Dear Tabby: Cat Won’t Stop Clawing Furniture! What Should I Do?

Ginger kitten peeking out from under the table and scratching furniture

(Picture Credit: Asurobson/Getty Images)

One of our CatTime readers has a kitty who won’t stop clawing the furniture. Is there anything he can do to stop the scratching? He writes:

Dear Tabby,

My wife and I just adopted a cat for our family, and everyone loves her. The only problem is that Furball is clawing our dining room chairs into ribbons.

We would never have her declawed, but what can we do to make her stop? Please help!

Signed:

Surly Cat Relentlessly Attacking The Chairs Habitually

Dear Tabby Has The Answer!

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

You can’t cure cat scratching, S.C.R.A.T.C.H.; it’s instinct, and cats do it to mark their territory. You also certainly don’t want to declaw Furball, and punishing the cat won’t work.

What you need to do is redirect your cat to scratch something else — preferably a scratching post. The sooner you start re-educating them the better.

Several types of scratching posts are available on the market, but look for something that resembles the shape of what Furball likes to scratch. Place the scratching post next to your dining room chairs, and it wouldn’t hurt to rub a little catnip on the post so she’s attracted to it.

Also make sure the scratching post is securely anchored; if it falls over, it could startle her, and she may not want to use it again. And remember, do not throw a “shredded” scratching post away, even though it could be an eyesore. Cats are proud of their work, and may get upset if you discard it.

You can also discourage Furball from scratching the chairs by spraying them with a citrus spray. Just make sure it doesn’t stain. Placing double-sided tape or tinfoil on the “targeted” structure also helps discourage cats from scratching it.

Trimming your cat’s claws is another effective action you can take. You can do this procedure yourself, probably with the help of another family member, or your veterinarian can do it.

Another alternative is to cap your cat’s claws with a product such as Soft Paws to keep your furniture safe. Like clipping claws you can do it yourself or have it done at your vet’s office.

Does your cat like to scratch? How do you keep them from clawing your furniture? Let us know in the comments below, and leave a question for Dear Tabby!