Many people enjoy having a cat around the house, whether it is for mouse control or just to listen to the relaxing purring sounds the cat makes when happy or at rest. However, felines have a strong propensity to sharpen their claws on items that owners would much rather not have marks. Wooden furniture is a popular place for a cat to make his mark. These five ways provide a way for you to protect your wooden chairs, tables and other wood furnishings from damage caused by the cat’s sharp claws.
1. Deter Your Cat from Scratching Wooden Furnishings
Make your beautiful, natural wood furniture undesirable to your cat. Spray the sealed wood chair or table legs with apple cider or another smell that your cat finds obnoxious. Place some aluminum foil or double-sided tape around the base of the wooden table or chair legs. Inflate some latex balloons and affix them to where your cat is scratching. If he or she pops the balloon, the loud sound may be enough of a deterrent to prevent future scratching.
2. Clip the Cat’s Claws
You need not have your cat declawed to protect your glorious wooden furnishings and keep them beautiful. Instead, once each fortnight, use some clippers to trim the ends of your cat’s claws. Some cats may not enjoy this process. You may need to take it slowly, clipping one or two of the claws at a time until all the front claws have been clipped. Give your cat a small reward or scratch his or her head or chin along with a positive “Good boy,” as reinforcement for cooperating with the claw clipping. The dulled claws will do less damage to the wood of your furnishings.
3. Invest in Claw Caps
Your doctor of veterinary medicine may be able to fit your cat with small caps that cover the ends of the claws. These caps will prevent the cat from doing damage to the wood furniture within your home. The cat will think he or she is clawing but the caps prevent any gouging or other types of damage. Keep a close eye on the caps to ensure they remain affixed to the cat’s claws. The caps may need to be replaced by the veterinarian every two months or so.
4. Use Positive Reprimands
When your cat inappropriately scratches your wooding furnishings, tell him or her “No!” while walking him or her to an approved scratching place. If you see your cat trying to scratch at your wood chairs or other natural woodwork, make a loud sound or squirt the cat with water to deter him or her.
5. Create a Suitable Scratching Place
Train your cat to sharpen his claws on an acceptable place, such as a carpeted pole or scratching post with corrugated cardboard designed for this purpose. Many cats enjoy the texture if sisal, which is a nubby, aromatic plant material that feels good to their feet. You could also try a cedar scratching post. To entice your cat to where you want it to scratch, rub the item with catnip. The smell of the catnip will draw your cat in. Once your cat has appropriately scratched, reward him or her with his or her favorite treat.
When you are happy, your cat will be also. Once your cat understands where he or she is allowed to do his or her scratching, you will be able to relax and enjoy both the feline and the beauty of your natural wood furniture.