Cat Behavior

Why Do Cats Scratch (my furniture…)

A common question I get asked is how to deter cats from scratching furniture, especially the expensive ones. You really can’t deter a cat from scratching because it’s completely natural and normal for them. There are ways in which you can encourage this positive behavior onto items especially for them, cat scratchers.

“But Nicole, I already have a bunch of scratchers for them!” I usually reply with “What kind of scratchers do you have?” This is an important question because just like humans, cats are particular about their furniture. There are many different kinds of scratchers: vertical, horizontal, sisal rope, cardboard, wood, carpet, etc. Figuring out which kind your kitty likes is a mystery, so instead of buying all of them at once, buy one at a time and go from there.

I would recommend starting with sisal rope and cardboard because they are affordable and most cats love the sisal rope. In regards to horizontal and vertical, vertical scratchers are better because it allows the cat to stretch their arms, legs and back.

orange cat on scratcher
Our friend Nemo on his tree, leaving some scent!

So back to the question on why cats scratch. Cats scratch for the following reasons:

  • To remove the dead outer layer of their claws;
  • To mark territory;
    • Visually
    • Leaving their scent (their pheromones are located around their paw pads!)
  • To stretch their bodies; and
    • Feels good for their arm and back muscles
  • A good way to relieve stress and emotion.

Without the right scratcher, your kitty cannot stretch, relieve stress or do what’s completely natural for them.

If you have any questions on picking the right scratcher for your kitty, or if they are still scratching our furniture and you have EVERY scratcher on the market, comment below and I will do my best to help you and your kitty!

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