We’ve often talked about how cats love to interact with the sofa, pillows and curtains hanging in the house. Scratching our expensive armchairs is a game to them, a pastime, not some sort of rebellion against us. But what can we do to stop them from ruining the furniture?
One of the main reasons cats scratch sofas is to ‘do their nails’. Their claws grow concentrically, that is, from the inside outwards, and they get rid of the oldest layer by scratching surfaces. And to keep them nice and sharp and ready to use on whatever prey, they need to ‘file’ them often.
Scratching is also one of the ways they mark their territory, both visually and by leaving behind their particular odour. Their paw pads have glands that release pheromones and cats use this method to tell other cats that the territory is theirs.
The only way to convince the cat not to ruin our furniture is to provide him with a scratching pole. The brand new TRIPOD is perfectly suited for this and comes in two sizes, standard with a light wood colour and small, which comes in red. They have an original shape that looks a bit like a star, a four-surface sisal-covered wooden structure ready to be scratched. It doesn’t take up much room and is ideal even for small spaces.
HOW TO GET THE CAT TO USE THE SCRATCHING POLE:
- Put the pole somewhere it catches the cat’s interest. If, for example, you put it in the hallway, you can be sure your cat will ignore it altogether. It’s best to put it near something that has already attracted his attention in the past, like a carpet or by the sofa. It won’t always be there, just long enough for him to get used to using it instead of your costly home décor.
- After a while, you can move it, gradually, maybe a few cm a day, until you get it where you want it – but never hidden away in some corner. You could try putting it near his food bowl, he knows that is an important area so he’ll want to mark the post located within it with scratch marks and his scent. The size and solidity of the pole are also very important. It needs to be tall enough for the cat to stretch up against. The small version of the TRIPOD is ideal for kittens, but the standard size must be used when kitty becomes cat.
- You could also discourage your cat from scratching the furniture using some tricks, like putting double-sided tape where it likes to scratch, or aluminium foil from the kitchen.
- You could spray the area with citrus essence. This will keep him away because cats don’t like the scent of lemons or oranges.
- Give him a fright with a loud sudden whistle, without letting on that the sound came from us.
Sure-fire methods, effective even with the most stubborn of cats!