Cats and Furniture – Keep Them Both
Cats are one of the most common household pets and, as such, become integral members of the family. But even the most loving pet parent can’t help but become frustrated when every piece of furniture brought into the home inevitably becomes shredded by Kitty’s paws. However, there are a number of techniques which can be implemented to make your home both cat and furniture friendly.
There is no way to eliminate a cat’s natural inclination to scratch. Therefore, it is imperative to provide the feline with a place to follow their instincts. One of the most common methods is to buy the cat either a climbing tree or post for scratching. Make sure that the object is heavy enough so that it won’t wobble when the cat uses it. If this happens, it won’t be long before the cat leaves it for a sturdier alternative. The object also needs to be tall enough for the cat to be able to stretch out its entire length on it or else it will also be abandoned for a more desirable object. Rope is the best material used for scratching posts or climbing trees as it is harder for the fibers to get caught in the cat’s claws. Other materials such as carpet are much less desirable as they tend to fray. Once a tree or post has been chosen, it is best placed in a sunny cheerful location where the cat will want to go. In order to get the cat to initially explore the location, place some catnip around the area.
Once the first step of providing a place for the cat has been completed, the next goal is to make the other furniture undesirable as a scratching surface. A pet owner’s natural reaction is to yell at the cat when it is misbehaving but this will not have the desired effect. Instead, the animal is likely to behave only when being watched. Instead, spraying the cat with a water bottle can be effective but ensure that the cat associates the act of scratching with the water blast and not with your presence. Another trick is to add double sided tape to the cat’s favorite scratching spot. This makes the location sticky instead of appealing. Once the cat is aware that their paw is able to get stuck to the location, they will be quickly deterred. Make sure also that you have chosen removable as opposed to permanent double sided tape and test a small, less visible area of the furniture before using the tape more widely. In addition, it may help to spray odor remover on the cat’s targeted area as felines tend to avoid citrus smells such as lemon or orange.
The last preventative measure which can be taken is to trim the claws of your cat. Depending on the cat, however, this can be more trouble than it’s worth. If the cat is used to getting their nails trimmed from an early age, the process is much simpler later and the short nails will result in less fabric being snagged on carpets and furniture. When done correctly, you might be able to trim the claws down to the point that they pose no threat to your beloved upholstery.
The key to a successful mediation of the problem is to accept the fact that cats will always have that scratching instinct. Once this is acknowledged, a successful solution can be found. Before a solution is chosen, it is best to first become aware of the scratching habits of your particular feline friend. Once you are aware of their habits, it will be easier to both choose which climbing tree or scratching post would be the best option as well as determine in which location it would be the most useful. Also, trying out various preventative measures will help you become more aware of what will make your cat change its mind about attacking your furniture.