I’ve always dreamed of owning a pink couch, and finally, my dreams have come true. My perfect, hot-pink loveseat is due to be delivered to my new apartment next week, and I’m anticipating spending many happy hours sitting on it while binge-watching my favorite shows (ideally while enjoying some delicious snacks). And yet I’m afraid that my cat may also anticipate many happy hours of using my fabulous sofa to sharpen her deadly little claws in lieu of a cat scratching post.
Why do cats scratch?
“Cats like to scratch,” advises the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The organization emphasizes that scratching is a completely normal feline activity and not a “bad” behavior to be curbed, as cats exercise their claws for play, to mark territory, or just to stretch.
To keep their talons sharp, our feline friends instinctively go after whatever seems ripe for a scratch — which often translates to your sofa, drapes, carpet, and other furniture. The key is to give them safe outlets for their natural behavior and protect the places you don’t want any kitty claws to touch.
How to Protect Furniture From Cat Scratching
When I finally decided to splurge on a pricey sofa, I didn’t factor in the sweet little rescue kitten who lights up my life on a daily basis. I want her to be happy, but I want to keep my home looking nice, too!
The ASPCA has several strategies for keeping sharp claws away from your most prized possessions. First, they urge pet-owners to provide furry friends with plenty of places that are OK to scratch. That means in addition to a favorite cat scratching post, your kitty should have a few other options to dig her claws into, as well.
As for keeping your furniture off limits, you can protect it with different types of guards, from tape that won’t feel so satisfying to scratch (8.99, Chewy), to a scratching post that covers the arm of your sofa (59.99, Amazon).
Another way to protect your furniture is to clip your cat’s claw’s regularly, so they can’t do quite as much damage. There are even non-toxic, veterinarian-approved soft plastic caps you can put on her claws, so she can scratch to her heart’s content without doing any damage.
Below, we’ve rounded up several different options that your kitty is sure to love scratching into oblivion, instead of your couch. I’m ordering all of them, just to be safe, and look forward to many happy evenings lounging with my furry little girl on our new pink sofa.
Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best cat scratching post and more products to protect your furniture.
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Sofa-Scratcher Furniture Protector
Where to buy: $54.99, Amazon
Fake your cat out with this scratching post that's disguised as a couch corner! Tuck the base of this sisal-covered scratcher beneath your sofa and over the arm and let your pet go to town without damaging your actual furniture. This lets you redirect your cat's natural, healthy scratching behavior, so it's a win-win! It comes in five colors to coordinate with your décor and fits most sofas with wide or rounded corners.
Comfort Zone Spray and Scratch Control
Where to buy: From $10.46 (originally $19.99), Chewy
Humans aren't the only ones who can benefit from aromatherapy. This safe, odorless spray will relax your feline friend if they're scratching out of stress. Its clinically-proven formula contains natural, soothing pheromones — the same ones cats in the wild use to signal that they're safe. As a bonus, you can also use this in the car on your next trip to the vet or anywhere your pet tends to get anxious.
Shiny Pet Nail Clippers
Where to buy: $9.99, Amazon
Get to the root of the problem and safely clip those sharp claws so they're not as lethal to your upholstery. While you want to avoid cutting claws too short (the pink part of the nail, or "the quick," is very sensitive, with blood vessels and nerve endings, so you'll want to take special care when trimming), these little scissors will help you take the sharp ends off safely and easily. They're specially designed for small animals, and have an ergonomic grip to prevent mid-manicure slips that is crafted from environmentally-friendly, top-grade plastic. There's even a QR code on the back of the package for access to an instructional video that will guide you through the process.
SmartCat Pioneer Pet Scratching Post
Where to buy: $49.99 (Originally $69.99), Amazon
Experts can't say it enough: The best way to protect your home from scratching damage is to provide your kitty with plenty of opportunities for safe scratching. This cat scratching post is beloved by pets and owners alike, as it's tall enough (32 inches) so that Fluffy will be able to fully stretch when sharpening her claws, keeping her toned and happy. You'll be happy too, because this post is easy to assemble, sturdy enough not to wobble, and super affordable!
Couch Guard Cat Claw Protector
Where to buy: From $17.97, Amazon
Foil your cat's scratching fun with these adhesive panels that stick directly onto your furniture: The strong plastic strips will keep kitty from sinking her claws into it. Unlike some scratch guards, these don't require you to pin them to your upholstery at the risk of making holes. They're also perfect for carpeting, screens, or other soft surfaces where kitty likes to sharpen her claws.
Take the advice of reviewers who warned against using it on leather or wood surfaces, however, as the adhesive may cause damage when removed.
Sticky Paws Cat Training Tape
Where to buy: $8.33 (Originally $12.99), Chewy
Another anti-scratch solution, this anti-scratch tape is meant to train your cat away from problem areas so that they learn to seek their scratching satisfaction elsewhere. It's essentially a 32-foot long roll of tape that you can stick anywhere you want to discourage scratching (although, like the adhesive above, you'll want to be careful not to stick it to surfaces that could be damaged by stickiness). A serrated edge makes it easy to cut the tape to the exact length you'll need for your cat's favorite, yet inappropriate, scratching spot.
Purrdy Paws Soft Nail Caps
Where to buy: $12.99 (originally $14.99), Chewy
Protect your furniture and make your cat's claws look fur-bulous at the same time with these claw covers. Available in seafoam glitter, sky blue, gold glitter, lipstick pink, and seven other shades (including clear, for the less flashily-inclined feline), these soft caps will keep claws from doing damage. Developed by a veterinarian, they're also completely safe and non-toxic — plus they're easy to apply with the included applicator tips and full instructions.