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How to stop your cat from scratching your furniture

By Peta Boyce

Updated: April 5th, 2018

If your furniture looks like it is owned by Edward Scissorhands, here is how to stop kitty making it worse.

Although it is a natural behavioural instinct for a cat, scratching furniture is not appropriate. Scratching can become destructive and cost a lot in furniture repairs or replacements. Thankfully it is easily managed without the need for an around-the-clock cat sitter.

Your household pet knows nothing other than what comes natural, and that bringing mice to the front door causes plenty of attention. When they feel the urge, they will scratch.

It is important to have a proper understanding of their behaviour in order to harmonise with your cat.

Why do cats scratch?

Cats scratch for various behavioural reasons but here are some of the most common.

Marking their territory

Cats are territorial animals and they scratch to indicate to others that the residence is indeed cat-occupied. Cats are known to scratch surroundings like gardens and exteriors of new homes. They will amp up their scratching tactics when a new family member is introduced, whatever the breed that be.

Claw relief

Just like humans need nail pampering, cats also get the urge to file their nails. When their nails are getting too long they will scratch a surface to tidy them up. The bonus is at least most of the time they take care of their own nail care.

Stress relief

When we feel a little stressed we often soak in bubbles, go for a run, or get a good massage. When a cat feels on edge they poke out their nails and get themselves some scratch therapy. Cats will scratch when they are tense, perhaps after a run in with a dog or a neighbourhood cat. Scratching helps them get their frustrations out and wind down. It also helps them to exercise and feel good.

How to stop a cat scratching furniture

Now we get why they scratch, the following will get your cat focused on scratching where they should be.

Get a scratching post

Scratching posts are available at pretty much all pet shops. Most of the major retailers who stock pet care will also stock scratching posts.

Scratching posts come in a range of sizes and textures, the most popular of those being carpet and rope. The post you select needs to be tall enough to allow your cat to stretch up and sturdy enough to take your cat’s weight.

cat scratching pole

Place the scratching post near the area that your cat has targeted already. If your furniture or goods have not fallen victim to scratching yet, put it in a convenient area for your cat. Near the front door or their favourite sleeping spot are usually effective places.

Remember that cats are territorial. You should have at least one scratching post for every cat you own.

Exercise and playtime

Exercise your cat by offering plenty of play time with them. This will help to ease any tension they are feeling instead of targeting your furniture.

Redirect their behaviour

If you witness kitty cat undertaking some sneaky scratching where they should not be, encourage them to move. Use a toy or call them away from what they are working their claw magic on. Yelling at or smacking your cat in action will only give them reason to run away and avoid you.

If you need to redirect scratching behaviour from furniture, cover the item with a blanket or sheet until kitty’s focus moves away from that item.


Just like we love some good stress therapy from time to time, cats love a good scratch. Do away with unnecessary furniture repairs by offering the appropriate tools and encouragement they need.

Need a pet lover for some cat sitting anytime soon? Find the perfect sitter for your cat on Airtasker.


Peta B

With a witty sense of humour, and an obsession for detail and nitty-gritty, Peta loves flexing her talents as a copywriter, marketer and event manager. She's put together some pretty impressive corporate shindigs in her time and now works across a variety of assignments as a freelancer, between being a full-time Mum.

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