How to stop your cat from scratching your furniture

5th March 2021

Cats can go a little crazy when they’re cooped up indoors for too long. As we’ve all been learning over the past 12 months or so, they’re a lot like humans in that regard! However, unlike humans, one of the ways that cats sometimes express this is by scratching at furniture. That can be a complete nightmare, especially if they’re clawing at your lovely new sofa covers!

Now, as with any undesirable pet behaviour, your first instinct is probably to discipline them, but that won’t actually help. If anything, it could actually make the problem worse. Here are a couple of things that you should try first instead, all of which are likely to be a lot more effective in the long run.

Why do cats scratch at sofa covers?

Before we go any further, it can help to firstly understand actually why cats scratch at furniture. There’s actually a variety of reasons. Most frequently, it’s because your cat is maintaining its claws. When they scratch, what they’re actually doing is removing the outer husk of their claw, and keeping them sharp. You’ll also notice that your cat will usually stretch when it does this, and that’s because at the same time they’re also giving themselves a full body workout, stretching out the muscles and tendons from their claws all the way down to their backs.

They could also be marking their territory; cat paws contain scent glands, so when they scratch in certain spaces they’re releasing a chemical scent to identify their territory. That’s exactly why your cat will gravitate towards the most frequently used areas of your home… like your sofa, for example.

Some reasons for scratching are a bit more cerebral. They might be doing it because they want to get your attention, or because they’re anxious about something, or simply because they’re bored. Once you’re able to get a better idea of why your cat is scratching at your sofa covers, that can be enormously helpful in deciding on the best solution.

How to stop your cat from scratching your sofa covers

I bet you can guess my first suggestion – that’s right, a decent scratching post! Another good reason why cats tend to choose sofas to scratch on is because they like to use surfaces that resist the pull of their claws. It’s the easiest way to keep them sharp, and these sorts of surfaces also allow them to stretch their bodies as high and long as possible so that they can get the full benefit of the exercise.

A scratching post can provide them with all those same benefits, although it’s worth taking the time to seek out a good quality one. If it wobbles too much, your cat won’t get as much use from it, and so they’re likely to lose interest in it pretty rapidly. For largely the same reasons, a decent scratching post needs to be tall enough so that your cat can scratch all the way up. Alternatively, you could try fabric offcuts, bark covered logs, or sisal fibre.

It’s a good idea to place these in the general vicinity of your sofa, especially in the places where your cat normally likes to scratch. Or, putting them near your cat’s usual sleeping spots would be a good idea. If your cat doesn’t seem that interested in a scratching post at first, you can grab their attention with a dangling toy, or some catnip.

If you think that your cat might be scratching because they’re simply bored, snapping up a couple of cat toys might be a good option to consider. They don’t necessarily have to be expensive, but they do need to be quite durable, or you may find that you don’t end up getting that much use out of them after all!

If none of that seems to be working, then it’s possible your cat is trying to tell you something. I’m afraid I can’t help with that one – that’s between you and your cat. If it comes right down to it, a visit to the vet might be able help you finally identify what’s at the root of it, but since the UK has yet to come out of lockdown restrictions at the time of writing, that’s more difficult than it normally would be at the moment.

However, if your existing sofa cover is looking a bit worse for wear in the meantime, that’s exactly where the team and I can help here at Cover My Furniture. We take care to provide a comprehensive range of sofa covers, chair covers and more for you to choose from, so that you’ll always be able to find plenty of options to suit you.

If you’re having trouble making a decision, or you’re looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to let one of us know. You can get in touch using the contact form on our website, or through our Facebook or Instagram. We’re always happy to hear from you!

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