Pet vs. Couch

Claws and Effect: The Fascinating Reason Why Cats Scratch Furniture

Feel like your new leather couch is a big, expensive scratching post for your feline friends? Why do cats love to scratch leather couches? Here's why.

Why is my cat scratching my leather couch?

It's totally natural for your furball to go all "couch commando" on your leather sofa. Here's the scoop as to why:

  • Instincts unleashed: Scratching is in your kitty's DNA. Your cat scratches to stretch, flex their muscles, and even sharpen their claws. A primal instinct, if you will!
  • Territory tagging: Cats are sneaky little territorial beings. Scratching leaves their scent behind and marks their turf. Your couch might be in the feline spotlight for some claw-stamped ownership.
  • Texture temptation: Leather is like a scratching post's sleek cousin. Its surface is a cat's itch-relief heaven. Soft leather feels good under those claws.
  • Emotional outlet: Just like we need stress balls, cats need a way to vent. They release stress, frustration, or even excitement when they scratch.
  • Solution time: Don't fret! Get a scratching post or two. Cats adore them. Sprinkle a bit of catnip on it to lure them in.

Since there's no such thing as a cat-proof couch, you'll need to embrace the scratch, but guide it where it's socially acceptable. Your expensive leather sectional couch will thank you, and so will your fur baby!

Why do cats destroy couches?

Feline psychology is a topic that a whole research team could spend their entire lives trying to crack. But after years of acquiring data (and giving lots of pets to our four-legged friends), we have a few answers to this age old question!

  • Natural behavior: Cats are wired to explore and interact with their environment. Your couch becomes an interesting playground for them to investigate, scratch, and play around.
  • Claw care: Cats' claws are like your nails, they grow continuously. Scratching helps them shed the outer layers, keeping their claws healthy and ready for action.
  • Texture temptation: Couches often have materials that provide a satisfying sensation for scratching. The textures engage their claws and muscles, like a spa day for their paws!
  • Expression extravaganza: Sometimes, cats unleash their inner Picasso by leaving marks. It's a bit of "I was here" combined with emotions they want to convey.
  • Stress and boredom buster: Just like us, cats can get bored or stressed. Scratching offers them an outlet to relieve these feelings, keeping their mental state in check.
  • Solution sleuthing: Fret not! Get scratching posts or pads with varied textures. It's a win-win; they get to scratch, and your couch gets a break.

If your cats are couch potatoes (like ours are), you'll want to give them a place to relax without tempting their claws. There's no end-all, be-all cat couch protector, but hopefully these tips will keep your nimble kitty occupied with something other than destroying your sofa!

Do cats like to scratch leather sofas?

cartoon cat scratching furniture for no apparent reason

OK, so you finally splurged and kicked your cheap sofas to the curb. But now that you have a luxurious leather couch you're afraid that your cat's going to love it a little too much, too. After all, you want a nice sitting couch, not a cat scratching couch! Will your cat be attracted to your leather sofa the same way you are?

  • Variety matters: Cats appreciate diversity. If they're used to scratching fabric or carpet, the allure of leather adds novelty to their scratching repertoire.
  • Scent story: Leather retains scents, and when your cat scratches, their scent lingers. This creates a personalized space in their world, marking it as their own.
  • Protection parade: Scratching isn't only about fun; it helps cats defend themselves in the wild by keeping their claws sharp. Leather provides the right resistance for this.

So, while your cat might be drawn to your sleek sofa, providing them with a designated scratching spot will make both parties happy. Follow this foolproof advice for protecting your leather furniture from your pets and you'll definitely be able to relax. And isn't that the point of having a couch?

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Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder