To keep your kitty from clawing off-limits areas, the best no-scratch sprays for cats use synthetic pheromones, sound, and/or scents that can help stop unwanted behaviors. But since every cat is different, you may find certain sprays are more effective than others. Ahead, you’ll find deterrents that can be used on furniture or directed towards your cat, so you can choose the best one for your pet and your home.
Cat sprays formulated with synthetic pheromones mimic the feel-good chemicals cats release to feel safe and calm, and a study published in the International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine in 2018 found that pheromone-based products may stop cats from scratching. You’ll also find sprays that use sound, like the hiss of compressed air, to startle your cat and stop unwanted behavior in its tracks. Because sound-based deterrent sprays don’t come in contact with furniture, they’re a good choice if you have a leather couch — but keep in mind, they may be too frightening if your cat is especially sensitive. Alternatively, cats have an incredible sense of smell, and sprays containing a low concentration of diluted citrus and eucalyptus oils, which some cats find offensive, might be enough to keep them away. For an especially challenging case, you may want to consider a spray that incorporates both pheromones and sound.
One more thing: If you choose a deterrent that’s sprayed on furniture or door frames, it’s best to do a spot check before applying to ensure there’ll be no damage. With that in mind, these are the best no-scratch sprays for cats that can help protect your home from destructive kitty claws.
1. The Overall Best Pheromone Spray
This pheromone-based spray is an excellent option if your cat is acting out due to external stressors, such as a recent move. It’s also a good choice for skittish kitties who might react negatively to sprays with sound. The odorless spray mimics a cat’s natural pheromones, which may help them feel safe and calm. It’s safe to use on fabrics, upholstery, hardwood, and doorframes. Also great: This spray can help reduce urine marking behavior.
One success story: “Worked great for us. Our 1 year old had started going after our chairs, even with tons of scratching posts and mats placed near the chairs. I used it daily for about 4 days and we have not noticed her scratching at the chairs any more.”
2. The Best Spray With Sound
If you’d rather not spray directly onto leather furniture and other delicate materials, this sound-based cat deterrent is a great choice. It has a built-in motion sensor and sends out a hiss of compressed air when your cat is within 3 feet, helping to keep the kitty away from off-limits areas. Each can holds between 80 and 100 sprays and additional refills are available. You’ll need four AAA batteries (not included).
One success story: “It works! I’ve gone through two couches in 2 years and this is the only product that has finally given results. Neither cat (I have two) dare to come anywhere near my couch. It’s been a week. They still walk through living room but they do not sit on it or scratch it [...]”
3. The Best On A Budget: A Eucalyptus-Based Spray
If you’ve got a kitty that turns away every time you zest some citrus, this no-scratch spray may be a good option. The spray’s formula contains diluted lemon and eucalyptus oils, two scents that some cats cannot stand. The spray is safe to use on upholstery, carpets, and drapes but it may damage leather, wood, and painted surfaces.
One success story: “This stuff actually works! We got a new couch and some new dining room chairs recently and my cats were scratching them both up. Spraying this a few times a week has stopped them! Problem solved!”
4. The Best Spray That Combines Pheromones & Sound
If your fur baby is a wild child, consider this deterrent spray that combines pheromones and sound to teach them better manners. You’ll need to catch them in the act and spray in your cat’s direction, about 12 to18 inches away (and never directly in their face). The hissing sound should help redirect their attention, and the instant release of pheromones may help them chill out. The spray has a pleasant chamomile and lavender scent that you might find relaxing, too.
One success story: “I wish I had found this spray about 6 months ago before my kitty started shredding my furniture! A quick spurt of this spray deters him from whatever bad behavior he had in mind! Only a few days later, all I have to do is show him the bottle and he backs off [...]”
You May Also Like: A Catnip-Laced Scratching Pad
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), you’ll increase your chance of success if you provide your cat with a scratching alternative, like this scratching pad. Made from sturdy, corrugated cardboard, the scratch pad also doubles as a comfy lounge spot for your cat. The criss-cross shape provides multiple scratching surfaces, so cats can choose their favorite scratching position. To help entice your kitty to use their new toy, the cat scratcher comes with catnip to sprinkle on top.
One success story: “I have finally found something that my cat prefers to my furniture - the Petstages cat scratcher! She's constantly scratching on it. She also loves to sit on it, although she's got more soft places to rest - she spends a lot of time on this.”
Tynes, V. V., Beck, A., Jaeger, X. de, & Collin, J. F. (2018). Effect of a synthetic feline pheromone for managing unwanted scratching in domestic cats. Proceedings of the 11th International Veterinary Behaviour Meeting, 14-16th September 2017, Samorin, Slovakia, 45–47. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781786394583.0045