Preventing Cats from Scratching Furniture: Slipcovers, Sticky Tape, Soft Paws, and Other Preventive Measures

Cats make adorable pets, but they do love to scratch, especially the very things their owners don’t want them to scratch, such as the new sofa. Claw marks and furniture damage can be a real problem for cat owners, especially if the pet hasn’t been declawed. Many pet owners are hesitant to declaw a cat because of the humane aspects and the expense. Here are some suggestions to prevent undeclawed cats from destroying furniture.

One way to help remedy the problem is to buy furniture made of fabrics such as leather or microfiber that cats aren’t particularly attracted to or can’t get their claws into. No piece of furniture, however, is entirely cat-proof. Below are some ways to prevent damage on new or existing furniture.


One of the easiest way to keep a new sofa or other piece of furniture from being damaged by scratching is to purchase a slipcover. A good, fitted slipcover that covers the entire sofa can be a great investment. The fitted cover looks best and will not shift when people sit down. Slipcovers can either be used as a preventive measure or to cover a damaged couch.

An economical slipcover can also be made from a sheet. The drawback of using a slipcover is that, of course, it conceals the furniture. Some people also don’t like the way they feel, or the fact that they tend to slip and bunch up when a person sits down. There are several other remedies that can also be tried.

Scratching Posts

Every cat owner should invest in a good scratching post. The best ones are made of sisal. Some cats really take to scratching posts, and the problem is solved. However, other cats simply ignore them or use them irregularly, so other methods are also needed to encourage them to use the post and not the furniture.

Sticky Tape

Many pet owners use double-sided clear tape as a deterrent to a cat scratching a particular area. This tape is applied to the arms or sides of the couch or anywhere the cat is prone to scratch. Cats hate the sticky feel of tape on their paws, and will avoid areas that have this tape. After a while, the cat should be trained to stay away from a certain spot.

A commercial sticky tape designed specifically for cats is called Sticky Paws. This can be purchased at Sticky Paws Online Store.

Nail Trimming and Soft Paws

Regularly trimming nails is another way to minimize furniture damage. A relatively new product on the market is called Soft Paws. These little caps are put on the cat’s individual nails as an alternative to declawing.

Soft Paws come in different colors, and cats tolerate them well. They sell for under twenty dollars. The nail caps usually last several weeks, until the cat’s nails naturally shed. More information about Soft Paws can be found at Soft

Other methods to try:

  • commercial deterrent spray
  • placing orange peel in area they like to scratch (cats don’t like the smell)
  • aluminum foil
  • using a spray bottle of water as a deterrent
  • covering arms of chairs with plastic