Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, no matter how it might impact the fabric on your $5,000 new sofa.  You cat isn’t scratching to defy you – but he is sending you a message. That message is, “give me something to scratch!”

When his urge to scratch hits, he isn’t too picky about what to scratch. In the wild, everything is fair game. Your cat isn’t trying to damage your belongings. He’s trying to sharpen his claws.

In the wild, a cat might use a tree trunk or fence post for scratching. But since your living room probably lacks those things, the next best thing is something wooden, like the legs on your expensive new coffee table.

Declawing your cat isn’t the only way to protect your furniture.  Instead of going to this extreme, set up a few standing scratch posts around your house for your cat to scratch. He’ll be happy to have his own scratching place – which is better suited to his needs anyway.

Scratching means more to your cat than just a way to tend his claws. Declawing your cat won’t stop the other natural reasons for scratching, like being playful. A scratching post is a great stress reliever for your cat.

Some cats use the post as a pretend playmate. They also have a need to conquer perceived foes. Your cat may take on the scratching post, gripping it with his claws and wrestling it into submission.

Make sure the post is anchored solidly. If the post is too easy to tip over, your cat may ignore it in favor of that nice, stable dining room table leg. If your cat plays with the scratching post when you’re home, but returns to the chair when you’re not around, you may have to resort to a trick.

Knowing that your cat has very keen sense of smell, hang bold fragrance room deodorizer or commercial cat repellant near the chair. Your cat will not enjoy scratching in that location anymore.

Place the approved scratched post in a location where the smell factor is neutral and where there’s some privacy so your cat can sneak up on the post as a pretend prey. When the scratching post looks worn out, don’t be so quick to toss it.

Instead, put the new post beside the old post until your cat starts to use it. After you see some wear on the new post, then you can throw away the old one.