Set Up Scratching Alternatives
Just because scratching is a natural behavior doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your couch. By setting up decoy scratching posts, you can give cats a place to mark, stretch, and trim their nails, without damaging your belongings.
Place the posts near the cat’s favorite couches, suggests Lauren Haynes, a home organizing expert at Star Domestic Cleaners in London. Levy also recommends putting one by their bed, as cats often like to scratch and stretch when they first wake up.
“Because the cat is marking territory by scratching, cat scratching surfaces must be in prominent areas of the household,” Conrad adds. “It can't be in the garage, behind the dryer. This just isn't the territory in question.”
By gently redirecting them when they start on the couch, you can show cats where it’s OK to scratch, using catnip and treats to reinforce the behavior.
Don’t give up if your cat doesn’t seem interested in the posts. Instead, try experimenting with different textures, like carpet, sisal, and corrugated cardboard, Conrad says. Changing the angle and positioning might also pique their interest.