How to Stop Cats Scratching Furniture

If you have a cat that won't stop scratching your furniture, you're probably wondering how to make them stop it, which is why we've put together this handy guide to help you prevent your kitty from shredding your sofa! Keep reading to find out more.
Cat scratching furniture

There’s nothing worse than getting a new sofa and coming home to find that your cat has ripped it into ribbons, or finding deep scratches in your freshly painted door frames. Cats’ love of scratching furniture can be a real problem, especially if you’re house-proud! Sometimes it may seem that your cat’s doing it out of spite for you, but it’s important to know that these scratching behaviours are deeply ingrained instincts and they have numerous benefits to both their health and wellbeing.

Keep reading to find out how to stop cats scratching furniture and to discover why they always seem to target your favourite spots.

Why do cats scratch furniture?

While it may seem that your little kitty just likes to destroy things, they actually scratch for a number of reasons. Firstly, scratching provides a full body workout for your cat and stretches out their muscles and tendons from their claws all the way down their back. Cats will also scratch furniture to maintain their claws and keep them sharp by shedding the outside layer, which keeps them in tip-top condition.

Additionally, cats’ paws contain scent glands and when they scratch objects they release odours to mark their territory in the home. They’re most likely to target prominent and frequently used areas such as sofas or your favourite armchair. This is because scratching these areas will make them feel more secure and relieve stress by putting their scent on things, making it feel more like their home.

Sometimes cats may do it because they’re bored which is especially common with house cats who aren’t getting enough mental stimulation. So now you know what causes them to do it, how can you actually stop cats scratching furniture?

How to stop cats scratching furniture

The best way to prevent cats from scratching furniture is by providing them with plenty of scratching opportunities inside the home. Outside, cats will scratch trees and posts so it’s a good idea to simulate this inside with scratching posts. Ensure that you only purchase good quality ones that are strong so they won’t wobble when your cat scratches on them, as this may put them off. You should also make sure that the scratching posts are tall enough for your cat to stretch all the way up so that they can exercise those all-important muscles.

cat using scratching post

Place the scratching posts throughout your home in places that your cat already likes to relax, or near items that they already scratch. Near sleeping spots is also a good idea as most cats enjoy a good stretch and a scratch once they wake up.

If your cat doesn’t appear to be interested in the scratching post then you might want to consider an option with a dangling toy to encourage them to investigate it.

To stop your cat from repeatedly going back to scratch the same areas, you should make sure that you clean it thoroughly to remove the scent markings, as cats are more likely to scratch areas when they can smell their scent fading and will want to ‘top it up’. We recommend using a mild, non-toxic solution that’s suitable for the area and then make sure that you keep your cat away from the area until it’s dry.

For cats that scratch furniture out of boredom or lack of exercise consider purchasing some cat toys and ensure that you schedule in some much-needed playtime with you and your cat. There are loads of cat toys available from electronic mice to teasers, so there’s bound to be an option your cat will love! 

How to stop cats scratching the carpet

If you have a cat that prefers to scratch things horizontally, your carpet may be looking a little worse for wear. The best way to stop your cat scratching the carpet is by providing scratching mats around your home and encouraging your cat to use them with toys.

So now you know how to stop cats scratching furniture! Give our advice a go and your favourite chair will be scratch free in no time. Remember to never blame your cat for scratching things as this is a natural instinct and they’re doing it for so many beneficial reasons!

cat scratching a sofa

For more information on understanding cat behaviours take a look at our content hub.