
  5.   Place scratching posts throughout your home to offer your cat various places in which to give into his instincts.

We’d love to know what you’ve done to prevent your cat from scratching the furniture. Share your tricks and tips!

GIVING BACK: During National Pet Month, which is May, Zoopar is donating 20% of profits of sales to Freedom Service Dogs of America, an organization that works with shelter dogs to train them to work as service dogs.

Zoopar has an unwavering commitment to pets and their pet parents. “It’s our mission to unleash a sense of adventure and curiosity we share with our four-legged companions,” Zoopar CEO Howard Liu said.

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