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No, No, Don't Scratch the Couch!

Updated on May 28, 2012

Tips to keep your cat from scratching where they shouldn't!

"No, no, don't scratch the couch!" Sound familiar? You have probably said this to your cat, or cats, as many times as I have! Unfortunately, cats like to scratch. It is a natural instinct for them and I almost feel guilty telling them not to. However, I don't want my house shredded, so I came up with some ways to curb this behavior. Here are the ones that have worked for me.


Remember those little metal toys that clicked when you pressed them? I will have some shown under the amazon section at the end of the article. I have found these to be great training tools. When your cat starts scratching on something he shouldn't be, get fairly close and start clicking the toy, while telling him, no, no scratching. Most cats hate the sound of these toys and will immediately take off. They are cheap and easy to use. You can hold one in your hand and the cat won't even know where it's coming from. Just keep repeating this until he gets the message...if I scratch on the couch, I will hear that annoying noise!


If you go to a home improvement store, like Home Depot or Lowe's, you can get thick plastic runners that have little nubs on them. They are generally used to protect carpets, I believe. Cats hate the feeling of those little nubs on their feet. If your cat is scratching in one particular place, put a piece of this (make sure the nub side is up) down and they won't get on it. This is especially helpful for areas of the rug they want to scratch, but can be used anywhere.


I have used this to keep them off counters, but it would work on couches and chairs also. Just lay a big piece of foil over the area and they will avoid it. Again, cats hate foil. Mine run every time I even get a piece out when I'm cooking dinner! Just the sound of it being pulled out of the box sends them scampering. They don't like to walk on it either.


When it comes to furniture, try to buy something with a slick type material, as opposed to sturdy, heavier materials. When I first heard about this, I didn't believe it, but when we bought a new couch and purposely bought a slicker material, it worked. The cats don't scratch it. I think part of it is that they can't really get a hold on it. It may make you change your style a bit, but having a couch that isn't shredded is worth it.


Of course a good scratching post is ideal too. Be sure you get one that is made of sisal instead of carpet. Cats love sisal and will probably prefer to scratch on that instead of something else. Something that was pointed out years ago to me was that scratching posts had carpet on them (this was before the ones with sisal came out) and then when they scratched the carpeting on the floors we get upset. How were they suppose to know the difference? Luckily the sisal scratching posts came along!


This is more about digging in your houseplants than scratching, but I thought I 'd throw it in. Get some fairly large sized rocks (again, Lowe's or Home Depot in the gardening section) and add a layer to the top of the soil. Make sure they are big enough so, if they dig one out, they can't swallow it. They actually look pretty and you can water your plants without removing them.

Now, you may have one of the rare cats that none of these tricks will work on, but they have worked well for me and I hope they work for you. I've found yelling at them doesn't work and I hate to do that anyway (yes, I'm a big pushover for them!), so it is better to just trick, uh, I mean train...them into not wanting to scratch. Cats are very clever and we just have to be more clever! Good luck with these tips.


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    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      Victoria, cats are very good at ignoring us when we yell a them...haha, so we have to outsmart them with something else. Of course they also know mom is not going to be mean to them, so they can get away with more! Good luck...hope the clicker helps.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Catgypsy, a couple of my six, yes, SIX, cats do occasionally scratch furniture. My loud "no" scares them away, but not permanently. I've got to try one of those clickers!!!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ


    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      From one cat mother to another, thanks for reading and voting! Give your four a pet from me.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for all these ideas! I enjoyed your hub, voted up and useful. Definitely useful as the mother of 4 cats!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Melissa, great idea! Thanks for passing it on. And I love the smell of oranges and lemons!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Gypsy, I have used a hissing type sound too, but my cats finally figured out it was just mama and almost started laughing at me! Glad it works for Sid though. Thanks for reading!

      (I replied to this before, but it disappeared, so if this is a duplicate just ignore it!)

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thanks clover. Yep, those work too except they can also get your furniture wet...which in some cases is not good...haha! thanks for your comment!

    • MelissaKA profile image

      Melissa K A 5 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      A real estate agent with cats told me that citrus scents, like orange and lemon, help. I started using orange cleaning spray on my counters and they do much better about not getting up there. I would think this would work well for furniture, too, if you don't mind the scent yourself. Very interesting and useful information in this hub... as a cat mommy, I thank you!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and useful. I am the proud mama of an adopted cat named Sid. Sid is now 6 and into everything. However he has a very good ear for noise. So we cured our scratching problem by simply understanding that he was a bit skittish. So if at anytime he decides to let his claws out by the sofa all we have to do is make a noise like skitzzz and off he goes like a bat out of hell. lol But your suggestions are all well worth taking into consideration. Thank you for sharing and passing this on.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Squirt gun works too! I have 7 cats, and the spray bottle or squirt gun works if you start when they are young. Unless of course you have one like our Lionel who likes water. Great hub, voted up.