Protect Your Furniture from Dreaded Cat Claws

You love your furniture. You love your cats. Your cats love your furniture, too. So much, in fact, that they can't keep their little paws off of your new sofa. Well, to be exact, they can't keep their claws off of your new sofa. What do you do?

You love your furniture. You love your cats. Your cats love your furniture, too. So much, in fact, that they cannot keep their little paws off of your new sofa.

Well, to be exact, they can't keep their claws off of your new sofa.

What do you do?

Here are some suggestions that may help your cats live harmoniously with your favorite pieces of furniture

1. De-claw the little bugger. No! No! No! This is the first prevention method that many people think of when they realize their cats are destroying their furniture. It seems simple enough. Just pluck the cat's front claws out. No claws, no problem. But here is the misconception: it is not a painful procedure. Newsflash: de-clawing is a very painful procedure for cats.

The fact of the matter is that de-clawing is a major operation. De-clawing is actually comparable to the removal of human fingertips at the first knuckle. Recovery is slow and painful. It is an amputation that I believe to be inhumane. So with that said and out of the way, let's discuss some humane suggestions to hamper your cat's scratching issues.

2. Use a water-spray bottle. When your cat gets too close to your favorite piece of furniture, simply spray her with a water bottle. This preventative measure tells your cat that every time she gets close to the sofa, something negative will happen. (Something negative, not painful.) No cat likes to be sprayed in the face with water. No human for that matter. It's annoying. Simple as that.

3. Fill your house with scratching posts. Get your cat to notice scratch-friendly items, other than your armchair. Using a scratching post is a wonderful way for cats to quench their thirst for scratching. They enjoy scratching on the carpet these posts are made from. Place them near your furniture and in the corners of your house.

Now, some cats may not go to the scratching posts, right away. If that is the case, rub some organic catnip on the posts. No cat is impervious to the magic of sweet, sweet catnip. If your cat still refuses to use the scratching post, give her time. Eventually, she will. In the meantime, use the water-bottle method to deter the cat from the furniture.

4. Buy the SuperScratcher: If scratching posts simply do not work, try the SuperScratcher by SmartyKat. Or, try this first. My cats love this thing. The SuperScratcher is a long cardboard box filled with a cardboard filling that cats' claws cannot resist. I highly recommend this product. I have yet to see a cat not drawn to it. Plus, it is relatively inexpensive.

5. Use Soft Paws for the nails. This is another helpful product. You simply apply the vinyl nail caps with glue (included) on to your cat's existing nails. It sounds strange, but this product is very effective. As the cat's nails grow, the nail caps eventually fall off. In a short amount of time, most cats tolerate the caps and do not even know they are there.

The caps even come in different colors-blue, purple, red and pink-for the funkiest of cats. It may take some time and effort to apply the nails, but trust me, the outcome is worth it. 

These are just some suggestions to get you started. Just remember, your cat needs to scratch, pure and simple. It is in the cat's nature.

But if you keep your cat's nails trimmed and have items for her to scratch, your furniture should remain safe and sound, and you and your cat can enjoy each other's company more than ever.