You want your cat to scratch. It’s in their DNA. They need to do it to feel normal. It is absolutely part and parcel of the behaviour of a domestic cat. You want your cat to behave normally as it enhances their feeling of wellbeing.
It is so deep-rooted in the domestic cat psyche that declawed cats do it. But a lot of the process is lost to them. They can deposit scent from glands in their paws but there is no other benefit. Declawing is barbaric according the world’s best-known and knowledgeable veterinarian/author. Please never do it to your cat.
So, you want your cat to scratch but not your precious furniture. Of course, you do. How do you say no gently? You don’t need to say no with your voice, which won’t work. You say no by making their favourite item of furniture no longer their favourite item to scratch. You do that by sticking a wide double-sided sticky tape over the area where they scratch; no more fun. The furniture no longer serves its purpose as an object to be scratched because it is uncomfortable to use.
In parallel with that non-vocal no, you must add a non-vocal yes, which is the provision of an alternative scratching post which is then far more attractive than the sticky-taped furniture.
The double-sided wide tape I have referred to is available on Amazon at their usual low prices. Once stuck on the furniture it is visible but discreet (see picture above).
There is only one scratching post worth buying in my opinion: another product you can buy on good old Amazon. Let’s make Bezos even richer. It is their largest scratching post. I have one and my cat uses it all the time (see above).
You should consider its placement carefully. It should start near the furniture that was scratched. You can add some catnip to it which will help make it more attractive to a domestic cat.
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Cats scratch the arm rests of armchairs and sofas because they are completely static. They are sturdy. They don’t move when scratched. Cats would normally scratch trees (see above). A good scratching post is a tree substitute. That’s why it has to be the largest one on Amazon. The one I am referring to has a nice material to scratch and it is robust. It does not fray quickly.
So, you’ve said a non-vocal yes and no. This should be a story which ends positively: happy cat and happy human.
In a typical family home, I’d have several cat scratching posts or boards (horizontal scratchers) even if you have a single cat.
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