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Cats love to scratch! They clean and sharpen their claws by scratching. But they can ruin our furniture, carpets, and doorways. Here are a few tips to help stop your cat from doing what comes naturally.

1. Provide a scratching post or another item for your cat to scratch. They come as pieces of wood covered with carpet and corrugated material attached to wood. You can buy a scratching post at your pet store…they come in many colors and sizes. You can also make your own scratching post very easily. Take a piece of a 4x4 wooden beam, buy a carpet sample, and attach it to a plywood base. While many store bought scratching posts have plush carpet on them, realize that many cats don’t like to scratch on this type of carpet when you’re choosing one to buy.
2. Show your cat how the post is used by doing it yourself in the cat’s presence. This may sound silly, but it works! After you do it, the cat will go to it and smell your scent, then it will leave it’s own scent.
3. Always praise your cat when it scratches on something that’s okay.
4. You can say “No!” to your cat when you see it scratching an unwanted item.
5. You can spray Bitter Apple or Bitter Orange on items that you don’t want your cats to scratch. You can find these products at your local pet store.
6. You can put pepper, either cayenne or black on items you don’t want your cat to scratch.
7. Put tape that’s sticky on both sides will also work sometimes.

You’ll find that by using the tips above, your furniture, carpet and other items will stay in much better condition. And your cat won’t be any worse for the wear, either.