Cats scratching household items such as furniture, table covers, sheets, etc., can be a big concern for pet parents. Sofas sets, tables, beds, and other pieces of furniture are not cheap, and most people can’t afford to replace them often.
So if you’re wondering how to keep cats from scratching furniture? Vinegar. A simple homemade remedy with apple cider vinegar or citrus work as a powerful repellant for cats. Creating areas for your cat to play and providing them with more attention and activity will help them avoid scratching your valuable items.
Table of Contents
Do All Cats Like To Scratch?
A prominent characteristic of cats is that they love to scratch. Cats scrape their claws to scrape the dead nail surface (almost like a cat pedicure) that helps keep their claws clean and sharp for hunting. Scratching helps them label their territories as well. They have scent glands and the scratch traces themselves are a visual identifier to other animals that this region is occupied between their claws. Scratching also assists in the cleaning of their bodies.
Why Do Cats Scratch and Bite?
There are numerous basic forms of biting and scratching behavior in cats. Still, most of them are identifiable to behavior they have developed from their parents or their parents’ interactions. As a natural part of development, cats learn to scratch and, if not trained at a young age, may not understand when it is unnecessary to use their teeth and claws.
During a petting period, aggressive biting sometimes occurs when the human owner either doesn’t realize or avoids the cat’s body language. While some cats enjoy being petted for hours and hours, they can become overstimulated for one purpose or another and need to end the petting session.
With its eyes set and ears are drawn back, an angry cat shows its frustration. If you do not understand the signs your cat portrays, you might get bitten. The rule here is to track the cat’s signs and stop whatever you do to avoid an outbreak.
You can restrict or minimize these situations if you know what your cat’s aggression causes are. Petting cats on the stomach, petting them for too much or being too rough when petting cats at the tip of the tail might be the cause for particular cats. You need to understand what your cat likes and doesn’t like and then pet them accordingly. Check out my article on “Why Does My Cat Scratch Then Bite” for more information on the signs and steps you can take to ensure your cat does not make this a habit.
Discover Your Cat's Scratching Habits
If your cat avoids the scratching areas you purchased for them, it may mean that the may not enjoy the material or they do not like its location.
Look at your cat and the places they love to scratch. Start with the material’s texture. Next, check out the areas your cat enjoys scratching and tearing up. After getting up from a nap, cats want to scratch, and they might use the nearest item to do that. Finally, remember the scale and direction of the chosen scratching areas.
Remember they are just cats. However, if they plan to leave their mark on your furniture, drapes, or carpets, it is not fun at all. So there are specific tested ways to prevent a cat from scratching your valuables.
One of the smells that cats dislike is the fragrance of vinegar. Vinegar doesn’t leave a bad smell and is safe for use with your cat. It is organic and chemical-free; it is completely safe to use around your pet. And to avoid inappropriate actions, such as scratching your valuables, you can use vinegar to your advantage.
How To Use Vinegar To Prevent Your Cat From Damaging Your Belongings
To begin, combine one part vinegar with one part water in a mixing bowl. You may use any vinegar; however, most cat owners prefer white vinegar because it is affordable, and apple cider has a sweeter scent. To stop your cat from damaging your items, any form of vinegar will do.
As for the ratio, vinegar without any dilution might be too severe for your cat’s senses. Begin with a 1:1 ratio and play with the proportions until you find the right solution for your needs.
When the vinegar solution has been mixed, pour it into a spray bottle. Next, sprinkle a tiny amount of the formula on the furniture surface you want your cat to resist scratching. It’s important to note that Vinegar can bleach certain materials and surfaces, so it is important to dilute it quite well.
You can now sprinkle the solution on it if you are confident that the vinegar treatment does not damage your products’ surface. Cats may avoid areas where this vinegar solution has been applied because they dislike the scent of vinegar. Be aware that you will need to continue to apply your vinegar mixture every couple of days as the vinegar’s smell will gradually dissipate.
If you don’t like the scent of vinegar, you can create other furniture-cleaning options. Citrus, rosemary, and eucalyptus are amongst the other smells that cats dislike. Just like with the vinegar mixture, combine one-part lemon juice to one or two parts water.
Be mindful that every cat is different. And while most cats despise the scent of vinegar, your cat might be an exception. Your cat, unlike other cats, maybe unaffected by the smell of vinegar and might continue to keep scratching and destroying your furniture.
Why Do Cats Dislike The Scent Of Vinegar?
Why do cats not like the scent of vinegar? Open a vinegar bottle and place your nose right inside The intense fragrance will most probably turn you off. The same is true for your cat. Think how strong the fragrance would be if it multiplied by a factor of ten. That is what happened when your cat smells this mixture.
Compared with humans, cats contain 14 times more olfactory cells in their noses. For your pet, that can make any fragrance more powerful in or around your residence.
For cats, having a keen sense of smell is essential for several reasons. For one thing, they “taste” food with their noses. Their sense of taste is the only one that is not as mature as others. In contrast, if you want your cat to eat, you must make the meal smell strongly, either by using a fragrant element or by cooking it.
Secondly, cats use most of the senses, especially their nose to become aware of their surroundings. Cats are territorial animals, waiting to attack and fearful of other predators, which is necessary.
Other Ways Cat Owners Can Use Vinegar
There are some other ways to utilize vinegar, aside from preventing your cat from scratching your belongings.
For instance, if feral cats often invade and wreak chaos in your backyard, you can discourage this behavior with vinegar. You can spray a vinegar solution on different areas of your yard to do this, including the fencing and garden décor. For greater effectiveness, you can also cover rags in this vinegar formula. Practice caution when applying the solution on plants, as certain plants with vinegar can be destroyed.
Vinegar is an efficient disinfect and antibacterial cleaner as well. Let’s suppose your cat’s feeding dish or water cup has mineral deposits, you can extract these with vinegar.
Vinegar can be used for cleaning and clear sticky stains from the litter box. Wash the litter box thoroughly after soaking it in vinegar overnight. Wash and disinfect the box entirely on the following day before leaving it to dry naturally for a few days. The vinegar smell would dissipate after air drying.
Many cats do not always have to clean their paws. You should dip a few cotton balls into a mixture of one cup of warm water combined with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Additionally, vinegar can be used to remove fleas from entering your house by using water to blend either plain or apple cider vinegar. Play around with the ratios till the correct combination may be found that will not irritate your cat but is still sufficient to prevent fleas.
Give Your Cat Stretchable Objects
If the vinegar solution fails to prevent your cat from scratching your belongings, you might need to try another method. But before you do, it is essential to know why cats want to score in the first instance. Scratching seems unnecessary and damaging, but it is normal for your cat and serves many purposes.
From your pet’s perspective, you must have objects for scratching that are desirable, comfortable, and convenient for cats. Start to analyze the physical characteristics of the things your cat is scratching.
Cats love to scratch items from carpets to furniture because they enjoy the texture and it is a natural habit. Cats instinctively scratch to sharpen and clean their claws. If you find your cat is scratching up your furniture, it can be because they dislike the scratching post you have gotten for them due to its material or location (or because you haven’t gotten them a scratching post).
If your cat constantly scratches up your furniture, one method you can employ to discourage this behavior is spraying these areas with 1-part vinegar to 1 or 2 parts water. White vinegar or apple cider vinegar will do, although white vinegar might be better since it’s cheaper and doesn’t have a sweet smell.
Before you apply the vinegar solution to areas on your furniture where you cat normally scratches, ensure you will not damage your furniture with this solution. If vinegar doesn’t work, try using a similar mixture with lemon juice, as cats dislike citrus smells as well.
Vinegar has many uses and cleaning properties. It is very versatile in also cleaning your cats food and water bowls, as well as litter boxes. If you want to ensure your cat never scratches your expensive furniture again, vinegar may be the solution!
For more articles on cat breeds and cat health & wellness, check out our blog at The Quintessential Guide.