Cats scratching at the carpet and the furniture is much too annoying. You don’t want your couch shredded up, do you? But then what do you do? There are two important things to remember when you find yourself in this situation. One is to not get your cat declawed. Declawing cats is just wrong because they need their nails the same way that we humans need our fingers. They use these claws to scratch away at a good itch, to climb trees and buildings, and most of all, to defend themselves. This leads to the other thing to remember, which is that scratching is absolutely normal for a cat. You really can’t do anything about a cat scratching things, it’s just their nature.
So, if you can’t declaw your cat, and scratching is normal, does this mean you have to live with your cat scratching everything up all the time? Certainly not!
Move Your Cat’s Scratching Habits to Something Else: Just face the fact; because scratching is normal, your cat is always going to do so. But to save your furniture and house, the thing you need to do is make something else much more enjoyable than scratching your couch. This is where getting a scratching post comes in. There, now your cat can scratch away all the live long day on that post. But will he? Maybe. If you’re lucky, he will ease up on everything else and go to the post. But, most likely, it will take a bit more “prodding” to get him to do that. One way is to make the post more “pleasurable” by putting something on it like cat nip. See step two if your cat keeps scratching other things than just the post.
Make Scratching on Couch Not “Fun”: OK, so you’ve got a post, a great way to let your cat do his thing. But if he’s still scratching your couch, you’ll need to find something to make it not “fun” for him to scratch the furniture. What do I mean by that? Let’s look into an animal’s mind. A cat scratches on the couch because it gives him pleasure. You can’t just take that pleasure away; however, you can move that pleasure onto something else (i.e. the post). If he doesn’t take his scratching to the post, he is probably thinking, “I might like the post, but I like scratching the couch much better.” This is where you step in and make scratching the couch unpleasant. How do you do that? Simple. Pick up a water bottle from the Dollar Store (try to avoid bottles with metal springs as this can turn the water rusty after a few days). Every time your cat is scratching at the couch, spray him while avoiding the ears and face. He’s definitely not going to get any pleasure by being sprayed, and he will soon enough associate the couch with the unpleasant water bottle, thus making scratching the furniture unpleasant. Eventually he’ll get to the point that even if you shake the water bottle, he’ll immediately back off, and soon enough, you won’t even have to do that. Just keep the bottle somewhere near as a reminder. Once he starts using the post, you can even praise him like a dog to reinforce the fact that the post is pleasurable, and the furniture is unpleasant. There are also other methods than just water bottles. You can be creative; some people use a can of pennies to shake at their pets, other people use a clicker to train their animal.
Trim Nails: If worst comes to worst, at the very least you can learn to trim your cat’s nails. You can even use normal finger nail trimmers to do so. If you don’t feel comfortable enough trimming your cats nails and you have the money, you can drop him off at the vet or groomers for a small fee every once in a while.