How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Your Sofa

Written by m.b. lachlei
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Your cat has decided to do some redecorating when it comes to your home. He's scratching your sofa and you're wondering how to stop it. Your friends tell you to get your cat declawed or get rid of him. Cats scratch for exercise, to remove excess nail from their claws and to mark their territory. It's a necessary part of being a cat. But you don't have to get rid of your cat or resort to cruel and painful declawing. You can use simple methods to teach your cat to only scratch appropriate objects.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Cat scratchers/trees
  • Catnip
  • Sticky Paws or other two sided tape safe for cats
  • Cat nail clippers
  • Soft Paws cat claw covers

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  1. 1

    Put up cat scratchers near the sofa or other places where your cat scratches. Sisal, cardboard, carpeted and wood scratchers and trees work well. These will give your cat a place to scratch near where he wants to scratch. Sprinkle catnip on the scratchers to make them extra enticing.

  2. 2

    Put Sticky Paws on the sofa where your cat scratches. Cats hate the feel of the double-sided taped and therefore look for something that will feel good to them. They will naturally scratch the scratchers.

  3. 3

    Trim your cat's nails. Trimming your cat's nails helps reduce the urge to scratch and file down those nails. If you're unsure how to trim the nails, ask a groomer or veterinarian to show you.

  4. 4

    Glue Soft Paws or other cat rubber nail caps over your cat's nails. These are available at pet supply stores and come with instructions on how to apply them. Similar to false fingernails on people, these caps go over the nails and keep your cat from clawing your couch for about six weeks.

Tips and warnings

  • Groomers and veterinarians can help you apply Soft Paws.
  • Never have a veterinarian declaw a cat unless you are immune-compromised (AIDs, cancer, etc). Declawing is cruel to cats. Be sure to test Sticky Paws on an inconspicuous part of the couch to make sure it won't damage the fabric.

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