Children are likely to cause cats to claw up furniture.

Children are likely to cause cats to claw up furniture

Children are likely to cause cats to claw up furniture

Researchers from Ankara University, Turkey, asked 1,200 cat owners in France what factors can influence undesired scratching behaviours in their furry friends, and the team found households that had children would make their felines’ instinct to scratch sofas and carpets more prevalent, because the youngsters were more likely to stress the creatures.

Lead author Dr. Yasemin Salgirli told the MailOnline: “We see a clear link between certain environmental and behavioral factors and increased scratching behavior in cats.

“Specifically, the presence of children in the home as well as high levels of play and nocturnal activity significantly contribute to increased scratching. Cats described as aggressive or disruptive also exhibited higher levels of scratching.”

Dr. Salgirli emphasised this “nocturnal activity” was a major factor in caused this unwanted behaviour in domesticated cats.

She said: “Nighttime behaviors, such as heightened playfulness and vocalization, often stem from inadequate daytime stimulation or social interaction and may also be a form of seeking attention. 

“While cats are naturally nocturnal, they can adjust to a human diurnal schedule if provided with structured and engaging activities during the day.”

The research - which was published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Veterinary Science’ - found multiple short play sessions that mimicked successful hunting scenarios throughout the day could held “alleviate stress” in felines.

Dr. Salgirli added: “Our findings can help caregivers manage and redirect scratching to appropriate materials, which could help foster a more harmonious living environment for both cats and their caregivers.

“Providing safe hiding places, elevated observation spots, and ample play opportunities can also help alleviate stress and engage the cat in more constructive activities.”