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How to stop cats from scratching sofa?

May 16th, 2004, 06:43 PM
My wife and I have 2 lovely cats, but they scratch, like every other cat of course! The sofa that we're using right now has pretty much been "destroyed" (clawed) on both sides. We got 2 scratch posts recently and they seem to be quite effective, although I still catch our 2 cats scratching the sofa occasionally. Is there any kind of spray that I can use on our new sofas that we'll be getting for our new house? Has anyone use such a spray before? I would love to find out if they are effective and where can I buy them.

Please comment on any other technique that will stop cats from scratching sofa as well.


May 16th, 2004, 06:53 PM
have you tried using a water gun? anytime you see them scratching spray them lighlty. cats usually don't like may also try a loud noise anytime you see them doing that. this may scare them and eventually they will not do it again. hope that helps ;)

Lucky Rescue
May 16th, 2004, 06:57 PM
Yes, you can get repellant sprays at pet stores. Some are odorless to us, others smell pleasantly of lemons and oranges.

Since you have allowed the cats to scratch your sofa all this time, you will have to patient and dilligent in teaching them to use the scratch post only.

If you see them getting ready to scratch the sofa, say NO, and take them GENTLY to their scratch post and pet them while they use it. You can also rub catnip into the scratch post to make it more appealing, and make sure the posts are rock solid as cats do not like scratching anything that is wobbly.

May 16th, 2004, 06:59 PM
This article looks pretty good:

May 16th, 2004, 07:46 PM
Thanks a lot for all the advice and suggestions! Excellent article link Luba!

I love this forum :D

May 17th, 2004, 02:11 PM
When I lived at home we struggled with that problem with my dad's cat. The water gun method really does work and it did not take her long to realize that everytime she touched that couch she was going to get wet and than we would take her to her scratching post and now my dad said that he has had no more problems with that. I would try the water gun before method on the old furniture before you give them a chance to scratch up the new! :p

May 17th, 2004, 02:21 PM
:eek: Good artical Luba :) I have tried everything listed and have no sofa left or bottom stair carpet. I did resort (for the last cat) having him declawed (hated doing it, but he lives inside for other reasons) - so he now scoots along the bottom step using his back claws. The decalwed cat has sharpened his "fingers" to points and can dig up and destroy any carpets that annoy him. Usually when he is trying to get into a room and the door is closed! The others cats (three of them) do not try anything when I am around - usually only at nights - bless their little hearts. With the water spray - most of the cats run for dear life when they see the bottle, but the one with no claws likes to try and catch the spray. Haven't found any repellant really works - and the carpet protectors are used as great clawing posts and rubbing spots :rolleyes: What else can one do I wonder???

May 17th, 2004, 02:28 PM
It sounds like you will just not be able to keep nice looking furniture in the house! LOL :D Some animals just make up their mind they will do what they want and that is just what they do. They are like some children. If you have tired the water method I am not sure what to tell you but I did have a friend that her cat did that and she used the silly string instead of water and that worked for her. I have never tried it though. I wish you luck. Have you tried yelling claws really loud when they do it and than take them over to the scratch post? Most cats do not like loud noises I have heard of that working, I think someone said that on this board somewhere. Goood luck and let me know what you find out that works! :D

May 17th, 2004, 02:39 PM
Churchill is one of those unfortunate cats that suffers from the Peter Pan syndrome (he's the declawed cat) and I think silly strings will be kitty heaven for him! :D His eye sight in one eye is slightly off (we did think of getting him glasses) - so he isn't allowed outside - so he just wrecks the house instead. The two main *night crawlers, carpet wise, are two Russian blue/Siamese brother and sister act. The other cat is 17 and just lies around and lets them all do their thing - you'd think she would stop them wouldn't you?- seeing she sleeps on the step they claw at :( I could try the loud noise thing, but can you imagine the house hold if I yelled in the middle of the night :p :D ????????????????????????????

May 17th, 2004, 03:29 PM

Cat scratching - cat scratching posts

Cat scratching - cat scratching posts
Although many humans don't appreciate this behaviour, kittens and cats don't scratch to make us angry, they NEED to scratch. Scratching is a natural hardwired behaviour in cats (just like breathing or purring) and they do it for a several of reasons including:
- Removing the outer layer of their nails to keep them sharp.
- To maintain muscle tone.
- To mark their presence.

Enter the scratching post - This toy/ tool is one of the most important things to purchase (or make) for your cat. They can be purchased in any pet store. A good scratching post is very sturdy and is usually made with a carpeting or rope-like material that cats love to dig their nails into. Sturdiness is an important quality since the cat often presses its bodyweight onto the post to get a good scratch. If the cat feels insecure or unsteady on the cat scratching post, it simply won't use it. Location is another important quality. If you can't close a door to keep your cat from scratching say, the couch, then put a good scratching post near the couch and chances are the cat will use it instead. Remember, cats need to scratch, so it's up to you to make them scratch where you want. Praise your cat while it uses the post and the chances increase that it will continue to choose it over the sofa.

Scratching post tips that work:
*Spend an extra few bucks and get several good scratching posts.
*Place them strategically in areas where you don't want the cat to scratch expensive items like sofas and furniture legs.
*Place them at first in a prominent area of the room for easy access, then slowly and gradually move it where you want.
*If your cat responds to cat nip rub catnip on the post.
*Get at least 1 multi-level platform cat scratching tree. Cats are huge fans of 'vertical space'. They LOVE to climb, scratch, and take a snooze on these.

In some cases a cat may still scratch in inappropriate places. Sprays like bitter apple, actual orange peels and double sided tape are good deterrents. A squirt from a water bottle while the cat doesn't see you is another classic deterrent, so is placing tin cans or other noisy items in key areas that the cat should avoid.

May 17th, 2004, 03:50 PM
Boomerang,since you are buying new sofas,buy leather or ultra-suede,not any more expensive than other sofas.
We have over the years been through a lot of sofas,but the leather did the trick,they do NOT scratch leather.
Also like I said once before,if you are handy,build a tall scratching post,floor to almost ceiling,the dinky once in the store,just don't give them enough leverage.
Ours is part carpet-remnant and heavy rope,a long piece of 4X4 lumber and a couple of shelves for them to lay on.Here it is,hubbie built it...

May 17th, 2004, 04:42 PM
My in-laws use it for their two cats and it incredibly enough it works!! All they do is place a few strips along the hot-spots of the couches and the cats now totally avoid the area, no more works so well that I have actually started using it for my puppy and it works beautifully!!

May 17th, 2004, 06:55 PM
Chico2 - you have a pussyminium - how wonderful :D I used to have one of those as well, but becuase of the carpets - the cats that I owned then - hated it - much preferred the sofa and bottom stair :p My husband says Churchill is also suffering from *idiot's syndrome* not just the Peter Pan one. He loves anything to do with my hair - and kills my brush nightly. I have found over the last 40 years that cats prefer a certain type of animal to kill and eat - obviously Churchill's preferred "kill" is carpet. I always keep the clawsed ones - nails cut short - they see the clippers coming, but after 12 or so years don't mind that much - and we have a weekly session. They aren't lacking in muscle tone either - as they box each others ears and face on a regular basis - not claws extended - just a box around the lugs. When I learn how to upload pictures, I will do so - hopefully not with two JR's sticking their noses in the frame :o

May 18th, 2004, 07:25 AM
That sounds interesting,cats and 2 Jack R,must be a lively household :D
We too clip our cats regularly,two of them anyway,my Rocky has it done at the vet,won't let me near his paws with clippers.We used to have the whole house carpeted,even stairs,but over the years,removed them to reveal the hard-wood underneath(old house) and tiled the stairs,much easier to keep clean and nothing for the cats to scratch.I pick up an amazing amount of cat-hair every day with the Swiffer dry and I would never again carpet my floors,other than the odd Area-rug.

May 19th, 2004, 08:34 AM
I am not sure if my cats know they are cats - or the JR's know they are dogs - I get the feeling they all think they are either smaller humans or that they are totally confused. One of the JR's washes her face like a cat - they all adore each other - which makes for an interesting household. :confused: Just wish the cats would stop sharpening their claws on the furniture and carpets and would be more *doggish* :) We had a burglar last year, who came into the house for my car keys (stole my car) and the dogs didn't bark - but the cat (Churchill) meowed at him so loudly that he left in a hurry leaving behind my camer and laptop

May 19th, 2004, 10:47 AM
My in-laws use it for their two cats and it incredibly enough it works!! All they do is place a few strips along the hot-spots of the couches and the cats now totally avoid the area, no more works so well that I have actually started using it for my puppy and it works beautifully!!

That is a good idea I had never heard of that I will have to call and tell my dad he is having problems with the cats scratching his new furniture also.

May 19th, 2004, 09:01 PM
Well ... thanks again for all the advice and tips! :)

To sum it up , I believe the following have been identified to be some of the most effective ones:

(1) scratch post(s) at strategic locations
- I am doing this now!

(2) water gun
- unfortunately, my wife and I are always out at work, so this only works when we are around.

(3) repellent sprays (bitter apple, citrus odour)
- I will definitely have one handy when I move over to my new house with new microfiber sofas (and carpeted stair ways too!!!! :( ) I hope cats are not attracted to microfiber material :confused:

Declaw is not an option for us, my wife will rather declaw me than the cats! :eek: Well, I personally will not consider this route too, especially after reading the article (from Luba's posting).

May 19th, 2004, 10:06 PM
Well,good luck to you :D
You might be back here soon,because moving to a new house might give you a whole set of new problems,cats are incredible creatures of habit,not trying to scare you :D :D
The micro-fiber sofas could be a good idea,it's probably similar to Ultra-suede and my cats have left them alone.
In conclusion,having cats,there will always be little signs that your house is a "cat-house" :D :D
I am glad you did not even consider declawing,it's but yet another cruel way of creating designer-cats.

May 21st, 2004, 05:33 PM
Buy some 2 1/2" double stick tape, place on the corners of the sofa. I have it 18" or so and put two strips on each arm.

So glad to have finally found the solution that works for my 4 cats, they hate that tape. Now they only scratch on the scratching posts :) Can't wait to go sofa shopping now that they are out of that awful habit.

Good luck.