Most cats love to stretch and scratch something. Scratching is important for cats — it’s a natural behaviour. Scratching also helps shed the outer covering on their claws and scent mark.
Instead of trying to stop them from scratching, give them something to scratch (PDF). Put scratching posts close to an entrance or near where your cat sleeps. They usually stretch and scratch after waking up or when entering a room.
If they’re using your couch as a scratching post, interrupt them. Don’t scare them. Make sure to reward them for scratching their post.
Never use harsh verbal or physical corrections with your pet. If you feel like nothing is helping, talk to your vet about safe and humane nail covers.
The BC SPCA is against declawing cats. A cat’s nails are not like fingernails — they’re attached to the bone. Therefore, declawing is a serious surgery. It’s like removing a part of your finger at the knuckle. Read the BC SPCA position statement on cosmetic and other non-therapeutic alterations (PDF).
The practice of declawing cats is now banned in B.C., unless it’s deemed necessary as an appropriate medical therapy.
To learn more, watch our video on cats and scratching: