How to Keep Cats From Clawing a Leather Sofa

Cats scratch to mark territory and sharpen their claws.
Give your cat an alternative to claw instead of your couch.Give your cat an alternative to claw instead of your couch.
It's a natural behavior that cannot be curbed. To keep a cat from clawing your leather furniture, you must do two things. First, provide an alternative for the cat to scratch. Second, discourage the cat from clawing your leather couch. If consistently encourage the cat's good behavior and discourage the negative, eventually the cat will leave your couch alone.

Step 1

Place a scratching post near the couch your cat claws. Either purchase a scratching post that includes catnip in the fabric, or obtain some catnip from a pet store and periodically rub it over the scratching post. This encourages the cat to use the scratching post rather than your couch.

Step 2

Cover your couch with a plastic or regular sheet. Place double-sided tape on the sheet or plastic directly over the location your cat typically scratches. The sheet will keep the tape from damaging the couch, and the tape will discourage your cat from scratching because cats do not like sticky things touching their paws.

Step 3

Spray the cat with a water bottle every time it tries to claw your leather sofa. Eventually, the cat will associate the unpleasantness of getting squirted with scratching the couch and it will stop.

Things You Will Need

  • Scratching post
  • Catnip
  • Sheet
  • Double-sided tape
  • Water bottle
  • Water


  • If you don't like spraying your cat with water, try picking up the cat when he begins clawing your couch. Place the cat in front of the scratching post and rub its paws on it instead.
  • Many pet stores sell products that smell and taste unpleasant to cats. Try spraying or rubbing it on the couch -- or on the protective sheet -- to dissuade the cat from clawing your leather furniture.
  • If all else fails, purchase claw covers for your cat. These soft vinyl or silicone caps slip over and seal your cat's claws. As long as the caps stay on, the cat will not cause damage when scratching your couch.


  • Don't have your cat declawed to prevent scratching. Declawing isn't just the removal of a cat's claws -- it's the removal of the end bone on each of the cat's toes. It can result in pain, nerve damage and infection.
  • Don't yell, shake or spank your cat. Felines are sensitive to tone of voice, and frightening or physically hurting your cat will lead to additional behavior problems.