How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture [6 Tricks to Try]


Do you have a problem with your cat scratching furniture? This is a common issue among cat owners, and the good news is that there are ways to stop it. This article addresses the most common reasons why cats scratch furniture and provides tips on what you can do to keep your furniture safe from scratches.

Why Cats Scratch?

Before expounding on how to stop cats from scratching furniture, consider the following principal reasons cats love to scratch objects.

  • To Stretch Their Bodies

Scratching is good for exercise and excellent stretching for the toes, feet, legs, shoulders, and back of a cat’s body. It also makes them feel good. Cats scratch several times throughout the day, typically beginning when they first get up.

  • For Healthy Claws

Scratching certain materials will aid in the removal of the outer layer of your cat’s claws, ensuring that their nails stay in excellent shape. It also aids in debris removal from beneath its nails, helping to prevent paw infection.

  • To Mark Out Territories

When a cat scratches something, the scent glands on its paws emit odors, enabling them to establish the limits of its territory. This is especially true in houses with many cats. Cats scratching furniture is one way of marking their territory.

  • To Relieve Stress

Cats may use their claws to scratch when they’re stressed or frustrated, which can help ease tension and minimize the chance of developing other undesirable behavior. So when cats are excited or irritated, they scratch to express their feelings.

DID YOU KNOW: If you notice signs of anxiety in your cat—increased scratching, aggressiveness, or changes in appetite—consult your veterinarian. They could prescribe medical therapy (e.g., CBD cat oil), which helps prevent cats from scratching furniture and reduces other anxiety or depression symptoms in your cat.

How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture

Although scratching keeps your cat healthy, you still would like to stop it from ruining the new couch or other household items. Consider the following six ways to prevent such unwanted situations.

1.Provide Scratching Posts and Interactive Cat Toys

There are many types of scratching posts available: tall ones, basic ground-level ones, or even cat trees. And you can choose from a variety of scratching textures.

Buying several scratching posts and various interactive cat toys will stop cats from scratching furniture. Make sure you get a tall, robust post covered in a material that cats love to scratch. You must select the proper sort of toys and posts because offering your feline friend a scratching surface they don’t enjoy won’t work.

2.Position Your Scratching Posts

After waking up, cats want to stretch and scratch. So place a post near their usual resting spot or even a window. You can also set the posts in places where your feline friend likes to play—typically areas you and your family spend most of the time in, such as the living room.
The best way to keep cats from scratching furniture is by positioning a scratching post near the piece of furniture your cat enjoys scratching. All posts should be set in visible locations where your cat can use them to mark their territorial boundaries. It’s advisable to provide more than one scratching post and place them around the home.

3.Tuck a Sheet Around the Scratched Section

Prevent your cat from scratching your couch, carpet, door, and other furniture by making these areas unattractive to their claws. Tucking a sheet around scratched furniture areas is one way to deter your pet from putting its claws where they shouldn’t be.
To keep cats from scratching furniture, you can tape a sheet over the scratch marks so your cat can’t pull it off and scratch again. Keeping the sheet taped on your furniture for a week or two usually does the trick.

4. Provoke Interest in the Scratching Posts

You can try several approaches to interest your cat in its new scratching post.

  • Toys: You can hold a toy from the scratching post so that it lightly strikes the pole—thereby redirecting your cat’s attention to the pole. By swiping at the toy, your cat can discover the pleasure of scratching the post.
  • Sprinkle Catnip or Spray Honeysuckle: Using catnip or honeysuckle might prove helpful in keeping cats from scratching furniture. The smell will attract them and make them more interested in scratching the post.
  • Scratch the Posts Yourself: If your cat has difficulties accepting the post, try scratching it daily with your hands, offering praise and giving an enticing treat to reward them as soon as they perform.

5. Redirect Bad Scratching

When you notice your cat clawing your furniture, redirect them to their scratch post by catching their attention with a toy wand, leading them over to their post.

One of the ways to keep cats from scratching furniture is to praise your cat when they use the scratch post. You can also hide enticing goodies on it so that they understand this is where you want them to scratch.

6. Maintain Your Cat’s Claws

Maintaining your cat’s claws is also an efficient method of stopping them from scratching. Nails that are not kept under control can grow into your cat’s paw pads, causing discomfort and possible infection. To prevent claws from growing excessively long, clip them every few weeks.

DID YOU KNOW: Keeping your cats’ nails short is one of the most effective ways to stop cats from scratching furniture. But don’t ever consider declawing your cat. Cat declawing surgery is an invasive and unpleasant procedure that affects your cat’s mobility, balance, and emotional well-being.

Do Cats Ever Stop Scratching Furniture?

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to stop your cat from scratching your furniture. But if you provide them with an alternative surface and use deterrents, they should eventually learn not to scratch your furniture. Additionally, some cats stop scratching as they get older and no longer have the urge to stretch or mark their territory.

If, after trying these methods, you still don’t succeed in stopping your cats from scratching furniture, consider consulting a veterinarian or specialist in animal behavior to see if there are underlying medical or behavior issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Cats scratch to stretch their bodies, keep their claws healthy, mark their territory, or for stress relief.
  • Teaching a cat to use scratching posts and toys can effectively keep them away from your furniture.
  • You can tape a sheet around the scratched parts so that your cat cannot further damage your furniture.
  • You should never decide on declawing your cat, as it’s very painful for them and can lead to infection.


While teaching your cat to stop scratching your furniture may not be the easiest thing to do, there are several approaches you can take to deter them from doing so. By providing them with an alternative surface, using deterrents, and trimming their claws regularly, you can help reduce the damage they do to your furniture and eventually keep them from scratching it for good.


What stops cats from scratching furniture?

You can do a few things to protect your furniture from cats scratching it. You can provide your cat with a scratch post, cover your furniture with a sheet, or sprinkle catnip on the post. Ultimately, consider clipping their claws.

Do cats grow out of scratching furniture?

If you know how to use the right tips and techniques to train your cat to stop scratching your household items, it’ll probably never think of scratching them again. Your sofa will stay scratch-free once your cat gets used to its scratching posts.

What to spray on furniture to keep cats from scratching?

There are various commercial products available that can help keep cats from scratching furniture. Some contain scents that deter cats, while others create an unpleasant sensation when they scratch. You may need to experiment with different products to find one suitable for your cat.

What scents deter cats from scratching furniture?

A few scents deter cats from scratching furniture, including citrus, lavender, eucalyptus, and lemongrass. If you’re wondering how to stop cats from scratching furniture, purchase a spray containing one of these scents or make your own by mixing essential oils with water.

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