what do cats scratch furniture?

Cat Scratching Behavior

As a cat owner, one of the behaviors you may find frustrating is when your furry friend decides to scratch your furniture. The sight of shredded upholstery or scratched wooden legs can be enough to make any pet owner cringe. However, it's important to understand that scratching is a natural behavior for cats, and it serves several important purposes in their lives.

So, why do cats scratch furniture? In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this behavior and explore some of the best cat scratchers available to redirect your feline friend's scratching tendencies. By understanding your cat's instincts and providing appropriate alternatives, you can save your furniture and keep your cat happy.

Understanding Cats' Scratching Behavior

what do cats scratch furniture

Before we dive into why cats scratch furniture, let's first understand why they engage in this behavior in the first place.

Scratching is a deeply ingrained instinct for cats, and it serves various purposes:

  • Marking Territory: Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching helps them mark their territory both visually and through scent.
  • Stretching and Exercise: Scratching allows cats to stretch their muscles and flex their paws, promoting healthy exercise and maintaining their physical well-being.
  • Maintaining Claw Health: Scratching helps cats shed the outer layer of their claws, keeping them sharp and healthy.
  • Emotional Outlet: Scratching can be a way for cats to relieve stress, frustration, or boredom.

Now that we have a better understanding of why cats scratch, let's discuss some reasons why they may target your furniture specifically.

Cats Scratching Furniture

While cats may scratch for various reasons, there are a few factors that make furniture an attractive scratching post:

  • Texture: Cats are naturally drawn to certain textures when they scratch. Furniture upholstery may offer a satisfying sensation for their claws.
  • Height and Stability: Furniture pieces are often tall and sturdy, providing cats with the perfect opportunity to stretch and exercise when they scratch.
  • Location: Furniture is usually placed in central areas of the home where cats spend most of their time, making it a convenient option for marking territory.

It's worth noting that some cats may also scratch furniture out of habit or due to stress. If your cat is displaying excessive or destructive scratching behavior, it's important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions and address any potential stressors in your cat's environment.

Best Cat Scratchers

If you're tired of discovering new scratches on your furniture, investing in a quality cat scratcher can be a game-changer.

Here are some of the best cat scratchers available on the market:

1. Vertical Scratching Posts

Vertical scratching posts are tall and sturdy, allowing cats to fully stretch their bodies when they scratch. Look for posts covered in sisal fabric or cardboard, as these materials provide an irresistible texture for cats. Additionally, choose a scratching post that is stable and won't topple over easily.

2. Horizontal Scratching Pads

Horizontal scratching pads are an excellent option for cats who prefer scratching surfaces that lie flat on the ground. These pads are usually made of corrugated cardboard, which cats find appealing due to its texture. Place the scratching pad near your furniture to redirect your cat's attention away from it.

3. Cat Trees and Condos

Cat trees and condos offer a multi-purpose solution for your cat's scratching needs. These structures often come with built-in scratching posts, providing cats with both vertical and horizontal surfaces to scratch. Additionally, cat trees offer additional perks like perches, hiding spots, and play opportunities.

4. Cat Scratch Loungers

Cat scratch loungers combine scratching surfaces with cozy lounging spots. They are typically made of durable materials like sisal or woven fabric. These scratchers provide a comfortable place for your cat to scratch while also offering them a cozy spot to rest and relax.


Understanding why cats scratch furniture is the first step towards finding a solution to this common issue. By providing cats with appropriate scratching alternatives and understanding their natural instincts, you can protect your furniture while keeping your feline companion happy and satisfied.

Investing in quality cat scratchers, such as vertical scratching posts, horizontal scratching pads, cat trees, or scratch loungers, can go a long way in redirecting your cat's scratching behavior. Remember to place the scratchers near the furniture your cat tends to target and provide positive reinforcement when they use the appropriate surfaces.

With patience, consistency, and the right cat scratchers, you can successfully discourage your cat from scratching furniture and create a harmonious environment for both you and your feline friend.