Have you ever caught your Persian cat scratching or clawing on your furniture and asked yourself, “Do Persians cats scratch furniture?” You are not alone!
Cats are one of the most popular choices of pets for so many, and Persian cats are one of the most respected and desired breeds out there. Whilst Persians are loved for their affectionate, calm, and intelligent personalities, they are also renowned for their habits of scratching household furniture.
Scratching is, unfortunately, normal and expected behavior from a feline. This article will discuss why Persians have a tendency to scratch furniture and will explore methods of discouraging a Persian cat from scratching.
Do Persian Cats Scratch Furniture?
Yes, they do! Like most breeds of cats in the world, domesticated or wild, Persian cats are born with an innate desire to scratch. Whilst Persian cats usually exhibit passive moods, they can be prone to playful moods and scratching inside the home, where furniture is usually a source of scratching.
Why Do Persian Cats Scratch Furniture? (4 Reasons Why)
There are many reasons why Persian cats take pleasure in scratching household items, mainly furnishings; some reasons are more obvious than others. Three of the main motivations for scratching are discussed below:
- Persians have a natural instinct to simply sharpen their claws, just as most cats engage in self-cleaning. Sharpening their claws is an important element of a grooming routine. Scratching surfaces, such as furniture, removes worn layers of claw, allowing fresh sharper claws to grow.
- Persian cats scratch furniture as a method of marking their territory within the home environment; their safe-space. This allows the cat to develop a personal sense of ownership within that area of the home.
Cats are generally territorial pets, and may be reluctant to share their favorite spots in the house with another feline or animal.
The markers left from scratching warn other felines to refrain from residing in a particular area and encourage them to find their own territory inside the home.
- Do not be misled by the large, fluffy bodies of a Persian, and their languid, relaxed demeanor. Persians are just as playful as other cat breeds, and Persians can become excitable, particularly when restricted inside the walls of a home environment.
Due to a need to release energy, the Persian may scratch household items such as furniture as a form of play fighting, entertainment and to release any stress.
- Scratching household furniture can serve as a form of gentle indoor exercise; whilst scratching, the Persian will often stretch the back and legs to assume the scratching posture.
How Do I Stop My Persian Cat From Scratching My Furniture? (6 Methods To Stop It)
So many Persian owners are dismayed at the damage caused to household furniture by a playful Persian.
Whilst it is tricky to deter a Persian from scratching, there are proven successful ways to distract or discourage the feline from continuing to scratch an owner’s best dining room table or favorite rocking chair. Some of the best ways to combat scratching are explored below:
- As discussed earlier, most cats are prone to playful behavior inside the home, particularly Persians. When feelings of boredom set in within the domestic environment, the Persian will seeks sources of entertainment.
By filling the home with cat toys, the Persian may opt to engage in play with the toys instead of scratching the furniture. A good tip is to regularly change the toys or move them around; when the Persian becomes tired of the same toys, the feline may decide to resume their furniture scratching.
Pet owners advise to engage in play with the cat to decipher which kind of toys they prefer.
- A proven successful method of deterring furniture scratching is to cover the furniture surfaces in duct tape. Any cat owner will observe that felines dislike sticky objects on their fur and claws, and Persians take extra care with self-grooming and self-care.
After coming into contact with the tape, Persians are likely to revert to clawing other places instead, such as scratching posts or more appropriate surfaces.
House proud owners may dislike the appearance of duct tape on their furniture, but it is without doubt more appealing than deep scratching.
- The effects and impact of Persians scratching furniture can be dramatically reduced by simply trimming the pet’s nails regularly. Pet owners recommend trimming a Persian’s nails every two to three weeks, although nails grow at different rates, and some cats may require more regular trimming.
Many cats, including Persians, intensely dislike claw trimming, so it is advised to trim their claws whilst they sleep or are in a clearly relaxed state. Note that paws and claws are sensitive areas, and it is only necessary to trim the sharper points of claw which might create the most damage.
Treat these areas gently, as claw trimming excessively can be painful for the pet. By trimming claws regularly, the impact of scratching furniture can be significantly reduced.
- An obvious solution to deter a Persian from scratching household furniture, such as sofas or tables, is to invest in a good scratching post. After all, the reason why scratching posts were invented is to act as a target for a feline’s scratching needs.
It is imperative to introduce the Persian to the scratching post to ensure that the post is recognized for it’s purpose within the home.
Pet owners recommend positioning the scratching post in front of the household furniture which the cat is accustomed to scratching to allow the pet to recognize the post. Due to the frequency that Persians engage in scratching, some owners find that more than one scratching post is necessary in the home, and two or three will satisfy the Persian’s needs.
There are many unique, innovative and attractive scratching posts available for purchase. It is advised to seek out a scratching post built from sturdy materials, with a wide base to ensure that the post does not fall when a cat using it for scratching.
The best scratching posts are made from fibrous, durable materials to avoid any shedding after energetic use. Posts are even available in larger sizes for a larger Persian; up to 32 inches.
- Rewarding the Persian for not scratching household furniture is a great way to reinforce this good behavior. Giving verbal praise, an edible treat, or indulging the Persian in a grooming session will communicate to the Persian that not scratching is a good thing.
In the same way, making a startling noise when the Persian scratches furniture, such as blowing a whistle or shaking a tin of coins, will encourage the Persian not to engage in this activity.
By training the cat using positive and negative disciplinary techniques, less damage should be inflicted upon household furniture eventually.
- If all else fails, some Persian owners simply cover the most scratched areas in towels or other protective materials. Sofas can be covered with throws or cushions, for example.
The other methods listed above should work successfully, or at least be attempted, but protecting or hiding the scratched surfaces is an obvious method of reinforcing the household items against damage.
Are Any Cat Breeds Less Likely to Scratch Furniture Than Persians?
When beginning the journey of choosing a cat as a pet, the hopeful feline fan will often have an expectation of what temperament a cat will have if they have a breed in mind. Certain breeds possess specific traits in appearance and behavior.
Whilst Persian cats are very prone to scratching household furniture, there are breeds out there who are less likely to scratch a sofa or a chair. Some of the less claw-happy cat breeds include:
Ragdolls are bred to be relaxed, cuddly cats who assume a ‘floppy’ demeanor; hence the name ‘Ragdoll’. This means that this breed of cat is less likely to engage in destructive, scratching behavior.
Russian blue cats
Pet owners comment that Russian blue cats have an innate sense of respect towards their owners and natural environment and are unlikely to exhibit any energetic or mischievous play.
This intelligent breed of cat is renowned for responding well to domestic training, including positive reinforcement and discipline to deter scratching.
This endearing and affectionate breed could be far less likely to destroy a sofa leg than a Persian cat in a playful mood.
All breeds of domesticated and wild cats have a desire to scratch using their claws, and Persians are especially likely to indulge in a habit of incessant scratching. Dwelling mainly inside the comfort of the home, Persian cats will use household furniture as a target for their scratching.
Persians will not appreciate an expensive leather sofa or a varnished mahogany dining table. They do not intentionally hope to ruin the furniture; indeed, scratching is an innate behavior present in all cats and should be expected.
Persians scratch to relieve stress, engage in play, mark their territory, and, most importantly, scratching is a normal and healthy aspect of self-grooming and exercise.
As this article has discussed, there are a host of successfully proven methods to deter a Persian from scratching household furniture, including claw trimming, positive and negative behavior reinforcement, and, of course, purchasing a trusty scratching post, or maybe several posts for the more mischievous feline.
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