Catch Your Cat in the Act
This is probably the most time-consuming strategy, but you can utilize your outdoor voice every time your cat starts scratching indoors, says Gregory Golinski, a team assistant at Love That Pet Gold Coast North vet clinic in Queensland, Australia.
“The one thing that seems to work when our clients have scratching issues with their cats is to make a loud, scary noise every time it happens,” Golinski says. “You could clap your hands really loudly or make a hissing noise for instance, so that your cat associates this unpleasant sound with scratching furniture.”
It will likely take more time, as you’ll need to be in the room with your cat every time they start scratching to discourage the behavior, and it will likely be more difficult to train an older cat to stop scratching using this method versus a kitten. “Cats are stubborn creatures, and it’s difficult to make them change their habits,” Golinski says.