1. Buy a scratching post. Maybe two. Because this is a normal and important behavior for cats, they need to have a designated place to do it. 10 times out of 10 you will not like the place they choose to act out this behavior. Encourage the use of the scratch post by putting it in a room where you hang out. They don’t care about communicating news to the back corner of your basement. Also, sprinkle catnip on the post. It’s fun for them — and its fun to watch.2. Discourage scratching on furniture by making it less appealing. Cats like to scratch on things that are soft, that they can sink their claws into a little bit. But you know what they don’t like? Aluminium foil. I know this sounds tacky, but I just put it on the furniture when Im gone or when nobody is coming over. Remember: this is training. Once they focus on another place to scratch they like to go back to the same spot. If they discover the couch isn’t fun, they find another place to communicate (hence the scratching post )3. Citrus. Cats are not big fans of citrus at all. If you get a citrus spray and spray the furniture, sometimes that is enough of a deterrent as well.4. Calming devices. Consider the possibility that the cat is stressed out. For some cats, new furniture equals change, and change equals stress. There are now pheromone sprays that you can either spray on your furniture or plug into the wall that really help calm cats down and make the new furniture less stressful. I have seen very freaked out feral kittens in cages completely calm down after these sprays were used and was amazed. (I thought it was a gimmick, too!) Here is a link to the .5. Soft Paws. Soft Paws are vinyl nail covers. They were invented by Toby Wexler, a veterinarian in 1990, and have saved countless numbers of cats from going through the agonizing procedure of declawing. They come in different colors and last four to six weeks. I need to buy more than one packet at a time, but only because of the 28-claw thing.
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Double-stick tape is another little trick to keep your cat off the couch. There are commercially prepared tapes made specifically for this purpose or just make your own using tape you purchase at an office supply store. Buy the kind used for shipping as it is wider and more effective. Tape the strips on the couch cushions at about 1 inch intervals. The widest double-stick tape available is only 1/2 inch wide, so you will have to use a lot of it. Make sure the cushions are covered well with tape. Cats don't like the feeling of walking on adhesive. When you want to use the couch, simply flip the cushions over.
Tori figured out how to keep her from destroying her furniture