One good scratching session can destroy an upholstered or leather piece of furniture; giving your cat better options could help protect your home and your sofa. If your furniture and home is suffering from your cat’s loving but destructive attentions, these tips can help.

A domestic cat using a scratching post, showing living room

Give Better Options

Your cat isn’t targeting your sofa because he likes furniture; the cloth covered surface is just too appealing to pass up. Providing a few different scratching options made from carpet, fabric and cardboard can help keep your furniture safe.

Make them Appealing

Buying the new scratching surface may not be enough – a bit of catnip sprinkled on the surface or a fun batting toy positioned nearby can help attract your cat.

Cover the Objects You Want to Protect

Cover the targeted item with an undesirable surface or turn the piece towards the wall while you are trying to redirect your cat. If it won’t damage the surface, a slick duct tape or foil will likely be undesirable enough to refocus your cat’s attention elsewhere.

Spray bottle against white background

Distract your Cat

When the unsuitable scratching begins, make a loud noise, or if you must, spray your cat with water; according to the ASPCA, either of these distractions can stop the scratching if you catch your cat in the act. Make sure he can’t associate you with the distraction – he’ll still want to scratch, he just won’t like you very much.

Keep the Old Scratching Post

If a desired and acceptable post begins to look scratched up and ratty, don’t throw it away; your cat has claimed this as a desirable item and may actually like it more now that it is roughed up.

It won’t happen overnight, but offering better scratching materials and covering your furniture up can help curb this destructive behavior and keep your home safe from your cat’s claws.

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