If you’re looking for a cat breed that is furniture-friendly, and keeps scratching to a minimum, you can’t go wrong with ragdolls.
Obviously, you don’t want your cat shredding your house to pieces and this is a big consideration for many owners when deciding on which breed to bring into their home.
So then, how much do ragdolls scratch furniture when compared to other cats?
Ragdoll cats scratch furniture far less than other breeds thanks to their docile, easy-going nature and razor-sharp intelligence. Ragdolls are fast learners and you can quickly and easily teach them to comb their claws on a scratching post, rather than a bed, couch or carpets.
Of course, if you let your ragdoll scratch furniture from a young age, then they may continue to do so – however, in my experience, it doesn’t take long to teach them good behaviour.
Our cat Poppie, from time to time, will get her claws into our carpets, however a short, stern cry of ‘stop it!’ usually stops her in her tracks – and she’ll flash us a look as if to say ‘yes, I know, you caught me’.
In this article, I’ll explain more about why ragdolls scratch furniture less than other cat breeds, along with some easy steps you can take to prevent them from doing it.
Do ragdoll cats destroy furniture?
Ragdoll cats are less likely to destroy furniture compared to other breeds. This is because of their docile, easy-going personality and trainability. Ragdolls are fast learners and if you teach them not to scratch furniture from an early age, they’re less likely to do so as an adult.
When I think of the word ‘destroy’ I picture something being completely obliterated.
In the five years that we’ve owned a ragdoll cat, I can’t think of any item in our house that has been damaged that would even come close to fitting that description, despite her liking to climb over all kinds of furniture.
Of course, Poppie will scratch at things (she likes sinking her claws into the carpet if you let her) just as almost all other cats do, but not to the point where it’s a big issue.
In general, she’s a very gentle and well behaved cat – which are traits closely associated with the ragdoll breed.
Why ragdolls scratch furniture less than other cat breeds
As mentioned earlier, there are a few key reasons why ragdolls scratch furniture less than other cat breeds (at least, that’s been the case in my experience).
Below, I’ll elaborate further on why I believe ragdolls are some of the most furniture-friendly cat breeds you can get.
They have a docile personality
Ragdolls are so laid back and calm that excessive scratching doesn’t really align with their personalities – most will prefer to spend their time playing games with you, or resting.
If you’re seeking a cat that’s low-maintenance, ragdolls are perfect (and you won’t need to worry about them shredding your furniture when you turn your back for five minutes).
They are easily trained and fast learners
Ragdolls are super intelligent cats – they can sense your mood extremely easily, but even more importantly, they are very fast learners and have a great memory.
This makes them easy to train – once you teach them that scratching furniture is bad (more on how to do that shortly), you won’t need to keep reinforcing it for very long.
They’ll quickly understand and adapt their behaviour accordingly.
They sleep a lot
One thing about ragdolls is they love sleeping (up to 15 hours a day, on average).
More than not, your ragdoll will spend much of its time sleeping when you’re away from the house (either at work or just out doing errands).
When they’re sleeping, they’re – obviously – not scratching furniture. Usually, your ragdoll will perk up when you arrive home, during which time you can keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not scratching things.
How to stop your ragdoll scratching furniture
While ragdoll cats will scratch furniture less than other breeds, there’s still some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of them doing so even further.
Below are some easy, cost-effective ways to stop your ragdoll scratching furniture.
Buy a proper scratching post
This is the simplest way to stop your ragdoll cat scratching your furniture.
A good-quality scratching post can act as a central point for your pet to claw till their heart’s content, without damaging any other more valuable household items.
You should start training your ragdoll to use their scratching post from as young as possible – a great way to do so is by physically, but gently, placing their paws on the scratching post so they can become accustomed to the feel of it.
Repeat this for a while and soon they’ll learn that if they feel the urge to scratch things, then the post is the place to do it.
You can spend as much or as little as your budget allows, with basic scratching posts being extremely affordable and more expansive ones costing a little more (yet still not an exorbitant amount).
Use scratch repellents
Another way to protect your furniture from being scratched is by using non-toxic, safe repellents, such as a spray.
While they give off a pleasant odour for humans, your ragdoll will hate these sprays and avoid any piece of furniture that they’ve been applied to.
Better still, deterrent sprays can be used as a training aid and help drive your cat towards the locations and items you want them to scratch (such as the room where your scratching post is positioned).
Occupy them with toys
If you want to distract your ragdoll from scratching things, then a great way to occupy their attention is by using toys.
Whether it’s a fluffy stuffed mouse, a ball with a bell inside or simply a scratching mat, there are so many great toys and devices you can use to keep your cat entertained.
This will reduce their urge to scratch your furniture, which is the goal – it’s also a great way to bond with your cat by playing games.
Cover your furniture
If you find that a scratching post, repellent and toys don’t work to stop your ragdoll scratching your furniture, the next step may be to cover it with a clear, plastic film (which can be bought at a very affordable price from Amazon).
The slippery surface will not only protect your couch or bed from damage, but over time your ragdoll will learn not to scratch at the material (mainly because they won’t like the smooth feel of the plastic, and the inability to sink their claws into it).
These ‘Cat Covers’ have been designed to discreetly blend to their environment, meaning they are unobtrusive and won’t be an eyesore – you can leave them in place when you have guests around without them being hugely noticeable.
Spray them with water
If all else fails and your ragdoll still won’t stop scratching furniture, your last resort might be to purchase a spray bottle (like one used by hairdressers) and give your cat a light squirt whenever they start clawing at things they shouldn’t be.
Obviously, you want to put it on a setting that produces the finest water stream possible – one that closely resembles mist – so that it doesn’t get your ragdoll too wet, but still has the desired deterrent effect.
We found this worked very well with our cat while she was growing up, and we only had to use it a few times before she got the message loud and clear – now, we don’t ever need it.
In summary, yes ragdoll cats will scratch furniture if you let them – however, they’re much less likely to do so when compared with other breeds.
Ragdolls are a relaxed, docile but intelligent type of cat meaning you can quickly train them not to scratch couches, beds or carpets, with the assurance that they’ll quickly learn and not forget what they’ve been taught.
If protecting your furniture is front of mind when considering which breed of cat to buy, you can’t go wrong with ragdolls.