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September 12, 2016
You’ve just received your new leather recliner. It’s soft, comfortable, made of high-quality, buttery leather, and you can’t wait to try it out. Your cat is excited too -- cats love to scratch on soft things that they can sink their claws into, and your new chair looks like the perfect scratching post. However, there are a few ways you can minimize scratching and keep your furniture in good condition:
Starting with the source of the problem -- your cat’s claws -- is the first step in keeping your furniture from getting shredded. Clipping his or her nails regularly is an effective and non-painful way to deter destructive scratching. Also, you can purchase vinyl nail caps (like Soft Paws) to make your cat’s claws less sharp. These are great alternatives to declawing, which can be extremely painful for your cat.
You can also prevent your cat from scratching up that brand new leather massage chair by making it less appealing to him or her. Cats hate the smell of citrus, so you can spray your furniture with citrus scents to keep them away. Or, because they enjoy scratching soft objects, they can’t stand hard, noisy materials like aluminum foil. Place pieces of foil on your furniture when you’re not home to convince your cat that it’s not a fun thing to scratch. Spray bottles are also a popular way to discourage bad behaviors, but be careful -- spraying your cat with water may help in the long run, but he or she will soon learn to scratch your furniture when you aren’t around.
Scratching is a normal and natural behavior for all cats -- they use it as a way to mark their territory, stretch their muscles, or simply to play. Thus, once you have made your leather furniture undesirable to your cat, you must present him or her with an alternative option. A scratching post is practical and a great way to train your cat to scratch elsewhere. Place the scratching post in an area where your cat spends a lot of time, and sprinkle catnip around the post to draw his or her attention to it. This will encourage your cat to scratch on their own post instead of your treasured new furniture.
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