If your cat is scratching the furniture this article may help you. It is natural behaviour for our feline friends to scratch. Cats choose a vertical surface that allows them to arch and stretch their back and shoulder muscles.
Also they need to shed the outer sheaths of their claws, as well as scenting their territory. All well and good, if this is accomplished by using a tree or a fence post in their garden. However, problems arise when our kitties use indoor furniture as a scratching post.
Ollie, my Ragdoll cat, lives indoors. So since he was a tiny eight week kitten – not only has he been encouraged to play and run off steam – but more importantly he has been given multiple scratching posts around the home. Each time Ollie has a good scratch on the post, he is rewarded straight away by a kibble from his daily food allowance. Although he responded well right from the start – he was unable to differentiate between his scratching post and the sofa. It has been trial and error over time.
We went down the route of sticky strips that were sold with the promise of deterring cats from scratching. In our case, we ended up with fur covered sticky patches, which in turn seemed to attract any particle that had the temerity to float by. The sticky strips looked dreadful. Next we tried organic, pet friendly spray to squirt onto the furniture – which would apparently deter anything on four legs. That lasted but a few minutes of sniffing before scratching resumed and Ollie was so interested in the smell, that he gave the impression of wanting to lick it off.
Over time, Ollie managed to shred the leather sofa. Layer upon layer – almost like bird feathers. Not a pretty sight and a total embarrassment when visitors arrived. Eventually, with trepidation I replaced it, with a shiny new sofa. Ollie was watched like a hawk. Distraction tactics were used if his body language indicated that a clawing session was imminent.
Quite by accident a solution came along. A little cat that lives nearby, loves to follow me around the garden and she gets into any project with great enthusiasm. Upon opening the garden shed door, she zoomed ahead of me inside. In the doorway was an old coir mat. She went into overdrive – clawing and purring like a little tractor engine. Usually, the little cat would follow me straight out, but she stayed in the shed for ages, blissfully clawing away. This was my light-bulb moment. I came straight indoors and ordered a coir rug for Ollie. It has a PVC backing, which is non-slip. These rugs are very cheap to buy.
As I sit and write this article– Ollie is beside me, stretched out on the floor. He is blissfully scratching and kneading the coir rug – his new best friend! Coir does shed a bit at first – but surely that is a small price to pay, compared to clawed furniture. I do hope that some of you reading this, will get the same happy results. It is worth a try.