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February 1, 2023

How Can I Stop My Cat From Scratching The Couch?

How can I stop my cat from scratching the couch?

How can I stop my cat from scratching the couch?

You don’t need to be especially “purr-dantic” to want a nice house, but having a cat can sometimes mean they think your couch is a scratch post, leaving it in a tatty and worn state.

After travelling with my cat interstate for several months, we returned to Sydney, and decided to treat ourselves to a new couch. But within days of its arrival my cat, Backer, had decided that his new party trick would be to show off his “meow-sca-linity” by dragging himself around the bottom of the newly purchased couch.

Much to my horror, rips started to emerge and the new couch started to look weathered and frayed. However, there are a few things you can try to stop your cat from scratching the couch. We tried a few of these options.


Provide an alternative

Provide your cat with an alternative scratching surface, such as a scratching post or pad. Be sure to place it in an area where your cat likes to scratch. This worked most of the time until “said cat” wanted attention and went back to the ‘body drag’. We purchased a cheap cardboard scratch pad as well as one of the more expensive sustainable ones, and although it creates a fair bit of mess, it does deter cats from scratching the couch if placed strategically.


Trim your cat’s nails

A common suggestion is to trim your cat’s nails regularly to prevent them from becoming too long. This, however, was more difficult than I thought, as my cats didn’t like the clippers and I didn’t want to do it as I am not a professional.


Couch covering

Cover the areas of the couch that your cat likes to scratch with something unpleasant to deter them, such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil. We purchased some of the sticky tape online but it peeled off within a week.


Spray-on repellent

Use a spray-on or wipe-on repellent on the couch to discourage your cat from scratching it. At first, I thought this might deter couch-cuddle time, but it turns out that it didn’t stop them from sitting on the sofa as usual.


Reward & praise

Make sure you reward your cat with treats and praise when they use their scratching post or pad instead of the couch.


Remember, scratching is a natural behavior for cats and it’s important to provide them with an appropriate outlet for this behaviour. While it may take some time and patience to train your cat to stop scratching the couch, using a combination of these techniques, you should be able to successfully redirect their scratching behaviour to more appropriate surfaces.