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How Can I Prevent My Cat From Scratching My Sofa? || Grooming Pets

 How Can I Prevent My Cat From Scratching My Sofa?

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Scratching My Sofa? || Grooming Pets

My cat enjoys hiding beneath our couch and clawing at the underside. It's driving me insane. Can I persuade him to stop?

You can teach your cat not to use your furniture as a scratching post — but before we get into the intricacies of how to change your cat's behavior, let's first discuss why he's doing it in the first place.

Because cats scratch to shed their outer nail sheaths, frequent nail trimmings may help reduce scratching. However, there may be something more severe going on: Your cat may be hiding beneath the sofa because he or she isn't feeling well, either physically or emotionally. A scared, frightened, or stressed cat may seek refuge under a couch or bed to avoid an uncomfortable event, such as a new infant or pet in the house. And because cats will often hide pain or illness, your cat could be hiding because he is unwell or injured.

In either scenario, the first step in dealing with the behavior is to schedule a visit to the veterinarian to discover whether your cat has an undiagnosed medical issue, is in physical discomfort, or is frightened or stressed about something in his environment. If necessary, your veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary behaviorist.

Scratching should be redirected.

You can begin to address the behavior once your cat has been given a clean bill of health. The idea is to focus your cat's scratching away from furniture and toward something more cat-friendly, such as a specific scratching post.

Cats scratch furniture regularly because they lack acceptable substitute activities and venues that fit their likes. Teaching your cat to avoid furniture will necessitate the provision of cat-specific places that are more appealing than the area under your couch.

Create resting and play areas that are tailored to your cat's tastes, including areas for him to snooze, hide, and study his surroundings. Burrow beds, tunnels, and cat trees, particularly those with covered portions and den spaces, allow your cat to observe the action in your home — and, if necessary, to escape from it. Tunnels and boxes also provide places to play and relax. When your cat needs to be alone, he can use his crate or carrier as a quiet resting spot.

Provide your cat with scratching posts made of a range of materials. Some cats prefer carpeted posts to sisal, while others prefer corrugated cardboard. Consider a covered bed or box made of durable claw-worthy material, such as corrugated cardboard, if your cat prefers laying on his back while clawing and pawing.

A robust scratching post should be able to sustain your cat's weight while he digs, scratches, and paws at the surface. Many cats like getting a good stretch and prefer posts that enable them to fully extend their limbs while clawing. Consider scratching posts that provide both horizontal and vertical scratching and stretching opportunities. A horizontal scratching post may be appealing to your cat, especially if he is currently clawing horizontal areas.

Make Your Cat Adore His Scratching Post

Place your cat's scratching post near your couch to discourage him from scratching it. This makes it easier to divert his attention away from dangerous areas and redirect him to more acceptable surfaces.

Simultaneously, encourage your cat to identify your couch with things other than scratching. Feed him near the couch and spray the area with pheromone spray to encourage him to rub the area with his facial scent glands. This may lessen his motivation to use visual cues to alert people to his presence. You might even encourage him to snuggle on the sofa with you and praise him for sitting quietly.

Encourage your cat to investigate the cat trees and scratching posts by providing toys, catnip, and treats. Direct his excess energy and scratching toward other acceptable hobbies, such as food puzzles and toys, particularly items that are suitable for solo play while he is alone. Pet, play rewards and praise your cat for using his cat-specific places.

You may need to put up a temporary barrier to keep your cat from using the space beneath the couch as a hiding place. Citrus fragrances, double-sided tape, and inverted floor mats with the prickly side facing upward can all be used as deterrents if necessary. However, before you restrict him access to the sofa, make sure he has appropriate replacement locations where he may securely escape and hang out.

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