The bottom line is that cats scratch. They have claws and it's in their nature to scratch. They scratch to sharpen their claws and to leave their scent behind. When they scratch, they stretch their bodies and it makes them feel good. Having said all that, it's not necessary for you to live with scratched furniture just because you live with a cat. Follow these steps to keep your cat from scratching your stuff.
If possible, remove the items your cat has been scratching. This is only a temporary fix, until you can deter the behavior.
Protect your belongings. Cover furniture with sticky tape or netting or spray furniture or drapes with citrus-scented deterrents. If necessary, you can place an electronic mat around the furniture he is drawn to. The mat will emit an electronic pulse to the cat when stepped on.
Provide appropriate scratching outlets. You can purchase a scratch box that entices cats with catnip, or you can create your own scratching post by winding some rope around a wood post. Try to buy or create items that are similar in size and texture to the items that your cat has scratched around the house.
Reward your cat when you see him scratching the appropriate scratching tools. If he is slow to use them, rub catnip on them.
Interact with your cat near the scratching post. Place his paws on it, speak in soothing and encouraging tones and be diligent about getting your cat to use it.
Catch him in the act. If you see your cat scratching anything other than his furniture, deter him with a loud noise or a squirt of the water bottle.
Ease back to normal. As your cat begins to learn the difference between the items he is allowed to scratch and the items he isn't allowed to scratch, begin replacing the furniture you removed and remove the deterrents you placed around the home.
Fight the urge to declaw your cat. Even if your friends and neighbors are encouraging you to have your cat declawed, remember that it is a painful procedure that isn't necessary.
As with many things, the best medicine for scratching is prevention. Try to incorporate these steps as soon as possible in order to preserve your furniture and your relationship with your cat.
This article was provided by Collin Walker and sponsored by pet-super-store which is an online pet shop featuring Exclusive Deals this month on pet carriers and pet doors.