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Every feline from the jungle cats of Africa to the domesticated windowsill cat – have a deeply rooted instinct to scratch. Scratching is a normal part of cat behavior, but if your furniture is getting the worst of it, something will be done about it. This guide will teach you the reasons for scratching, its purposes, and how to deter your Siamese cat from your décor.
How to prevent a Siamese cat from scratching the furniture? A few ways to avoid scratching are:
- Spray kitty deter fragrance on furniture
- Give them more attention
- Get a scratching post
- Get scratching corners for furniture
It is relatively simple if you understand what draws felines towards your furniture. Scratching serves for three functions which include grooming their claws and trimming, marking their territory in the wild or your home, and stretching their ligaments in the toes.
Despite it being an utterly regular occurrence in pets, you need to be consistent in not allowing the bad behavior to cleanse them of the habit affectively. This guide will teach you more about your Siamese than you may know now. This will, in turn, strengthen the meaningful tactics offered here when you give your Siamese a new scratching space that feels safe.
How to Prevent a Siamese From Scratching the Furniture
First, I want to begin by saying you shouldn’t result in declawing as an easy fix. The surgical removal takes off the first joint in their toes, including the particle, which develops new nail growth. This is very painful for them and can cause life-long issues. Please don’t go here unless you’ve researched all possible alternatives, consulting your vet, and they’re attacking babies or something.
Your goal will be not to stop your cat from scratching, as it is primed into their instincts for thousands of years on this planet. The Siamese originated in fourteenth-century Thailand back when the country was named, ‘Siam.” Siamese, clearly revered based on being named after the royal kingdom, would have been seen scratching in this age and cannot break the instinct now.
Since we’re not trying to mess with what a feline is– your goal will be to limit their scratching to places which you have chosen, and not them.
Families have always struggled to keep their cat from tearing up the home. Some new memes even blaming the pets for why they can’t have beautiful things. The insatiable desire for them to scratch and claw at things around them cannot be solved by punishment, so please don’t discipline their natural behavior.
We can save your furniture, and this guide will show you how. But first, let’s discuss more why they impulsively do this.
Why Do Siamese Scratch Furniture?
Mrs. Soft paws are not behaving again, and these little furry pets can be very destructive to your furniture, rugs, carpet, and wallpapers.
The reasons a feline needs to scratch and always will are:
- It’s a natural defense – in nature, and you have to imagine these jungle cats would only have their claws and teeth for protection. In a busy environment of predators, it’s no wonder our cats sometimes have that panicked look in their eye and get shifty around you. They’re still getting over ancestral trauma and life in survival mode despite their long duration under domestication.
These tools are how they would hunt and catch their prey, as well as climbing up a tree and hunting. It’s also part of how they always land on all fours, even from giant leaps and scary heights. If a cat didn’t have its claws, it sadly wouldn’t have probably made it in the wild, having no chance in battle. Another reason to not declaw your pet – imagine having your nails or fingers taken. Not cool.
- It’s a game – they think it’s fun and like to get al feisty. Its exercise for them and part of their social skills. Young kittens, in particular, can get carried away or not know how to stop. They’re developing these parts of the brain and processing their instincts of the hunt.
Other cats don’t take scratching seriously in play, and social animals love to practice play-fighting. It’s only the human or another animal under attack that would see the behavior as aggressive.
- They’re grooming – it’s personal care and relaxation time to get out all those kitty frustrations. This is an activity, and you know that cats love to groom and tend their eighteen claws throughout the day.
Felines groom an approximate 50% of their lives. That’s a lot! So let them have it, and I’ll show you how to do it without involving the leather sofa.
- They’re in heat – If your cat has not been fixed yet, you need to get this done as it could be part of the problem. They may be scratching up your furniture because they’re anxious and horny.
All felines need to be neutered or fixed around four months old. There are so many animals in the world without homes, so we don’t need a ton more. Get your animals fixed, so there are not so many cats thrown out when irresponsible owners get sick of it, starving on the streets, or getting hit by cars.
It will also help your male felines not spray your entire house with foul chemicals to claim it as their territory. A male spraying your home is equivalent to a skunk, and you will never get the smell out. It will ruin the value of your house, so be a responsible cat owner.
As far as fixing your female Siamese kitten, this will protect them from being jumped by other unfixed males and attacked. This will ease either gender’s temperament and calm down the sexual hormones in them that will make them act more erratic.
- Not Enough Scratching Posts – The solution could be simple. You haven’t given them any other safe place to scratch, so they’ve had to claim their own. They usually would be doing this on tree bark in nature, so you want to find them unique scratching posts to support the Siamese’s long and athletic body. Not having enough points for the cat to scratch on leads us to –
- They’re claiming their territory – felines are loners. They wouldn’t hunt in tribes or packs like dogs. If another feline came along, they’d probably compete to breed, have a slight duel and meow loudly, perhaps some scratching. Usually, a full-on fight wouldn’t need to happen if the pecking order of alpha is made clear; the beta will almost always back down.
Now you’re the one in the duel with your Siamese, and they’re letting you know what’s there. You need to reclaim your right as alpha of your own house. It’s your territory in the wild terrain of the living room, and your Siamese will need their territory to calm down.
- They’re bored – it could be that you’re leaving your Siamese alone too long and they’re becoming depressed. This is a way of acting out and communicating their feelings to you through torn up furniture and carpet. They may need more affection or toys to stimulate them mentally so we will discuss some options with links to check out later on.
Solution for this: Get them a toy that will run around like actual prey all day and keep them moving. The mental stimulation and getting their hunting energy out will also calm them down. The Mousr is the top of the line, most sophisticated toy on the market that I’ve ever seen. It looks more like an A.I. robot and is undoubtedly an investment in your Siamese. Very advanced and new to the scene, this toy tops our list as it’s unlike anything else on the market.
The look can be described as a little racecar with a little feather bit that expands a few feet high off the ground. Almost like the feather you have to drape in front of your Siamese’s face, this toy will do the work for you. Keep it in auto mode when you’re not home so it will run on its own. You can even connect this little guy to your smartphone or tablet so you can engage with your fur-baby while away at the office or out of town.
- They need more time from you. If you want an animal that will be your partner in crime, want to be with you whenever you’re home and follow you room to room then the Siamese cat is a perfect fit.
Siamese cats are overwhelmingly social and attuned creatures that need your time, or they will become depressed. No toy will supplement for your time, so if you don’t have that to give – again, this is not the breed for you.
Siamese cats will become very distraught if they’re not getting what they need. They will not just be loud and yell at you. Yes, yell. They will also cause disorder around your house to let you know they’re unhappy.
Besides the torn up furniture, look for these kinds of indications that your Siamese is pissed at you – You come home to cabinets having been rummaged through, doors magically opened, flowers are eaten, and even your television on with your Siamese possibly watching it with alarming focus.
You don’t want to make the Siamese mad. Because the next step will be their depression and a chemical deficiency form not getting what they need. If you don’t have the time for a dog that would need letting out every 5-6 hours, don’t get a Siamese either.
If your schedule is busy, but you still want a pet, opt for the more independent breeds like Maine, a quiet window-sill cat that needs you less, or bird or turtle.
So now that you understand the reasons more in-depth let’s get to the thick of it – how to stop these bad behaviors!
How To Fix The Bad Habit
Stopping these behaviors will be relatively easy, and I’ll throw in some bonus tips near the end! The first one is easy –
- Get More Scratching Posts – you’ll want about 2-3 around the house and put it in a room which the cat seems to love. If it’s a space they spend most of their time in or their favorite place in the house; they’re more likely to use it.
Be sure they’re sturdy and about 10–15 pounds, so it doesn’t topple on their heads. Siamese cats like to stretch out and be their long selves so find them something that suites that and they’re more likely to enjoy it/choose it willingly.
- Don’t Punish Them – this is their natural instinct, and you don’t want them to feel bad for it. It will only make them resent you, push them away, or make them sad. Siamese cats are very connected to their human, and disappointing them can cause Siamese cats anxiety and depression. Don’t reprimand them but instead, use these solutions.
- Positive Reinforcement – when they go near the new scratching post, offer them treats and soothing tones to let them know you appreciate it, and to continue this behavior.
- To Start – you can put duct tape on the spots they’ve been scratching and the kitty post right in front of it with treats, catnips, strings, and bells — all the traps to get their attention this way. Slowly move the post away from the couch, and they may forget it.
- Spray kitty Deterrent Fragrance – Yes! This is real. There are sprays for cats scratching on furniture to make it smell bad to them. They won’t go near it with one of these — a great place to start.
There’s one called “No Scratch” and is made by Whisker City. Ingredients include things like garlic and clove oil with water and vegetable oil. You can make some at home and can spray daily for about the first week to help them get the message. Spray more as needed.
- Put Catnip on the Scratching Posts – Yes this is cheap bribery. But they love it! And it works. Put some catnip on the new toy and lead them away from the daybed you love, right to the new toy/ scratching post/ decoy!
- Buy Toys that are Scratching Posts – Combine their need for play with the scratching that is bound to happen during it. A great option is the Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy.
For a reasonably affordable price, this toy is simple but will amuse your baby to no end. With a round ball on the inside that circles in a trapped ring, the cat will try to get the ball, but it will never come out. Kitties adore this thing, and it also doubles as a cat scratching post.
This toy is known to quote, ‘mesmerize,’ your Siamese or any cat for that matter. It stimulates them while challenging them, and they can release those kitty frustrations on the scratching surface instead of your prized possessions. A significant deterrence to keep your house from being scratched apart and entertaining them while you’re gone.
The ball already has catnip inside, so you don’t have to fuss with that. And even comes with some extra for when it runs out. I can hear your cat singing in the background, ‘Sold!”
You can check out the Mousr here.
- Get Scratching Corners for Furniture – You can put corners on your couch that are specifically for scratching. If they won’t get away from the sofa, this is a good option. Put the catnip here.
- A Cardboard Box: Any cat loves cardboard. I don’t know why. But they all do. They can scratch their claws down with it and also hide in the box to feel safe from surrounding stimulants. A cardboard box with a cozy towel inside can make a bed while the surrounding walls are suitable for their teeth and gums to gnaw on it or file their claws.
A cheap and straightforward go-to, use your extra packaging from these more expensive toys to include a simple classic that any cat will appreciate.
- They Need More Affection – If your Siamese cat doesn’t want to get their energy out with toys or to take a walk (very unlike a Siamese but I’ll bite), they may need more time of affection and cuddling with you. Try to be home more and prioritize them with quality time. This is what they need, above all else.
- If Accidents Happen – stay calm. Lead them back to their new scratching post with catnip and keep doing this until they forget about the furniture.
- You are getting the energy out on a walk! Your Siamese wants to enjoy the sunshine too, and this can be a significant moment of bonding for the two of you. Just like you, your Siamese loves hearing birds chirp and being in the thick of nature.
Siamese cats love to be outside, and as I mentioned, they are more dog-like than a cat. To stimulate your Siamese and get some of that energy out that is leading them to scratch – get them back to their roots.
Be sure to read my complete guide (or someone else’s so long as you read one!) because there’s not enough space here to go into detail. There are many warning signs which need to be taken into account. You don’t want to put your Siamese into harm or walk them in carelessness to risk losing them.
This will increase their happy hormones and get them moving, which their lean frame desperately needs to be doing. Search for my complete guide on step-by-step how to walk your Siamese on a leash for the full details. A quick overview here will include:
- You will need a harness that wraps around their chest and front pause. A cat will slip out of a collar faster than you could dream, so don’t rely on this alone.
- Give them time to smell and get used to the harness. Put it on them only after they’ve had time to get used to it.
- Put the harness on them while giving them a treat, positive reinforcement, or dinner. Along with this distracting them (as they’ve probably never felt anything on their back before and may feel strange) this will help them to associate the harness and leash with positive emotions.
- Walk them inside for a while until they’re used to the emotion.
- I repeat. ALWAYS carry your cat outside. If you let them walk out, they will get a false sense of confidence and may become a door bolter. You don’t want them to bolt without a harness/leash so to prevent this is easy. Always carry them outside and they won’t even know what that feels like.
- Walk to quiet areas and give them time to sniff around and be patient. They’ll want to go back inside to safety at first but give them time to get used to the new world around them.
- Start small and don’t walk near a lot of people that could scare them off.
- If you’re scared of this, walk them through the backyard on that leash. They’ll love it just as much and will probably take a blissful nap in the grass.
Now you’ve got yourself an adventure cat! Read my full guide for more tips and vital warning signs which could be fatal if the proper measures aren’t taken to walk your Siamese safely.
Trimming The Nails
Like other domestic cats, Siamese cats are known for their long and sturdy nails. Also like any other cat, those nails need constant shedding as part of maintaining a well-groomed body. When cats claw hard surfaces they are able to get rid of the excess tissues in the claws. At the same time, cats are working towards sharpening their nails so they can use them for daily activities. This is also a way for them to mark their areas in the home.
Keeping those nails trimmed to a reasonable level is quite easy, but it’s important you’re comfortable trimming your cat’s nails. Below are a few tips you can try to trim your cat’s nails effectively without causing them pain:
- Grip the paw gently – This part is important as too much pressure on a cat’s paw will cause them to feel uncomfortable. They might even snatch away if you force your grip on them which can cause a nasty scratch for you. Gently lift the paw just underneath the bend or even lay the paw in your lap for support.
- Trim only the sharp tip – Trimming a cats nails is a bit different than human nails. You want to focus mostly on the tip. Trimming too far down can accidentally cause you to cut down to the nerve area. Avoid the pink area at all costs when cutting!
- Cut when your cat is calm – Trying to cut a cats nails when they are agitated can be a disaster. They will start to associate bad emotions with nail trimming, so it’s vital that you do not force them to go through this procedure unless they are willing.
- Acquaint your cat with the clipper – A nail clipper might appear to be a dangerous object to your cat. Give them a chance to get use to it. Let them touch it, lick it, purr over it and sniff it on several occasions before actually using it.
- Trim some claws now and some later – It can be very tough for cats to sit still for an entire trimming. Unless you can work fast, it might be better to trim their nails over the course of a few days. Trim one paw one in one session, and then save the next session for later.
- Use treats – Cat treats are a nice way to reward your cat for good behavior. They are also essential when it comes to training your cat to adjust to certain scenarios. Feeding your cat a treat can be a nice distraction as you clip their nails.
Now that you understand more about why your Siamese or any feline compulsively scratches, perhaps you’ve found a new level of appreciation for it. Don’t give up on reforming your kitty to be the best they can be. Siamese cats are incredibly intelligent and want to do things with good intentions.
Rechanneling their nature of scratching towards more acceptable things will be the best place to start. You’ll also want to get some of that feisty energy out and be patient with them. Punishment won’t get you far as they can’t help but to scratch. Declawing is an inhumane option that should be avoided at all costs.
If issues continue despite these wonderous tips, consult your vet. They may have a medication that could ease they’re anxiety and help both of you be more content.
I hope these tips will be useful to you and nurture a healthy change for your little fur baby (and also for your beloved satin ottoman!)