How to Keep Cats from Scratching Furniture

Cats are adorable companions, but their natural instinct to scratch can wreak havoc on our furniture. While scratching is a normal behavior for cats, it can be frustrating for pet owners. However, with the right strategies, you can encourage your feline friend to redirect their scratching urges away from your beloved couch or chair. In this article, we’ll explore effective methods to keep cats from scratching furniture.

Understanding Why Cats Scratch:

Before diving into solutions, it’s essential to understand why cats scratch. Scratching serves several purposes for cats, including:

  • Marking territory: Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching leaves both a visual mark and a scent, allowing them to claim their territory.
  • Stretching: Cats stretch their muscles while scratching, promoting overall well-being.

Now that we understand why cats scratch let’s explore ways to redirect this behavior.

Provide Scratching Posts:

Scratching posts come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, so you’re likely to find one that suits your cat’s preferences. Place scratching posts strategically around your home, especially near areas where your cat likes to scratch. Encourage your cat to use the posts by sprinkling catnip on them or dangling toys nearby.

Trim Your Cat’s Claws:

Regular nail trimming can significantly reduce the damage caused by scratching. Invest in a pair of cat nail clippers and get your cat accustomed to having their claws trimmed from a young age. Be sure to use proper technique and avoid cutting the quick, which can cause pain and bleeding. If you’re unsure how to trim your cat’s claws, consult your veterinarian or a professional groomer for guidance.

Use Deterrents:

Deterrents can help discourage your cat from scratching furniture. There are various commercial sprays available that emit scents cats dislike, such as citrus or menthol. Simply spray these deterrents on the furniture you want to protect, and the unpleasant smell should deter your cat from scratching. You can also try double-sided tape or aluminum foil on furniture surfaces, as many cats dislike the texture.

Consider Soft Paws:

Soft Paws are small, blunt caps that are glued onto a cat’s claws to prevent scratching damage. While they don’t address the underlying scratching behavior, they can be a temporary solution for protecting furniture while you work on training your cat to use scratching posts.

Seek Professional Help:

If your cat’s scratching behavior persists despite your best efforts, consider consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can help identify any underlying medical issues or behavioral problems contributing to the behavior and recommend personalized solutions.


Here are the FAQs answered:

Q: What will deter cats from scratching furniture?

A: There are several methods to deter cats from scratching furniture. One effective approach is to provide alternative scratching surfaces such as scratching posts or pads made of materials like sisal or cardboard. Additionally, using deterrents such as double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or commercial sprays with scents cats dislike can help discourage them from scratching furniture.

Q: How do I stop my cat from scratching the couch?

A: To stop your cat from scratching the couch, it’s essential to provide alternative scratching surfaces that are more appealing to your cat. Place scratching posts or pads near the couch and encourage your cat to use them by sprinkling catnip on them or incorporating interactive toys. Additionally, you can use deterrents such as double-sided tape or commercial sprays to make the couch less appealing for scratching.

Q: How do I protect my furniture from cat scratches?

A: Protecting your furniture from cat scratches involves a combination of providing alternative scratching surfaces, regular nail maintenance, and using deterrents. Invest in scratching posts or pads made of materials like sisal or cardboard and place them strategically around your home. Trim your cat’s claws regularly to minimize the damage caused by scratching. You can also use deterrents such as double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or commercial sprays to discourage your cat from scratching furniture surfaces.


Preventing cats from scratching furniture requires patience, consistency, and understanding of feline behavior. By providing appropriate scratching alternatives, engaging in regular nail maintenance, using deterrents when necessary, and enriching your cat’s environment, you can encourage positive scratching habits and protect your furniture. Remember, every cat is unique, so be prepared to experiment with different strategies to find what works best for your furry friend. With time and effort, you can enjoy a scratch-free home while maintaining a happy and healthy relationship with your cat.