23 December, 2019   By: Tatum Stafford

While it can be bothersome to owners, scratching is actually a healthy, instinctual behaviour for cats.

Here are a few reasons scratching helps our feline friends - and how to discourage them from using your couch as their scratching toy.

Why do cats scratch?

  • Exercise

Cats think of scratching like we think of yoga - because while scratching, a cat will stretch their entire body from its claws to its paws.

  • Grooming

When a cat scratches, they're also sharpening their nails and helping to remove their nail sheath. This is a practice of good hygiene that helps prevent damage or ingrown claws.

 

  • Marking their territory

As cats have scent markers in between the pads of their paws, when they scratch they leave behind their scent to show others they're in the area.

  • Stress relief

Cats will also scratch to relieve stress - though if your cat is excessively scratching or licking itself, this may be indicative of health or behavioural issues and may require medical attention. 

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How to stop cats from scratching furniture

The first step in the deterrent process for cats scratching furniture is to direct your pet to a 'scratch-friendly' location to make your furniture seem less appealing. A great way to do this is with a scratching post. They come in all sizes and materials and can be placed in any corner of the house. 

Another way to deter your cat from the furniture is to place double-sided tape or products such as 'Sticky Paws' over the places that they have been scratching. Your cat won't like the feeling of the tape against their claws, so this will effectively deter them from scratching your furniture. 

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*Illness and injury cover – covers up to 80% of eligible vet bills up to $12,000 annually. Conditions, limits & exclusions apply. RAC Insurance Pty Limited is authorised by RACQ Insurance Limited (ABN 50 009 704 152, AFSL 233 082) as an agent to issue RAC Pet Insurance. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Read the PDS and SPDS (where applicable) before making any decision. **Discount applies to the first year of insurance only.