Have you recently welcomed a Siamese into your home and wondered why your sofa looks a little sad?
It’s not uncommon for Siamese cats to look at your furniture as their new easel, and while we can all appreciate a creative mind, I prefer my felines to express themselves through play and not on my walls.
If you’ve been struggling with your Siamese scratching up your furniture, or they’ve recently begun tearing into the wallpaper, chances are you’re looking for ways to stop this.
Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’m going to share with you my tips and tricks to prevent Siamese cats from scratching where they shouldn’t, as well as the reasons why this behavior occurs in the first place.
Why do Siamese cats scratch furniture?
There are quite a few reasons why Siamese cats decide to be destructive towards your furniture. Some may be triggered by certain anxieties, while others may not realize the sofa isn’t the appropriate place for a scratching session.
Here are some reasons why your Siamese may claw your furniture:
1. Marking Territory
Even in the wild, cats are quite solitary animals. Since they don’t spend too much time in groups, they leave little messages to one another, especially when claiming territory.
One of the ways to leave their mark is to scratch on certain objects. Since we humans can’t actually smell it, most of us are unaware that cats have scent glands in their paws. Even the visible scratch marks are indicators to other felines to say, “Hey, this space is mine!”
Now, you may be thinking, “Well, I only have one cat at home, so that can’t be the reason.” Cats still feel the need to mark their territory even if they live in a one-cat household; you never know who’s going to wander in from the streets!
If you already own a Siamese, you’ll know that they’re pretty meticulous when it comes to their grooming habits. My Siamese, Robyn, spends half of his time licking, biting, and making herself look pretty. My favorite part has to be when he licks his paws and rubs his face; so cute!
These parts of grooming are pretty easy to identify as grooming; however, scratching, not so much. Scratching surfaces remove the outer husk from a Saimese’s nail, revealing the healthier, newer nail underneath.
Many people think that scratching is a way to make their nails sharper, but it’s more about getting rid of a duller surface.
3. Stretching Muscles, Joints, and Tendons
Scratching and clawing is a great way for Siamese cats to stretch the muscles in their toes, legs, feet, back, and shoulders. Just like an athlete stretches to warm up their body, protecting them from injury (and also just to feel good), cats do the same.
Every morning, Batman wakes up and wanders over to his scratching post for a morning stretch and scratch – that’s why I leave it close to his bed!
4. Excited or Frustrated
You may have noticed your feline running to the nearest surface to scratch when they see another cat or bird outside the window. This helps them get rid of some pent-up energy or frustration when they see something they cannot interact with.
Do all Siamese cats really want to be outside? That’s the theme I explored in one of my blogs. Visit the link to find out more about it.
5. They’re Bored
As we all know by now, Siamese cats are needy little felines. They need more attention than most and will often develop depression or anxiety when left alone for too long. If your Siamese is scratching your carpet, furniture, or walls, this could be a cry for help.
How to prevent a Siamese from scratching the furniture
Now you have a little insight into why your Siamese may be scratching the furniture; there are a few things you can do to fix it.
1. Get A Scratching Post
When I say ‘a’ scratching post, I really mean two or three, depending on how big your apartment or house is. I suggest putting them in your cat’s favorite places, usually where they nap, by the window, etc.
Every time they go to scratch your furniture, pick them up and place them next to their scratching post.
2. Tell Them ‘No’
I know what you’re thinking; sounds too easy, right?
Well, the tone of your voice can be a big indicator that they’re doing something they shouldn’t. Whenever they head over to a scratched piece of furniture, give them a sharp “NO!” to reduce their interest in tearing it up.
While this may work initially, Siamese cats are smart little creatures and may soon realize that they can only scratch the furniture when you’re not around to tell them no.
You can get around this by using a penny or a can of pebbles near your Siamese (not at them!) to startle them while they are scratching. Make sure your Siamese doesn’t see you, that way, they will not associate the sound with you and believe that pennies will fall from the sky every time they go to claw your favorite sofa.
Don’t get too angry or nasty with your Siamese when telling them off. Remember that scratching is an instinct, and without your training, they don’t understand what they’re doing is wrong. The aim isn’t to make them scared of you; it’s to let them know they shouldn’t do it anymore.
3. Use A Spray Bottle
Both of my Siamese cats are stubborn little creatures and will attempt to live life how they please. I found out that a lot of my power comes from a little spray bottle filled with water.
Any time they would show destructive behavior, I would give them an unpleasant spritz of water. This doesn’t harm them at all; they just don’t enjoy it. Now, all I have to do is reach for the bottle, and they stop what they’re doing immediately!
If your Siamese doesn’t mind water, you can try mixing some citrus oil to deter your feline. The smell of citrus repeals most cats, and it makes your house smell nice too!
4. Deter Their Attention
A great way to get your Siamese away from the furniture is to distract them with toys. Physically remove them from the situation and give them something new to do.
As I mentioned earlier, your Siamese may begin scratching furniture because they’re bored or don’t receive enough attention. You can fix this by taking some time to play with your kitty.
5. Use Positive Reinforcements
A lot of cats, mine included, are food-driven. When my Siamese kitties do something good or stop doing something bad, I give them some of their favorite treats, so they associate the things they are doing with pleasures.
This can also include petting, playing, and anything your Siamese enjoys.
6. Cover The Furniture
Sometimes no matter what you do, your Siamese will continue to claw up your sofa just because it feels right. If that’s the case, there are some alterations you can do to your furniture to deter this behavior.
7. Let Them Outside
If you’re like me, your Siamese kitties are strictly indoor cats. I have quite a few reasons for this, but it’s mainly to ensure their safety. However, letting your Siamese explore the world can be an excellent way for them to take their energy out on things other than your furniture.
Trees work as nature’s scratching posts, and as long as it isn’t harming the tree, you can encourage them to do this. The good news is that you can have the best of both worlds. Lesh training your kitty can let them have the freedom and fresh air they crave while still ensuring they’re safe at all times.
8. Trim Their Claws
There’s a chance that your Siamese is scratching to get rid of the dull layer of their nails or even shorten claw growth. So, you can help them out by keeping their claws trimmed.
What to use to stop cats from scratching on furniture?
There are also some products that you can purchase to help keep your Siamese away from your furniture.
Sounds like bribery? That’s because it is! Try sprinkling some catnip on and around their scratching posts to make the space look more inviting and fun to be around.
It’s important to note though that not all Siamese cats may like catnip. In fact, half of the Siamese population may not react to it at all. More about Siamese cats and catnip when you click this link to one of my recent blogs!
Consider purchasing a deterrent that sprays a scent or makes a sound that your Siamese will find unpleasant. This way, your kitty won’t associate bad things with you or other humans.
3. Cardboard Boxes
When all else fails, get a cardboard box. I’m not sure why cats love them so much, but they do! They also love to claw and bite at the boxes, so put some toys and a blanket inside and let them go to town on their new home.
4. Silicone Caps
You can buy silicone caps, often called “soft paws,” which are glued to your cat’s nails to prevent them from scratching. This can be done by either a vet or at home. The caps will naturally fall off every three to six weeks, so they will need to be re-applied accordingly.
On one of our recent trips, I bought Kitty Caps Nail Caps for Cats for my Batman and Robyn to prevent them from scratching the hotel’s furniture. You can easily get them from Amazon by clicking on the link.
5. Scratching Corners
If your sofa is victim to your Siamese wrath, you can buy scratching corners made of cardboard that go on the sides of your sofa. You can also add a little bit of catnip to make the corner even more enticing.
I will never suggest declawing your cats unless it’s been recommended by vets for medical reasons.
I can understand why some owners may think that it is the only way to keep the scratching under control; however, it is not, nor is it humane. It has nothing to do with clipping your cat’s claws and involves removing the last bone of their knuckle. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It would be similar to removing the last knuckle of a human’s fingers.
Declawing your Siamese can also make it more common for them to bite, as well as deter them from their litter box. Infections, sore feet, and back pain can all be caused by declawing.
Plus, if your feline ever got out of the house, you’re literally taking away their first line of defense.
Safe to say, I am not a fan!
How to find the right cat scratcher
If you’re in the market for a new scratcher, there are a few things you should consider:
I found all of these qualities in the FEANDREA Cat Tree I bought for my cats. Buy them from Amazon by clicking on the link if you’d like one for your cats too.
When it comes to placing the cat scratchers around your house, there are also a few things you can do:
Do all cats scratch furniture?
Yes, all cats scratch up furniture, and it’s not reserved for your favorite sofa either! Any sort of fabric that your kitty can get its claws into; the carpet, curtains, wallpaper… basically any texture they find appealing.
That’s why I recommend, above anything, finding a cat scratcher that your kitty likes. They come in different shapes, sizes, and textures, so if your Siamese doesn’t like the one you have at home, try switching it up until you find something they do like.
Can a cat be trained not to scratch furniture?
Of course! If you can train your Siamese to sit and fetch (believe me, it is possible!), you can teach them not to scratch furniture.
First, you need to understand that felines aren’t doing this to be destructive. They’re doing it because their instincts are telling them to, for their health, or something is bothering them. Once you identify the cause, it’ll be a lot easier to find a solution.
Always be patient and understanding with your Siamese. The bond you have with your feline is precious, so you wouldn’t want to do anything to break that. Siamese cats know when you care, so they will do their best to reciprocate that love and do whatever they can to please their human.
Over time, your Siamese will learn to leave the furniture alone, finding other ways to relieve their need for scratching.
Are Siamese cats destructive?
I wouldn’t say that Siamese cats are any more destructive than your average moggie. They are often viewed this way as they can get more territorial or upset than other cats due to their needy nature, but this can be easily fixed with the right amount of love and attention.
As I mentioned before, it’s good to remember that your Siamese isn’t tearing your sofa up on purpose; they simply do not know any better. That’s why it is your job to teach them what is right and what is wrong with lots of love and patience.
As long as you consider the points I made in this post and try out some of the hacks for yourself, you, your Siamese, and your sofa can all live in harmony!