How to discourage scratching on furniture and encourage the use of scratching posts?

How to discourage scratching on furniture and encourage the use of scratching posts?

découvrez des astuces pratiques pour dissuader les griffades sur les meubles et encourager votre chat à utiliser un griffoir efficacement.

Does your furniture bear the marks of the sharp claws of your favorite feline? Find out how to direct your cat’s natural instincts towards a scratching post, thereby preserving the longevity of your furniture while ensuring the well-being of your four-legged companion.

Understanding why cats scratch furniture

The instinctive reasons behind the act of scratching in cats

Cats do not carry out scratches on furniture randomly nor to reflect a sign of dissatisfaction. This is indeed a natural instinctive behavior of felines. Whether a purebred cat or a domestic cat, every kitten is born with this instinct. This action allows it not only to sharpen its claws, but also to mark its territory. In fact, the pads of a cat’s paws contain glands that release pheromones when it scratches.

Scratching, a way of communication for cats

Paradoxically, a cat scratching furniture can be interpreted as a sign of comfort and satisfaction. He thus marks his territory, indicating that this place represents a safe place for him. This pheromonal marking is a message to other cats, showing that this territory belongs to it.

Scratching, a means of fitness and stretching for cats

Scratching is not only about communication and sharpening claws, it is also a fitness session for our feline friends. The cat, while scratching its claws, performs a series of stretches essential to its physical form.

Preventing your cat from scratching your furniture

Although scratching is essential for cats, it can become problematic when it comes to your furniture. There are several solutions to prevent your cat from scratching them. The first is to offer your cat a scratching post on which he can scratch his claws. Placing this scratching post near areas your cat is used to scratching may encourage it to turn away from your furniture. To encourage your cat to use its new scratching post, you can rub it with a little catnip.


Q: Why does my cat scratch the furniture?
A: Cats do this mainly by instinct. They mark their territory, sharpen their claws and exercise.
Q: How can I prevent my cat from scratching furniture?
A: It is recommended to offer your cat a scratching post adapted to its needs. It would be best to position it near the furniture that your cat has gotten into the habit of scratching.
Q: Is it possible to remove the scratching instinct in a cat?
A: No, scratching is a natural and instinctive behavior for cats. However, it is possible to redirect this instinct towards suitable scratching posts.

Solutions to prevent scratches on furniture

Scratching is a natural and essential behavior in cats. They need it to sharpen their claws, mark their territory, stretch their bodies and relieve stress. Although it can represent a real headache for owners, it is important to understand that the cat acts by instinct and not by malice. However, there are animal-friendly solutions to direct this behavior towards more appropriate supports than your furniture.

Using the scratching post: an effective anti-scratching tip

The first solution to protect your furniture from scratches is to provide the cat with one or more scratching posts. Many models and textures exist to please your pet: sisal, cardboard, tapestries… It is necessary to observe the cat to understand its preferences and choose the appropriate scratching post.
The location of the scratching post is also essential. Install him in a passageway, where he likes to rest, next to a piece of furniture that he particularly likes to scratch or near his sleeping area. In this way, he will consider it a safe and calming point of reference.

Cat repellent: an anti-scratch solution

Cat repellent sprays are another anti-scratch tip widely used. Simply spray the product on the furniture you want to protect. However, be aware that this method must be used with discretion. Some cats may be stressed or even frightened by these sprays, thus worsening the behavior you are trying to modify.

Train your cat to avoid scratches

Another solution is to train your cat. This requires patience and understanding on your part, but the results can be very beneficial in the long run. Make him understand that scratching furniture is inappropriate by patting him on the paw when he starts scratching, or by redirecting his attention to the scratching post. Encourage positive behavior by praising your cat when he uses his scratching post, and rewarding him with treats if necessary.

Protect your furniture with blankets or covers

A final tip to protect your furniture from scratches is to cover it with slipcovers or blankets. These can be removed and washed regularly, thus preserving your furniture. The cat, generally not appreciating change, may turn to its scratching post.


1. What should I do if my cat refuses to use its scratching post?
If your cat doesn’t seem interested in their scratching post, try making it more attractive by rubbing it with catnip. You can also try different types of scratching posts (sisal, cardboard, carpet, etc.).
2. Should I punish my cat if it scratches my furniture?
Punishment is generally not an effective method of changing a cat’s behavior. They rarely associate the punishment with the action they did. It is best to encourage your cat to use its scratching post.
3. Should cat’s claws be trimmed regularly?
Many cats manage to maintain their claws at an appropriate length through scratching. However, some cats, especially indoor cats, might need trimming from time to time.

How to introduce your cat to using the scratching post?


1. My cat always scratches my furniture, what should I do?
If, despite the introduction of the scratching post, your cat continues to scratch your furniture, try moving the scratching post near the furniture that your cat prefers to scratch. Using a cat repellent on your furniture might also help.

2. How many scratching posts should we have in the house?
It is recommended to have at least one scratching post per cat in the house. Having scratching posts in different areas of the house can encourage your cat to use them instead of your furniture.
3. How can I make the scratching post more attractive to my cat?
Covering the scratching post with catnip, an herb that attracts cats, can help. You can also try playing with your cat near the scratching post or lightly scratching the post yourself to encourage your cat to do the same.

Recovering your furniture after a scratch: some tips

Understanding Scratching Behavior in Cats

Cats are known for their tendency to scratch furniture, which can sometimes cause noticeable damage. However, it is important to understand that this action is not a sign of bad behavior, but rather an essential part of feline behavior. Scratching allows them to mark their territory, stretch their bodies and shed their claws. Understanding its importance can help put in place effective strategies to dissuade our feline friends from damaging furniture while respecting their natural need to scratch.

Tips to deter cats from scratching furniture

There are several strategies you can use to deter your cat from scratching your furniture. One of the most common is to install scratching posts or scratching posts throughout the house. These objects are specially designed to meet the cat’s need to scratch and are preferable to your furniture. You can make them even more attractive to your cat by sprinkling them with catnip or attaching toys to them.
Another technique is to use repellents on your furniture. There are various sprays on the market that are harmless to cats, but unpleasant for them, and which deter them from scratching. However, before applying these products, it is recommended to do a test on a small hidden area of ​​the furniture to check that they do not cause discoloration.

Recovering your furniture after a scratch

If your furniture has already suffered from your cat’s scratches, don’t worry, there are several solutions to restore your furniture. For wooden furniture, a simple touch-up of paint or varnish may be enough to hide scratches. For fabric sofas or armchairs, you can sometimes use a small brush to straighten the fibers and make the scratches less visible.
Additionally, you can also consider covering the damaged areas with protective covers, available in various materials and designs to suit your decorating style. They offer a dual solution: they hide existing damage and protect furniture against future scratches.


1. What other methods can I use to stop my cat from scratching furniture?
Besides scratching posts and repellents, you may also consider keeping your cat’s nails trimmed, which can reduce damage to your furniture.
2. My cat is not interested in scratching posts, what should I do?
Make sure the scratching post is well placed, preferably near where your cat usually scratches. You can also encourage him to use it by rubbing catnip on it or hanging toys.
3. How to repair scratches on leather furniture?
For leather furniture, you can use a leather repair kit to fill and color scratches. However, it is best to consult a professional for significant damage.

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