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My Cat Loves to Shred the Furniture

November 1, 2014

Your charming cat Princess loves the finer things in life. After your new living room set recently arrived, Princess noted the lovely craftsmanship of your upholstered couch, two matching wing chairs, and that beautiful new leather recliner. Trouble is, Princess isn’t lying on that stunning furniture – she’s shredding it into oblivion. Princess spends hours clawing at the furniture’s fabric; and then she switches to gnawing on the end table and coffee table legs. While you know that regular scratching helps Princess to trim her claws and strengthen her paw muscles, destroying your furniture isn’t an acceptable way to do that. To make her stop, you’ve scheduled a behavioral counseling session with your Rapid City veterinarian.

Dull Your Destructive Cat’s Claws

If Princess’ little razor claws aren’t quite as sharp, she can’t do as much damage to your home’s furniture. Ask your vet to clip your cat’s claws during her next physical exam. If you can’t wait that long, your vet’s staff can schedule a brief nail-trimming appointment for you.

Change the Scratching Surfaces

Princess thinks your upholstered furniture’s texture is rather appealing, and she loves to sink her busy little claws into it. She won’t like it so much if you cover the furniture with plastic wrap or sandpaper. Princess will hate the feel of the sticky plastic wrap, and she’ll probably recoil in horror when her sensitive little paws encounter the abrasive sandpaper.

New Scratching Alternatives

Now that you’ve steered Princess away from your furniture, give her another similarly textured object to dig and scratch. Position a carpeted or sisal-covered scratching post next to Princess’ favorite piece of furniture. If she’s currently working on the table or chair legs, place a fragrant cedar scratching post alongside the legs.

Punishment Is Not Acceptable

While you’d really like to give Princess an extended time-out, she won’t understand what she did wrong. Even worse, she’ll assume she’ll get that same treatment each time you come near her. Also, your punishment won’t change Princess’ behavior; she’ll just wait until you’re gone to work on the furniture.

To keep Princess on her toes, occasionally introduce some new scratching surfaces to your energetic cat. Ask your Rapid City vet if spraying a feline pheromone or sprinkling catnip on them will entice Princess even more.

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