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Why All Cats Should Be Indoor Cats
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This article was reviewed by Kerry Johnson, DVM, a veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visits, a mobile veterinary service in the south suburbs of Chicago.
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Cats are wrinkled They are eager to communicate and demand their products They scratch to stretch and shape their claws They scratch because it’s a natural, instinctive behavior—not because you intend to damage the furniture.
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There are many reasons why cats may be affected by furniture scratches Some don’t have healthy alternative scratching posts or pads or are not in the right place Others like the height of the furniture or the scratchy feel of the bed or carpet Whatever the reason, your damaged furniture provides your cat with more attractive scratching options while still needing to engage in unwanted behaviors.
We spoke to vets and cat behavior experts to find the best products for protecting furniture from cat scratches and tested 17 products to prevent destructive scratches. Read more about our vetting process at the end of this guide
The On2Pets Skyline Sisal Cat Scratching Post has three posts and a wide, grass-covered base for happy vertical and horizontal scratching.
Stick paws on a roll can cause a cat to temporarily destroy scratching furniture for fun.
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Soft Claws Cat Nail Caps allow your cat to scratch naturally and use their claws without damaging your furniture.
Process: Combination scraper/furniture saver fits snugly into sofa or chair corners or legs, held in place with furniture weights instead of tape or pins, made of non-toxic sisal, available in seven colors.
The genius of the sofa scratcher category and its Half Moon cousin, the sofa scratcher, is that its sisal-covered edges fit perfectly over a sofa or chair. This gives a cat a “legitimate” place to scratch in the middle of the room, where cats like to mark their territory, says Christine Calder, board-certified veterinarian in Calder Veterinary Services. The couch scratcher is padded with furniture and its wooden base prevents your cat from scratching the floor.
My furniture-scratching cat enjoyed pulling the scorpion scratcher square as much as she enjoyed using her paws on the couch. Every time he jumped on the furniture to sleep, he tore his sisal guard It still looks brand new after about six months of use
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Like the shield and band, both couch scratcher styles feature a rectangular polycarbonate base that slips under the leg of a couch or chair and uses its weight to hold it in place. The scraper’s felt backing prevents it from being scratched The 24-inch long square scraper and its two 5.5-inch wide panels tested the chair and sofa well.
People with long furniture may need to find another solution, such as scratch tape or furniture protectors, to protect the remaining inches of furniture from scratches. Because it didn’t match the shape of my furniture, the half-moon-shaped scratcher left enough space for a determined cat to reach the floor.
Both styles of sofa scratcher require very little assembly (only three screws attach the base to the scraper) and come in seven colors. They are made in the USA and their sisal fabric is non-toxic
Process: Three horizontal scratching posts of varying heights, sisal covered posts, wide base covered with scratchable artificial turf, holds up to 32 lbs.
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To stop a cat from scratching the furniture, the goal is to guide the behavior, not punish it. Every cat has its own personal scratching preferences If your cat is scratching your furniture vertically, he’ll probably prefer a vertical scratcher, says Danielle “DQ” Quagliozzi, cat behavior consultant and owner of Go Cat Go! Their wishes are likely to be fulfilled Some, like my cat Osito, enjoy both Whatever they want, Calder says it’s important to have more than one scraper
Of the seven vertical scratchers we tested for this guide, the On2Pets Skyline Sisal Cat Scratch Post was a clear favorite. During the first month of the experiment, both cats returned to the scratcher several times a day Six months later, it still gets worse one day
Like a city skyline, this scraper has three sisal-covered vertical posts 30.5 inches, 22 inches, and 16.5 inches high, assembled in the middle of a wide rectangle. The base is covered with scratchable artificial turf After six months, the scraped sisal looks a little hairy but is in good overall condition
Made in the USA, the Skyline Scratcher is sturdy and can withstand cats up to 32 pounds. Some light assembly is required upon arrival This scraper falls in the middle of the pack in terms of price Considering how often my cats use it and their continued interest over time, it’s worth the price
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PROCESS: Durable and flexible, made of durable marine grade vinyl, resists sharp cuts, installs quickly with floor twist pins, waterproof, comes in four sizes, can be cut into smaller sizes, long lasting.
Andrea Sanchez, a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital, says one way to keep cats from destroying furniture is to place them where they prefer to scratch less attractively. Covering an area with thin vinyl can prevent destructive tendencies
Clagard Furniture Shields offered the most scratch protection of the two vinyl protectors I tested. Even an X-Acto blade leaves no marks and a push pin can only pierce completely under heavy pressure. The clear, flexible material adheres to the floor or carpet with twist pins inserted through holes running along the border. When the shield is pulled, the clear plastic cap on the pin looks like a small button It took me less than five minutes to put on the full shield
These shields are waterproof and made in the USA Each pack of two shields comes with six to eight pins in four sizes (we tested the extra-large 7.5 by 18.5-inch version), and the shields can be cut with scissors as needed. The great thing about ClawGuard furniture shields, aside from the protection they provide, is that they last for years before needing to be replaced.
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Despite being made of clear vinyl, Clawguard furniture shields are easily visible. And when I remove the protection after checking my floor, the pin shows no signs of being embedded, it’s possible that there is more sensitive material.
Overall, the Clawguard Furniture Shield is a quick solution to a scratching problem, as long as your cat has attractive, alternative places to satisfy their natural scratching tendencies. After realizing that scratching the vinyl on her first try wasn’t pleasant, my furniture-scratching cat never touched it again, preferring to use nearby posts and pads instead.
PROCESS: Adheres to various surfaces to prevent scratching Cleans up Comes in a variety of sizes Roll tape Adheres well to furniture in three-week test period Easy to remove Leave no residue Leave no residue Very irritating to cats No
Like furniture protectors, scrap tape covers the leg of a couch or the edge of a rug to make scratching fun and prevent cat scratching. Of the two versions we tested, we found the one recommended by Quagliogy, Sticky Paws, the best at stopping scratches without unnecessary fear, pain or discomfort. “The adhesive tape doesn’t irritate cats too much,” Calder said. Scratching may not be pleasant, but doing so should not cause discomfort or fear
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Adhesive strips are a clear, double-sided tape One side of the floor is attached to floors, carpets and other household items, while the other side of the floor is facing the outside When cats scratch, the tape temporarily holds their nails and paws in place, preventing them from digging.
Sticky Paws come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but my favorite was the Sticky Paws in a Roll, which doubles as a packing tape dispenser for easy tape cutting. Like furniture protectors, my furniture-scratching cat only pulled off the tape once she got her ashes on it.
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