Excerpt from Happy Cat Happy You by Arden Moore
Cats scratch your furniture not because they are being malicious but because they have an innate need to sharpen their claws. When they scratch, they leave their scent behind, which brings them back to the same spot again and again.
Thwart your cat by spraying a neutralizing solution to remove the odor. Then apply double-sided sticky tape, heavy plastic, or aluminum foil to the arms of the furniture or drape a big towel or blanket over the arms.
That’s Part 1. Part 2 calls for you to redirect your feline friend to practice “cat scratch fever” on a scratching post instead.
All scratching posts are not created equal. Look for these must-have features:
Stability – The post should be able to handle your cat’s weight without toppling over.
Stretch – Cats like to stretch to scratch – a good post is tall enough or long enough to permit full extension of the paws.
Surface – Try a variety of materials and textures to see what your cat prefers. Options include carpeting, sisal fiber, corrugated cardboard, or a sturdy log with the bark still attached.
Place the post in an area where your cat like to hang out, so that it’s within claw’s reach when your cat has the itch to scratch. Having two or three scratching posts provides plenty of choices other than your furniture.
Once your cat has claimed a particular spot, the scent he leaves with every scratching session will keep bringing him back, but you can sprinkle some organic catnip on the post once a week to refresh his interest.
For more information on your cat’s behavior and ways to ensure a happy household, purchase Happy Cat Happy You from Catnip.