April 13, 2024
Learn how to keep cats from scratching furniture with our comprehensive guide, including tips on redirecting behavior, positive reinforcement training, deterrents, mental stimulation, and common mistakes to avoid.

How to Keep Cats from Scratching Furniture: A Complete Guide

As much as we love our feline friends, it can be frustrating when they scratch up our furniture. However, understanding why cats scratch and how we can redirect this behavior is important in finding a solution. In this article, we’ll explore different techniques and tips to keep cats from scratching furniture.

Redirecting Scratching Behavior

Cats naturally scratch as a way to mark their territory, stretch their muscles, and sharpen their claws. Instead of punishing them for scratching, we can redirect this behavior to appropriate surfaces. Providing scratching posts or cardboard scratchers can give cats the opportunity to do what they need to do, without causing damage to our furniture. Placing these alternatives near the furniture being scratched or rubbing them with catnip can encourage cats to use them.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement techniques such as offering treats or praise can encourage cats to use appropriate scratching surfaces. Punishing cats for scratching can backfire and cause anxiety or aggression. It’s important to be patient and consistent in training cats to redirect their behavior.


If cats continue to scratch furniture, deterrents can be used to discourage this behavior. Double-sided tape or aluminum foil can be effective in deterring cats from scratching certain surfaces. It’s important to apply these deterrents consistently and in the right places for maximum effectiveness.

Mental and Physical Stimulation

Providing cats with enough exercise and playtime is crucial in reducing the need for scratching. Interactive toys and puzzle feeders can stimulate cats mentally and keep them occupied. Providing a comfortable and stimulating environment can also reduce stress and anxiety in cats.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Punishing cats or trimming their claws too often can be counterproductive and cause more harm than good. Instead, we can try different techniques and be patient in training our cats to redirect their scratching behavior.


Keeping cats from scratching furniture can be challenging, but with patience and consistent training, it’s possible. Providing appropriate scratching surfaces, positive reinforcement, deterrents, and mental/physical stimulation can all help redirect scratching behavior. By avoiding common mistakes and being patient, we can coexist peacefully with our furry friends.

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