How to Stop Destructive Scratching in Cats


Jade Poole from I Write Words

Stop Destructive

Does your cat scratch your furniture constantly? Tackling destructive scratching in cats can be tricky, but there's a few sneaky tips that will help your cat become purr-fectly behaved in no time. In this blog we explain why your cheeky kitten loves to claw your furniture and give you a complete breakdown for how to bust this hard-to-break habit.

The big question: why do cats scratch?

Destructive scratching in cats is not uncommon, and it’s normal for cats to want to scratch something in their environment instinctually. Cats just love something to sink their claws into. Here’s why:

  1. Turning territorial: Cats often scratch surfaces to mark their territory and leave a scent that is uniquely theirs. Since they have scent glands on their paws, scratching surfaces is a great way to assert their place in your home. Take it as a complaint - they're really trying to be a part of the family and make themselves at home.
  2. Inherent intuition: Scratching for cats is a built-in instinct. The urge to scratch for cats is naturally strong and, if a surface has the right look, texture and feels good on their claws, it’s hard for them to stay away.
  3. Rise and shine with exercise: Cats scratch when they’ve just woken up from a nap. This is similar to the way that we usually yawn and stretch when we first get out of bed. Cats scratch to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws. It can also help strengthen and stretch their muscles. Cats may also scratch due to boredom or to work off energy.
  4. A self-made manicure: Many cats love to scratch furniture to keep their nails healthy and remove the dead outer layer of their claws.
Scratching in Cats

Easy alternatives

Deterring your cat from common surfaces

While your kitten may be too cute for words right now, as they get older the scratching will get worse, and your furniture may suffer a lot more damage if you let your fuzzy feline’s bad habits continue.

To stop this behaviour, you have to send your cat the right message. Some ways to tell your furry kitten “this is not where you can scratch” is to cover off-limits surfaces with textures your cat will find unappealing on their paws. Try using double-sided sticky tape or aluminum foil.

Also be sure to clip your cat's nails regularly. Shorter claws tend to do less damage.

Providing other options

Another easy trick is to place scratching posts next to your furniture as ‘legal’ alternatives. It may take a few months for your cat to make the change but then your cat should start using the scratching posts consistently.

Try to understand your fur-ocious feline’s scratching preferences. “The object you use as a replacement should be  just as appealing to your cat, as well as convenient and easy to access. A good idea is to start making note of the physical features of the objects your cat is scratching.

Here are a few more considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Where are your cats favorite pieces of furniture placed? This could be in the living room, close to your sleeping area or near the entrance to your home.
  2. What texture do these objects have? Most cats prefer coarse surfaces but some may go for something a bit softer on their claws.
  3. How tall are these objects? Try to ensure that the height of the objects is accessible to your cute kitten but will still allow them to have a good stretch.

One more pro tip: Most cats hate the smell of citrus or menthol. Try attaching cotton balls dipped in cologne or a muscle rub to frequently clawed fruit nature to deter your cat.

How to reward your loving cat

There’s no better way to say “I love you” to your precious pet than by giving your animal the best possible care available.  Looking after the health and wellbeing of your pet is the ultimate gift. At Oneplan, we guarantee the best care for your pet at the most affordable price.

Oneplan’s range of animal-friendly pet insurance plans provide a variety of options that are perfect for your furry playmate, and our plans are designed specifically to take care of the health and wellness needs of your cat. Our cat insurance plans start at  as little as R60pm with our pet accident plan, but you can upgrade anytime to our Pet Super Plan for R430pm.

Oneplan is the pawfect option for your furry family member. Here are a few examples of the must-have services that we provide:

  1. Quality insurance with extensive benefits.
  2. Processing of claims for vet visits and routine care with zero paperwork required. Funds will instantly be loaded onto your Onecard.
  3. Offering exclusive first access to sales with our online pet store partner, e-PET Store, and up to 15% discount on ongoing purchases of specific products.
  4. Access to our easy-to-use Oneplan app.
  5. A friendly Oneplan team who is always available for a chat and ready to provide some extra guidance throughout every step of the process


Join our Oneplan family today!

Yours in quality pet insurance you could cuddle,



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