Believe it or not, cats do not usually seek out to destroy our couches and other furniture. Scratching is instinctual and helps removed damaged and worn claws. The act is also a form of exercise and territory marking. Your feline friend is just staking claim to her beloved home, and has no idea the havoc he or she may be wreaking on upholstery.
DIY Cat Scratching Posts
By giving cats an outlet for their behaviors, both pet parents and fluff babies win. Making a scratch post is a lot of fun, and can be enhanced with creativity. Typically, very basic, safe, non-toxic materials are needed. Below are some inspiring ideas to get you started.
Dishcloth Door Hanger. Buy a cheap board from Home Depot, or upcycle a piece from home. Be sure it’s short enough to clear the floor, but long enough for kitty to reach comfortably. Drill two holes in each top corner. Buy some super cute but tough dishtowels, then wrap the board and stitch together the towels with heavy duty thread and a needle. Cut the fabric where the holes in the wood are, and tie a rope for the handle.
Kitty Chair (or Throne). Upcycle or buy a small chair that is easy for your cat to access. Then redo the upholstery, but with a malleable carpet or rug. Depending on the chair style, then entire piece can be covered, or just the seat.
Carpet Board. This one is super simple but effective. Cover a board in carpet. Sometimes, flooring companies may have some funky scraps that would work great. There are many options when securing carpet—tacks, glue, tape. Ensure that cats cannot get to the adhering material below.
PVC Cacti. We have to credit countless Pinterest posts for the inspiration behind this one. PVC piping and connectors can be shaped into adorable cacti, and secured to a wooden base. Thin rope is then tightly wound around the entire structure. Use a non-toxic green dye to color before wrapping, if you like.
Safety Cone Forest. Who new road safety objects could double as cat accessories? Amazon sells a variation of posts and signs that could be used for the same purpose we are about to detail. Safety cones can be wrapped in rope and secured with non-toxic glue. Have fun and use green rope to create a forest of trees! Then adorn them with various cat safe toys and feathers.
Other Deterrent Tips
Sometimes your kitty may just really love that one chair, and that’s a problem. If you’ve provided ample “scratch safe” zones and materials, then it may be time to try additional methods.
- Double-sided tape made specifically for deterring cats is a safe way to keep those paws off the couch or other surfaces.
- Try a vet approved herbal spray that may have an off putting smell to cats.
- Whenever catching them in the act, immediately grab their post or toy to encourage scratching in the right places. Reward for scratching the right objects.
- Completely block off that area of the house until your feline friend takes to the new scratching posts.
Note: Declawing is actually a partial amputation of a cat’s toe. Many people don’t know that there are real consequences to the procedure. Claws are important for cats, so here’s how to opt for other solutions when it comes to stopping unacceptable scratching behavior.
Rest-assured, most kitties will definitely take to their new scratching posts! Cat condos and store-bought posts can be a good option as well, but not near as fun. Get into making posts that blend with décor or even add a touch of style to the home. Hopefully we’ve inspired your next home project.
Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.
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