Protect Your Furniture from Kitty Claws with These Easy Hacks

You love your couch and you love your cat. But you may not love the result when you put the two of them together. After all, it seems like those finicky felines almost always prefer the $2,000 sofa over their designated scratching post.

It may be frustrating but keep in mind that scratching comes naturally to cats. They scratch to mark their territory (both visually and with scent glands in their pads), to stretch, and to sharpen their nails.

However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t coexist very nicely with your furniture. These simple training hacks will help teach your kitty what’s okay to sink her claws into!

• To a cat, not all scratching posts are created equal. Try out a variety of types of different materials and heights to see which ones they like the best.

• Make sure the posts have a wide base and are stable enough for the cat to stretch, stand up, and pull down on.

• Turn the post into the most interesting thing in your home. Does your cat love catnip? Rub some on the post. If your kitty loves to play, attach dangling toys to entice them.

• Praise your cat and/or give them a food reward when they use the post. This positive reinforcement will encourage them to return to the post again and again.

• Put scratching posts in locations where your cat likes to scratch. For example, many cats enjoy a good scratch when they first wake up, so put a post by your bed.

• Make your furniture a whole lot less fun. Try putting aluminum foil, bubble wrap or double-sided tape on the areas where they scratch. Or spray furniture with lemon cleaner since cats usually dislike the smell of citrus.

• If you catch your cat clawing on the furniture, make a loud noise or spray them with a squirt bottle filled with water. (Be sure you don’t squirt them in the face, however!)

• Trim your cat’s nails on a regular basis. Learn how by ask your vet or doing an online search.

• During the training process, Soft Paws can help prevent further damage. These soft, vinyl tips cover the claws and are completely safe. As a bonus, it makes Kitty look like she just got a fancy paw-pedicure!

• Don’t give up! With a little patience, love, and consistency, almost every cat can be trained to use a scratching post instead of your couch.