My Cat Has a Furniture-Shredding Obsession

Your big tabby cat Archie has become obsessed with your living room furniture. No, Archie’s not studying the couch’s and chairs’ design and construction details; and he’s not marveling over the beautiful fabric that goes so nicely with your home’s interior walls. Instead, Archie is obsessed with shredding every square inch of your matching upholstered living room set. Archie’s destruction methods vary, as he uses both his lethal little teeth and razor-sharp claws. While regular scratching helps Archie to strengthen his paw muscles and trim his claws, he needs to change his choice of scratching objects. You’ve asked your veterinarian from Stafford to determine why Archie’s bent on destroying your furniture, and devise a strategy to make your cat stop his antics. Learn more about some additional strategies that might work.

Duller Claws for Decreased Damage

First, take the sharp edges off Archie’s claws, as this should slightly lessen your furniture damage. Your vet will gladly trim Archie’s little daggers during your cat’s next regular checkup. If you can’t hold out until then, your vet’s receptionist can schedule a speedy nail-trimming appointment.

Unpleasant Scratching Experience

Make Archie’s scratching experience so unpleasant that he’ll think twice about repeating it. Cover your couch and chairs with sandpaper or plastic wrap, each offering Archie a texture he definitely won’t like. When Archie’s sensitive little claws encounter the abrasive sandpaper, or get tangled in the plastic wrap, he’ll probably back off quickly. Since Archie might return for another try, keep your furniture covered until you’re convinced that Archie has given up the ghost.

Acceptable Scratching Alternative

Now that you’ve steered Archie away from the furniture, provide him with a more acceptable surface with a similar texture. Place a carpeted or sisal-covered scratching post near the upholstered couch or chair. If Archie’s currently gnawing on the furniture frame and legs, introduce a nearby cedar scratching post that should distract him.

Throw Punishment Out the Window

While Archie’s currently in the doghouse, don’t punish him for his furniture shredding; as he won’t understand what he did wrong. Even worse, Archie will assume that he’ll receive that punishment every time you approach him. And really, punishing Archie won’t resolve the problem, as he’ll simply wait until you leave the house to start shredding again.

To keep Archie from getting bored with his replacement scratching surfaces, occasionally add a new object. Also, ask your Stafford vet if spraying an appealing feline pheromone on the objects, or sprinkling them with catnip, will make Archie so excited that he’ll forget about the furniture for good.

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