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My office chair is all covered in sellotape (you can see picture of it in this post). It was the easiest and fastest solution I could come up with for protecting my most used piece of furniture from my cat’s claws.
Most cat owners (if not all) will confirm the fact that cats love scratching our furniture – and not just any random chair or sofa, but our most used or favorite ones.
So why do cats scratch things in our homes?
Below are the three main reasons for this cat behavior:
Sharpening Their Claws
Cats do a lot of claw maintenance for keeping them sharp, but here is an interesting fact: they don’t actually sharpen their claws the way most of us think they do.
When we see a cat scratching we think it sharpens its claws the way we sharpen our knives for example. But that’s not how it works.
As a cat owner, I would often find claw “covers” around my home. They are the old top layer of a claw that a cat “sheds” from time to time. Removing this top old layer of the claw is what is really happening when a cat scratches something.
If you find such a ripped-off claw cover you may think your cat did it by accident, that its claw got stuck, you may even think that your cat hurt itself but this is just normal claw maintenance for your cat and the basic reason for cat scratching.
Another very interesting thing is that cats only scratch with their front legs. They remove the old claw cover on their back legs with their teeth – which I find really interesting and a bit funny. I guess scratching with their back legs was not practical or even doable 🙂
Keeping Muscles Around The Claws Strong
Most cat owners are not aware of this fact and I was really surprised when I discovered this in my research.
So besides “claw shedding” by scratching a cat keeps the muscles around the claws in shape.
These muscles are responsible for claw retracting and putting out. It is important these muscles are always active and in best form, because they play a major role in hunting, cat fights and climbing.
Another surprising thing about cats: by scratching they are actually leaving their scent behind by using glands located on the bottom of their paws.
So when your cat is “making biscuits” it is also leaving its “signature” on the furniture. Luckily this scent is not detectable by humans so the only damage in this process is the scratched material. Although I am convinced we would accept anything from our precious furry babies and we would have forgiven them even this scent if we could smell it 🙂
Have you ever wondered why is my cat scratching the couch?
Well, cats love those pieces of furniture that their owners use most often. A cat will scratch mostly its owner’s favorite chair or couch. The reason for this is that by scratching they mix their own scent with the scent of their “master”.
Cats are notorious for being picky with their toys and cat trees. Instead of jumping on a new cat tree right away they still choose an old item that their owner uses – like a favorite chair. The reason for this strange behavior is the owner’s scent, on which they love rubbing and mixing with their own scent.
So here is a tip for you: if your cat doesn’t play with its new cat tree or cat furniture you can try putting an unwashed shirt of yours on it. The cat should pick up the scent and embrace the new product faster. Catnip also works for this purpose but I believe a scented owner’s clothing will work even faster.
What Not To Do When Trying To Get Your Cat To Stop Scratching the Couch
Cat scratching can drive some cat owners crazy. It’s really an annoying habit especially if it is ruining expensive furniture.
So they decide on removing their cat’s claws.
Please remember that this is an extremely painful procedure for a cat and it may even change its character and leave it psychologically damaged. It is very cruel to remove such an essential body part of a cat.
Removing cat’s claws is mutilating a cat and leaving it handicapped for many natural activities like hunting, climbing and self-defending. I strongly advise you never to do this to your beloved cat.