If your adorable cats scratch your expensive furniture pieces and damage them, it’s natural to get flustered. You don’t know what to do, but you’re not the only one having cats at home, many others do. Most pet parents can’t figure out why their feline companion is damaging sofas, chairs, benches, and tables even when their cat has its favorite toys or scratching posts in place.
It’s so difficult to understand pet behavior. According to an article published in Huffington Post, it could be an evolutionary behavior for your feline friend to identify its territory, both indoors and outdoors, based on the findings of the Humane Society.
Usually, your cat may scratch your furnishings as it feels bored and not simply to polish its claws. Cats also scratch in a way to stretch or try to seek your attention for some playtime. So, if you want to learn about the various reasons why your cats are scratching furniture, read this article.
Cats love to stretch their muscles
Just as you love a full-body stretch to flex your muscles, your feline friend feels the same way. When your furry companion loves to stretch, they tend to scratch furniture making them relieved. The habit also improves their blood circulation making their muscles move with ease after a comfortable afternoon nap on the pet bed.
Just like humans, your little white cat experience reduced blood pressure as well as muscle paralysis when it’s taking a sweet afternoon nap. Cats sleep around 14-16 hours daily, which means much downtime for their build. That’s why they scratch and stretch to revitalize their lazy muscles, improve blood pressure and circulation, and make your furry friend extra alert.
You’ll see your little kitten stretch when it rises on its feet, arching its back, extending its legs, and finally releasing its claws. This revitalization of the cat’s body translates to a couple of scratch marks on your expensive living room couch upholstered with expensive Italian silk. This is not what you expected from your cat and so, you need to train your feline friend to prevent scratching your favorite furniture.
Your feline friend loves to sharpen its claws
Pet parents believe that their cats are scratching furniture to sharpen their nails, but actually, the little ones want to keep their nails in perfect condition. Your cat’s nails have keratin just like humans. However, unlike your nails, a cat’s talons tend to discard in layers. So, scratching is a normal habit for your feline companion allowing it to get rid of the old parts of the claws and polish or sharpen the new layers. What remains after your cat is done scratching furniture is a new, polished, and sharp claw that your furry companion can use for regular activities.
Your cat’s claws must stay sharp most of the time. As the claws are retractable, the sharp claws don’t stop your cat from walking around the house or garden. On the contrary, sharpening claws and scratching furniture is part of your cat’s grooming habits. Cats are conditioned to hunt, especially in the wilderness to look for food or climb tall trees to stay away from dangers. Sharp claws help cats in such needs. And so, the habit of scratching your sofa or table is a natural habit of your cat to maintain new, sharp, and healthy nails. Then, that does not imply that you will let your furry cat damage your furniture. Training your feline companion is what you need to do.
Cats scratch to groom themselves
You have seen your cats bathing and your feline friend is known to have fussy grooming habits. You’ll see your little cat spending most of its time licking most of its body, licking its paws, chewing mats, and even rubbing its face with its paws. This is a cute aspect of its grooming behavior.
When you see these things, understand that your cat is trying to groom itself. It’s not simple to relate your cat’s scratching habits with normal grooming, however, part of this behavior is grooming.
When your cat scratches a hard or rough surface, it helps in eliminating the outer husk from your pet’s nails occasionally. This grooming habit helps in freeing the new and healthy nails underneath. So, it’s wrong to interpret scratching as a way to sharpen nails. If you’re wondering why do cats scratch furniture, your feline friend is grooming itself and creating a new and sharper surface doing away with the older one.
Your adorable cat is bored
Did you know that scratching is an extremely satisfying sensation for your little cat? This physical experience of clawing and scratching on some hard or rough surface feels great for your feline friend. Your cat sometimes feels bored and they tend to scratch your favorite furniture instead of the usual toy or scratching post you have in your house. A new surface provides more satisfaction to your furry companion than the usual one. So, if you are concerned about your cat scratching your lawn table and damaging it, train your pet for some boredom-killing habits. When your lovely cat is scratching too many times daily, try to cover your expensive furniture with unattractive materials!
Make your pet’s scratching post durable and long so that the cat can easily lean its entire weight using the post when scratching or stretching. Most cats like to scratch a sisal-covered pole and not the carpet. So, rethink the pet’s scratching post. You can also set up the scratching post in a place where your cat loves to scratch. If the post is not close to your favorite furniture, then your pet will look for his favorite scratching spot where the post stands. Again, if your cat is fond of vertical or horizontal scratching, set up a post accordingly that suits your pet’s liking.
Cats like to identify their territory
Cats are territorial creatures and they like to scratch your furniture to leave behind their mark to identify their favorite spot or territory. This is also to show that they are the boss around the house. This is more common in homes that have many cats. When a cat scratches a certain furniture piece, it communicates to the other felines around that this spit is already taken, and the other cats to avoid trespassing.
To delve deeper into cats’ behavior, when they scratch somewhere to mark their favorite spot or territory, they release a unique scent or smell. Sweat glands and scent are found in a cat’s padded feet and this combination helps in creating that one-off smell. When your cat scratches a specific surface, a couple of things occur:
- The pet’s singular smell is left on a furniture surface.
- A powerful visual and one-off smell conveys a territorial message to other felines.
- Old and waste parts of a cat’s paw are left behind.
When your cat is marking its territory, it could also indicate that your pet is feeling unsafe, threatened, or simply stressed. So, you need to monitor your cat’s manners carefully to understand if these aspects play any part in the pet’s behavior.
Cats like to seek attention
Though people believe that cats don’t like to seek attention as dogs, the opposite is sometimes true. If you think that your cat does not want your pampering, you may be wrong. Some cats do like attention, care, and connection with their pet parents. So, when you see that your little feline friend is scratching the armchair while you’re seated and reading a book, your pet wants your full attention. They like to make you understand that you don’t forget about them, whether outside or inside your house. If your cat has already scratched a table or sofa, you often sit, which means the pet likes to have your attention.
Further, scratching might also mean that your pet wants some playtime with you. Some cats scratch as it’s like a fun game to them. It also indicates showing their affection towards you as well as releasing more energy. Even a sudden excitement can motivate cats to scratch or when your pet is extremely happy. Try to study your cat’s behavior and train it accordingly to avoid damage to your furniture.
When your cat scratches furniture, don’t get upset or yell at your pet. Try to understand why your feline companion is doing so. Love and care for it. At the same time, you need to prevent your expensive furniture from being damaged and so, put something more apt for your cat to scratch such as cardboard, a scratching post, or the cat’s favorite toy. Make sure you cover the post with sisal or other suitable material.
When you place the right things for your cat to scratch, your adorable pet will stop scratching tables, chairs, sofas, or cushions. This way, your four-legged friend will love its grooming sessions, get their required stretch, and stop wanting things around your house. Understand the reasons why cats scratch and what’s triggering such behavior so that you can take the right steps to train your cat before scratching furniture becomes a major problem.