How can I get my cat to stop scratching the sofa?

patrickwood
patrickwood

Has anyone succeeded in teaching their cats to use the scratchpad? No matter what I do, Bisky always prefers the sofa.

8 Answers
chloesmith
chloesmith

It can be difficult but for us what worked was systematically moving her to the scratchpads every time she tried to claw at the carpet or sofa. It took us a really long time, like, 8 months or so...but she finally got it. You do have to be consistent though. Good luck!

lolaholmes
lolaholmes

Have you tried purchasing more scratchpads? The more she has around the house the better! Also you can try different varieties - some cats prefer scratching horizontally, others vertically….

matildadawson
matildadawson

We had the same problem when we got our kitten! What we did is we placed the scratchpad on the side of the sofa where she liked to scratch, then we gradually moved it to a different spot in the house. Worked for us!

matildadawson
matildadawson

We had the same problem when we got our kitten! What we did is we placed the scratchpad on the side of the sofa where she liked to scratch, then we gradually moved it to a different spot in the house. Worked for us!

I forgot to add you could also purchase a pheromone diffuser like Feliway! If you spray it on her scratchpads it may entice her to use them more.

jimdavis
jimdavis

I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this yet, but don’t forget to use positive reinforcement. Give her attention and treats when she scratches the pad and ignore her or even clap your hands loudly when she tries to do it on the sofa.

gretainglis
gretainglis

Hi Patrick, I am a behaviour consultant and write for Wamiz. To encourage your cat to use the scratch post, I would recommend the following tips: 

Cover your furniture to protect it, and start by placing the post where the scratching behaviour was happening. 

Encourage your cat to engage with the post, playing near it with a cat toy or exciting treat. Cat nip or an enticing spray such as FeliScratch may help spark interest in the post. You can dangle the toy near the post to encourage your cat to reach and touch the post. 

Reward all interactions with the post over multiple sessions, and repeat the games/treats regularly so the post signals good things. 

It's worth noting that some cats don't use the post because of the following reasons: 

The post may be in the wrong place - cats typically don't like posts hidden and out of the way. 

If you have multiple cats in the same household they will need one each plus and extra one, as they use the post for marking their territory. 

The material and size of the post is important - it should be sturdy enough for deep scratches, not wobbly, and tall enough for the cat to fully stretch it's spine. 

Good luck with the training! 

patrickwood
patrickwood

Thank you all for your advice! I guess I’ve always had the tools to fix this problem but I’m just not consistent enough. I’ll keep trying. Thanks again. Regards, Patrick.

elisabethrobinson
elisabethrobinson

You could also go ask a vet what they think? Could be her claws need trimming, no?

Confirmation of deletion

Are you sure you want to delete this message?