Scratching is part of a cats’ natural behaviour. They scratch at tree trunks, fence posts and furniture as a way of leaving territorial marks in prominent places, where they feel most vulnerable. Cats also scratch to sharpen their claws and remove the old outer claw when a new one underneath is ready.
When they scratch they leave scent as well as physical marks. Once the area is roughened, the cat is attracted back the same spots to renew their ‘ownership’.
If your cat has started scratching your furniture, you will need to provide an alternative for them to scratch. Look for a sturdy scratch post which is tall enough to allow the cat to stretch upwards.
There is a wide range of scratch posts on the market, including some that form structures for your cat to climb on, with numerous levels. Some cats prefer to scratch a level surface such as your carpets, so a horizontal scratch pad would be more suitable for them. Coir door mats are a good alternative, spray with catnip to get them interested.
To enhance your pet’s sense of ownership in the home, gently rub a cloth around their cheeks to pick up their scent and then wipe the areas they has been scratching with the cloth.