How Well No Scratch Spray Works for Cats

  • No scratch sprays work well for some cats, but not for others.
  • For the spray to be effective, you need to apply it frequently and consistently.
  • Pheromone-based anti-scratch sprays are best used for cats scratching due to anxiety.
  • Sprays should be combined with other training methods.

Scratching is a natural behavior in cats. We cannot completely stop our cats from scratching.  

They scratch to keep their claws sharp, trim, and healthy. It’s also a way of marking territory.

But you still need to discourage your cat from scratching what they are not supposed to. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which one will work for your cat.

In this article, I will tell you if no-scratch sprays work. This is an honest, unbiased review of these products.

Hopefully, it will help you find a solution to keep your home and furniture scratch-free.


No-Scratch Spray Works if Used Frequently

According to some cat owners, the anti-scratching sprays don’t work, but maybe they aren’t spraying the items frequently.

Just like with any unacceptable behavior, you need to be patient when training your cat not to scratch.

When your cat scratches, they leave a scent behind, which is how they mark territory. The no-scratch spray counters this scent, discouraging repetitive behavior.

But after some time, your cat will likely come back to the spot. If they find their scent missing, they will scratch again.

A no-scratch cat spray needs to be applied every 24 hours until your cat breaks the scratching habit.


No-Scratch Spray Doesn’t Work for Some Cats

When it comes to testing the efficacy of no-scratching sprays, there is no one-size-fits-all.

They may work well with some cats and not for others. Since every cat is different, you may find certain sprays are more effective for you.

Most sprays have a blend of citrus-based essential oils. Others have lavender and eucalyptus oils. These are known to repel cats.

Such scent bothers some cats, while others can tolerate it.

As a cat owner, you need to test out which one is effective. Different sprays seem to work for different cats, so you might need to experiment with a few.


Pheromone-Based Sprays Works Best

If your cat’s scratching habit is motivated by anxiety, it’s best to choose a no-scratch spray with synthetic pheromones.

Just like humans, cats can get stressed too. Changes like a new home, a new family member, or the bully cat next door can cause unwanted behaviors in a cat such as scratching.

Pheromone-based anti-scratch sprays mimic the natural feel-good chemicals cats release to feel safe and calm.

According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine, pheromone-based products may stop cats from scratching.

If your cat is scratching because of anxiety or the desire to be dominant with other pets, a pheromone-based spray can calm the cat and reduce the behavior.


A Spray With Sound Prevents Stains

Sprays that use sound, like the hiss of compressed air, are best because they startle your cat and make them stop unwanted behavior in their tracks.

Sound-based deterrents don’t come into contact with furniture. They are a good choice if you are hesitant to spray on your leather couch.

Some sprays can stain, so this is a good choice. If you are looking for a deterrent to spray on furniture, curtains, or door frames, it’s best to do a spot check first to make sure there’ll be no damage.

But remember, sprays with sound might be too frightening for your cat, especially if they are sensitive. Never spray directly on your cat’s face.

You might want to buy a spray that incorporates both pheromones and sound.


Combine Sprays With Other Training Methods

Even though deterrent sprays might effectively curb the scratching, you need to include other training methods.

As you spray to keep your cat from clawing off-limit areas, it’s also important to direct them to the appropriate scratching areas.

As I mentioned, scratching is both normal and necessary for cats. So while they are not supposed to destroy your house, they also need to channel this energy in the right places.

According to a cat expert, it’s not advisable to use one product alone when training your cat. She advises combining the use of commercial products with drug therapy and behavior modification.


There Are Two Types of Anti-scratch Sprays

  • Calming sprays – These use synthetic feline pheromones to reduce the cat’s urge to spray, scratch, or mark any item in the house.
  • Deterrents and repellents – These use scents that repel cats, such as citrus oils. They discourage your cat from scratching your furniture.


Qualities of a Good No-Scratch Spray

While you are keen on buying an effective anti-scratch spray, remember it might work or not.

The product’s efficacy depends on how well you follow instructions, the quality of the product, and your cat’s personality.

Keeping this in mind helps you make an informed decision.

Here are some things to look for when shopping for a good anti-scratch spray:


1. Free From Harsh Chemicals

You want to prevent destructive scratching, but it’s also good to keep your cat’s safety in mind.

Choose a spray that is free from harsh chemicals. This ensures you don’t risk your cat’s health and also avoid damaging your fabric.

A no-scratch spray should be free from parabens, alcohol, and preservatives, as this can damage your furniture. 


2. Does Not Stain

Some commercial no-scratch sprays might be effective but the downside is that they stain.

These are not safe to use on leather sofas or door frames. Like I said before, it’s good to do a spot check before using it just to be on the safe side.

Some may be advertised as non-staining, but they do stain.


3. Effective in Stopping Scratching

Naturally, you want to go for the spray that’s effective as possible. Several factors contribute to the effectiveness of these products, one being your cat.

One of the reasons there is controversy surrounding these products is that they simply do not work for all cats.

The odor bothers some cats and repels them from an area, while other cats seem to enjoy it.

Most sprays are only effective for a short period and need to be re-applied often.


4. Affordable

Some of these sprays can be expensive if you have to reapply repeatedly and have more than one cat.

So, it’s important to check how often you need to spray versus the size of the bottle.

If you choose an expensive product and need to apply it frequently, you can spend a lot of money at the end of the day.


5. Has a Warranty

A good anti-scratch spray should have a warranty of some kind. This is often a good sign that the manufacturer has faith in the product.

Some products may not work for some cats, so it’s great peace of mind if the manufacturer offers your money back if the spray does not work.


Provide Your Cat With a Scratching Alternative

Before you set out to discourage your cat from scratching, provide them with an approved place to scratch.

According to the ASPCA, you will increase your chance of success if you provide your cat with a scratching alternative.

Putting several scratching posts distributed throughout the house works in distracting your feline friend from destroying your furniture or carpet.

Place catnip as an attractant to these approved places to encourage your cat to claw there.


Cats Love Sisal Scratching Posts

If your cat is not using the scratching post you bought them, it might not be the right shape, size, or material.

Sisal is an excellent choice of material with which to cover a scratching post.

Cats love the material because it has a similar consistency and feeling for your cat as cat tree bark, a favorite scratching surface for wild felines. It is also strong and rough.

Choose a sturdy post so that your cat will not fall when fulfilling its scratching needs. Such an experience might discourage your cat from using it.

Sisal is durable, and it can last on your scratching post for years before needing to be replaced.


No-Scratch Spray Is Worth a Try, but May Not Work

It can be frustrating when your cat scratches your furniture, curtains, and carpets. Using a deterrent spray can help because it stops your cat from scratching where they are not supposed to.

These sprays do not work for all cats, and some work better than others. However, they are generally safe and non-toxic. They are worth a try if you have an issue with your cat’s scratching habits.

Of course, the first step is to provide your cat with a scathing alternative before you discourage them from scratching.

A dedicated scratching post ensures they can scratch to their heart’s content.

Writer: Flora Ojow

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