White cat laying on arm of couch

Stop your cat from scratching furniture

Team Walmart Pets

May 27, 2021


min read

Many people will tell you that ruined furniture is a natural consequence of having cats. Not necessarily so.

If you find your cat constantly scratching your couch, chairs, and other furniture, here’s what you need to know.

Why do cats scratch furniture?

Most cats love to scratch fabric, carpet or anything else they can find. They do it when they’re excited and stressed. They also scratch to mark objects with their scent, to remove the dead parts of their nails, and, often, just for a good stretch.

Why cats like scratching posts

Scratching posts or play centers are essential in giving your pet an environment where they can exhibit normal behaviors. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you find the best one(s) for your home.

  • Make sure scratching posts or pads are sturdy and covered in a tough material.  
  • Sisal rope or the corrugated-cardboard types are preferable to using carpet-covered scratching posts, which can encourage cats to scratch carpet elsewhere. 
  • Place scratching posts near their favorite sleeping places and in central places in the home, which will help encourage good scratching habits in your favorite rooms.

How to keep cats from scratching furniture

Scratching posts can also help designate the appropriate areas of the house for play and rest, being used to try and wean pets away from problem areas, like furniture. Placing a scratching post in front of a piece of furniture that is being inappropriately “used” can help your cat to stop scratching furniture by shifting their attention from the furniture to the post. If you have to put the scratching post in a position that's not aesthetically pleasing, you can gradually move it into a better spot once they get into the habit of scratching the post, not the furniture.

If you’re desperate, you can also cover the furniture using aluminum foil. It’s a bit unsightly, but an extremely effective way to keep cat claws at bay. Cats HATE the feeling of tin foil. This method can be particularly effective if your cat does most of their scratching when you’re not home.

Keep in mind, most of these tips will work best if you can mold the behavior of a young, developing cat. But that’s not to say that older cats can’t change — it might just take a little more patience (and foil).

Can you trim cat claws?

Even when your cats use a scratching post, it is still important to regularly trim their nails. Indoor cats, especially, can grow their nails very long – they can even grow long enough to curl around into their pad!

You can easily learn to trim your cat’s nails at home using cat nail clippers. Just be sure to ease your cat into having his nails trimmed with positive reinforcement and treats, and avoid the pink part of the nail called the quick. Trimming too close to the quick can cause bleeding and pain.



Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash