If there’s one thing all cat parents are able to commiserate about together, it’s their scratch-covered furniture. Or how their previously straight table legs are currently curved due to years of abuse. Nevertheless, depending on Dr. Tony Buffington, a veterinarian and “cat guru,” this habit used to serve a very important purpose for your pet.
Before cats lived inside cozy houses and the biggest challenge in their day was finding the sunniest spot to take a nap, they had to hunt for food and defend themselves from predators. Thus they scratched rough surfaces as a way to keep their claws sharp. Although modern cats don’t have these same struggles, scratching is a means for them to relieve stress and stretch their back and leg muscles.
Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean your furniture should have to look like you took a cheese grater to it. To train your pet, the Humane Society recommends covering furniture surfaces with materials your cat won’t like, such as sticky tape or aluminum foil. Then, install a scratching post as an alternative and reward your feline with a treat or belly rub when they use it.
Watch and learn more about your cat’s quirky behavior — including why they purr and why they hide in tiny spaces: