For someone considering purchasing a new cat for their new home one of the many questions potential owners ask is whether the breed of cat they are looking at will scratch their furniture.
Most people don’t want to have to cover their sofa with a throw and deal with patches in their carpets that have been scratched through by their cat. For someone wishing to acquire a Devon Rex, this question is as valid as for other breeds, so let’s explore it a bit further.
Do Devon Rex cats scratch furniture? Devon Rex cats, like any other breed of cat will scratch furniture unless they have something better to achieve the same result with.
Why do cats scratch furniture?
The main reason why cats (including the lovely Devon Rex) scratch furniture is to keep their claws in perfect condition. You may even notice that whilst they do it, part(s) of their claw actually come out or get stuck into whatever it is they’re scratching. The part that is seen to be removed is known as the ‘husk’.
Scratching helps to keep their claws sharp and is absolutely natural. You will notice that they do this during playtime, when stretching or just randomly as they pass something that looks like it can be scratched.
It is also a form of exercise and the process helps to stretch the muscles in their front legs. In addition to this, the process can leave their scent on whatever object it is they are scratching. You will also notice that whatever it is that they scratch, it’s usually a solid surface and doesn’t have much ‘give’ within it.
So, as you can see from the above, there are only positive reasons behind why your Rex is scratching your furniture and it is only natural.
Does the Devon Rex scratch furniture more than other breeds?
No, the Devon Rex does not scratch furniture any more than any other breed. How much a cat will scratch is not, in any way, related to the breed of cat.
So, just to make this absolutely clear – this is a ‘cat thing’, not a Devon Rex thing. It is something that all owners of cats have to deal with at some point during their ownership.
How can I stop the Devon Rex from scratching furniture?
There are some very simple ways that will prevent your Devon Rex from scratching your furniture – these steps work. It certainly shouldn’t be a reason not to get a cat because you’re worried they will scratch your furniture. The solutions are relatively straight forward and detailed below.
So, let’s have a look at these easy ways to stop your Devon Rex from scratching your furniture:
1) Buy scratching posts
Well, this is kind of obvious, right? Your cat is going to need to scratch. Therefore, you need to provide them with somewhere else to scratch, other than your nice, new furniture.
There are many you can choose from, but I will make it easy for you. Here’s the one I recommend and it’s on Amazon right now (opens in a new window). The reason why we went for this is that not only does it have quite a large surface area but it looks good too so won’t spoil the look of your home.
Make sure you place your scratching post in an area where they play the most as this is where you will find they want to scratch.
2) Discourage them from scratching
But how do you do this? Well, this may sound a bit extreme but if you put a plastic sheet over the things they are scratching and then additionally, put some double-sided tape over those areas, you will find they don’t want to scratch there. Alternatively, aluminum foil over the area will also do the job.
Create a spray that contains water and some lemon juice and lightly spray the area they are scratching – and no, do not use this to spray the cat! The Rex (and all cats) do not like citrus smells and will avoid this area – additionally, your home will smell nice 🙂 Assuming you like the smell of lemon that is!
3) Play with them and encourage them
The idea here is that you’re going to want to play with them around the area where you have the new scratching post that you bought in point 1 above (or perhaps you already have one).
Remember, they will be more likely to scratch during play. So, you will find that if you play with them around that object, they will naturally start scratching it. By doing this, they will no longer have a need to scratch your furniture or carpet.
4) Reward and distract
Cats aren’t like dogs and the use of treats doesn’t have the same kind of effect, however, an association can still be made. So, whenever they initially start scratching what they should be scratching – reward them with a very small treat.
If they still want to scratch your furniture, distract them by playing with them and leading them over to what they should be scratching.
I know you might be cross but raising your voice doesn’t work. If you scare your cat they will just associate the feeling they have with you – not with what they’ve just done.
5) Bask in the glory of a job well-done
Performing the above should see some results instantly but it’s rare that it will take much longer than a week to persuade your Devon Rex that it’s actually a better idea to scratch something other than your furniture.
Keep the spray handy and if they decide to scratch your furniture one-day, just give that area a little spray and once again, remind them where they should be scratching by leading them over to the scratch post using play.
Should you declaw a Devon Rex cat?
No, you should never declaw a Devon Rex – in fact, no cat should be declawed.
This is an incredibly cruel and painful procedure for a cat and is the equivalent of an enforced amputation. Don’t think that this process involves just the removal of the claw itself, it involves the amputation of the first joint of each toe.
As cats walk on their toes, they then have to learn to walk over again and can be in excruciating pain for the rest of their lives. We wrote a post about this for the Maine Coon cat, please feel free to take a look if you want any more detail. But please, please, please – do not consider this!
Conclusion – do Devon Rex cats scratch furniture?
Hopefully, that’s cleared things up a little – yes, Devon Rex cats will scratch furniture as much as any other cat but they can easily be dissuaded from doing so.
Try and remember, your Devon Rex does not know it’s your expensive furniture. They just see it as something that looks a great tool to keep their claws in perfect condition.