How to Stop Your Cats From Scratching Your Furniture: 5 Ways

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how to stop your cats from scratching your furniture

Cats are very adorable companions, and they help take away the stress of the real world. They are a little bit low maintenance, but if you give them all your love, there is a 100% guarantee that they’ll gladly return that to you.

Although adorable and loving, they can also be naughty, especially to your furniture. Worry not as there are ways to prevent your furniture from getting cat claw marks. Read below the tips on how to stop your cats from scratching your furniture.

Why Do Cats Scratch Your Furniture?


It is normal for cats to scratch because it is related to their animal instincts.

  • They scratch often for claw maintenance. Cats are natural-born predators, even if they are house pets in this lifetime. So they need to sharpen their hunting weapon, their cat claws.
  • Scratching is also a form of exercise for cats. It helps in strengthening their muscles and practicing their flexibility.
  • Another reason is they are marking their territory. When cats scratch, they release pheromones that mark certain areas or furniture in your house. Basically, cats will scratch anything that feels important to them.
  • Also, cats scratch to communicate with other cats. This is their way of warning other cats of potential danger in the surroundings.
  • Lastly, scratching soothes your cat. Other than purring, once a cat scratches, nibbles, or purrs on you, it means they feel safe around you and trust you.

Methods to Stop Your Cats From Scratching Your Furniture


1. Train them while they are young

Kitten scratching furniture is easier to deal with because they are still young and easy to train.

  • One way to train them is to guide them to their scratching post or toys.
  • Giving them positive reinforcement when they go to their toys alone is another way to deter cats from scratching furniture.

If they are adult cats, it might be harder to train them since they are already used to their ways, but if you are patient enough and teach them the way you would train a kitten, they will listen to you, their fur parent.

2. Use scratching posts


This is probably the easiest way to stop a cat clawing furniture. It gives your cat the freedom to scratch poles or any post area. But how do you know which one to buy? Where do you place them?

  • Before buying one, observe what the behavior of your cat is.

Are they aggressive? Buy a scratch post that has a rough surface.

Are they gentle? Look for something that wouldn’t hurt their claws.

Are they still kittens? Buy them something that they could easily scratch and destroy to satisfy their needs.

  • Next is the placement of your scratching post.

It is essential to place the scratching post where your cat prefers to play around.

Usually, the best place to position the scratch post is the place closest to where your cat sleeps. Make sure to give them treats and positive reinforcements to establish that it is a good thing whenever they use their scratching post.

  • Place catnips

If your cat is still not a fan of the scratching post you bought, sprinkle some catnip on it.

Catnip is known to mellow out cats. Doing this would help your cat associate that using the scratch post will alleviate their mood.

3. Protect your furniture

It could be frustrating to train cats, so explore a different approach; protect your furniture instead. It is easier said than done, but there are a few ways to stop a cat scratching sofa incident:

  • Cat scratch tapes

These tapes usually come in a roll; you can place them on any surface, including carpet, bed base, chairs, and sofas.

Cats hate the sticky feeling they get when they scratch on the taped area; they will most likely leave your furniture alone if you keep using tapes.

They are also easy to remove, so you don’t have to worry about tape residue. (If you don’t have a cat scratch tape, you can use double-sided tape or aluminum foil)

  • Cat claw covers

If you don’t want to trim your cat’s claws, there are cat claw covers. They cover your cat’s claws to prevent them from scratching your furniture and yourself.

This might start uncomfortable for your cat, so be patient and gentle when putting them on. Another alternative for this is cat mittens.

  • Vinyl guard furniture

This is just like cat scratch tape. The difference is scratch tapes leave a sticky feeling on your cat’s claws, and it can only cover a part of your furniture. Using a vinyl guard would stop cat from scratching couch.

  • Using furniture sprays

Preferably furniture sprays that have a citrus scent. Cats hate the citrus scent, this would get cats to stop scratching furniture.

  • Trimming your cat’s claws

Trimming your cat’s nails should be done every six weeks.

4. Cat repellent sprays

They are called cat repellent spray for a reason; cats hate them. Here’s an elaborate explanation:

  • It was already mentioned that cats don’t like the smell of citrus. Still, repellent sprays offer different scents that cats have a natural aversion to, including rosemary and lavender. It’s best to observe which scent your cat has a disdain for.
  • The spray has a sound that might startle your cat but doesn’t use it too often; your cat might develop a traumatic response.
  • Store-bought cat repellent spray has chemicals that copy a cat’s pheromones. You don’t have to spray them directly on your furniture but spray them directly on your cat if they are showing bad behavior.

5. Homemade repellents


Buying cat repellent spray might be one of the best solutions to get cats to stop scratching furniture. Still, it might: (a) not be safe to humans or (b) inaccessible to your local pet store.

No need to worry since there are a few suggestions on what you need for a homemade spray to stop cats from scratching furniture.

But before spraying them on your favorite furniture, test them on a hidden spot to ensure they won’t leave a stain.

  • Mix a cup of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water. Spray them on your chair, bedpost, door, basically anything that could be scratching woodwork for your cat.

If you are worried about the smell, the human nose does not notice this mixture.

  • If you’re a little bit skeptical about the apple cider mixture, try mixing lemon essential oil, rosemary, vegetable glycerin, and water.

This will not only repel your fur baby, it will also leave your furniture with a fresh scent.


There are many ways to prevent cats from scratching furniture. It is best to take action while they are a new addition to your family, and don’t forget to give them lots of love if they keep their claws to themselves.

Hopefully, by reading this article, you’ve learned how to stop your cats from scratching your furniture.

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