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Do British Shorthair cats scratch furniture? Mystery solved

British Shorthair cats are cuddly, loving, and perfect for first-time cat parents, but they have specific needs and urges like all other felines. Since scratching is one of them, you may wonder—is your sofa or carpet going to become a victim of your kitty’s claws?

Do British Shorthair cats scratch furniture, and is there anything you can do to prevent it? Untamed explains whether you can expect your British Shorthair to declare war on your precious belongings, why they might do it, and how you can prevent their destructiveness.

Will your British Shorthair scratch your beloved sofa?

British Shorthairs are the least destructive and most placid cats, but scratching will inevitably happen, as it is a part of feline nature regardless of their breed.

Cat parents can keep this unwanted behaviour under control if they understand why cats scratch and divert their furry companion’s attention to objects dedicated to this purpose.

Why do British Shorthairs scratch?

British Shorthairs are an incredibly stable breed, and they won't resort to destructive behaviour unless something is terribly wrong. In general, cats won't scratch items around your home out of spite—they will do it because they need to:

  • Remove dead outer layers from their claws—This is how they prevent their claws from growing too long and keep them clean. In nature, they would use tree bark, but if your British Shorthair doesn't go out, they have no choice but to use whatever is available
  • Mark their territory—Cats like to feel safe and relaxed in their environment, and marking their territory is a way to signal their presence to other animals. Since felines have scent glands on their paw pads, scratching is another way for them to mark objects
  • Stretch their bodies—Scratching is a fantastic exercise for your kitty. When they do it, they stretch their back, legs, and paws
  • Have fun—Felines enjoy scratching, and it's a way for them to amuse themselves

How to avert a scratching disaster

Some pampering, some undivided attention, a pile of toys, and I’ll be good. 

Source: Pixabay

Besides the innate need to scratch, your British Shorthair may opt for a more destructive approach to communicating their needs. When they feel lonely, neglected, or bored, felines find various ways to entertain themselves. Attacking upholstery is one of them.

The good news is that happy, healthy, and well-cared-for British Shorthair will rarely turn to destruction as a means to have fun. Here is how to ensure your feline companion is as happy as a clam:

  1. Get a scratching post (or several)
  2. Create a stimulating environment
  3. Pay enough attention to your kitty
  4. Have regular grooming sessions
  5. Feed your cat a quality diet

A scratching post or a mat is essential

If you want to protect your furniture, you need to provide alternative surfaces where your British Shorthair can file, clean, and trim their claws. For this reason, a scratching post or a mat is one of the essentials for cat parents. When picking one for your kitty, make sure to:

  • Choose an adequate size—The scratching post should be about twice as long as your cat (including the tail). This will ensure they get a good stretch
  • Consider how your kitty likes to scratch—Some felines like scratching on horizontal surfaces (a mat is a better option in this case), while others prefer a post. Choosing the option that fits your kitty's preferences will ensure they use it more often and stay away from your sofa or wallpaper
  • Opt for natural textures—In nature, cats use sturdy and coarse surfaces—a tree trunk, for example—to scratch and sharpen their claws. For this reason, it’s best to go for a scratching post made of a material that resembles such texture

To attract your kitty to a scratching surface, you can spray it with catnip since felines go crazy around it. You can also pick a scratching post with a hanging toy, which is incredibly attractive to curious kitties. If you have more than one cat, make sure to have multiple scratchers to prevent fights between your furry companions.

A stimulating environment prevents boredom

Do me a kindness—I don’t care much for the great outdoors, but I much appreciate a pile of toys.

Source: Kirsten Bühne

Boredom is the leading cause of destructive behaviour in felines. British Shorthairs are easy-going, and they will patiently wait for you to come back from work, finding ways to entertain themselves without making any trouble. Still, if you work long or irregular hours, it can upset your cat and make them feel lonely.

You need to create a fun environment so your feline friend can amuse themselves in your absence. Here is what you can do:

  • Install perches for them to climb and jump
  • Provide plenty of interactive toys—floppy fish and electric mice are good options
  • Get food puzzles
  • Buy a cat tree

Spend time with your British Shorthair

Giving your kitty love and attention is the prerequisite for keeping them content and making them feel safe. A cat who feels lonely and neglected is more likely to resort to destructive behaviour. Even worse, they are likely to become depressed and stressed, which decreases their quality of life significantly and can lead to multiple health issues, including:

Make sure to spend at least half an hour playing with your British Shorthair every day. Training them and teaching them fun tricks is an excellent way to bond with your feline friend and keep them cognitively stimulated and active.

British Shorthairs need grooming

I don’t want to have a bath again!

Source: Fred

Grooming is another way to spend time with your kitty and check for skin and coat issues. This breed doesn’t have complicated grooming needs, so short sessions once or twice a week are enough. These typically consist of:

  1. Brushing—Use a wide-toothed metal comb first, then switch to a denser one, and brush both in the direction of the hair growth and against it to remove dead hair and dirt
  2. Bathing—Bathe your British Shorthair once or twice a month with a high-quality shampoo, and avoid areas around the eyes, nose, and ears
  3. Teeth cleaning—Felines don't like this activity, but they will get used to it if you introduce the routine during kittenhood. Brushing their teeth for at least five minutes per session is vital since it prevents gum issues and subsequent tooth loss
  4. Eye cleaning—To prevent eye infections, take a soft cloth or a cotton pad dipped in water or eye cleaning solution and dab it gently around your feline’s eyes
  5. Ear cleaning—It's best to check your kitty's ears regularly, as there is always the danger of dander accumulation and ear mites that can cause allergic reactions or infections. Use a cotton bud or wet wipes to gently wipe the inside of the ears
  6. Nail clipping—Get a nail clipper specifically designed for pets, and make sure to cut only the tips of the nails. Trimming your British Shorthair's claws can minimize their urge to scratch

A good diet is crucial for feline health and happiness

Food is one of the most important factors in your feline's life. Feeding your British Shorthair at pre-set times and serving them a suitable amount of food can make them feel safe, comfortable, and stress-free. This means they will be less prone to frustration and won't need to take it all out on your furniture.

What is the best diet for your British Shorthair?

The best diet for your British Shorthair is based on meat and fish.

Image (c) Untamed

Like all other felines, British Shorthairs need a high-protein, low-carb diet to keep their kidneys, heart, and bladder healthy. A well-balanced diet will make sure your kitty gets energy from good-quality sources and stays at a healthy weight, which is particularly important for British Shorthairs, as they tend to become lazier when they get older.

Check out what you should pay attention to when picking food for your cat, what type of ingredients you should avoid and what you should look for:


Look for

  • High amounts of animal protein from:
  • Moderate amounts of animal fat, from ingredients such as:
  • All the necessary vitamins and minerals
    • Calcium
    • Vitamins A, E, B

Wet or dry food?

Dry cat food is highly processed and contains more carbs since most manufacturers add starch and grains to their products to maintain consistency and extend shelf-life. 

Cats are carnivores, and carbs are useless to them. Even worse, as felines lack the enzymes to break down and absorb vegetable protein, they don't get the necessary nutrients from such ingredients.

These nutrients also provide fast-release energy, which means that after the initial surge, your feline's energy levels suddenly drop, and your kitty feels drowsy. The unburnt calories quickly turn into fat rolls, and excess weight makes your British Shorthair even less active.

Another problem with kibble is that it's less hydrating. Cats fed predominantly dry food often suffer from kidney disease and urinary tract infections, such as bladder stones and cystitis. Since felines aren't big on drinking water, wet food is a much better alternative.

More importantly, meat-based wet food resembles feline natural eating habitsin the wild, cats eat birds, mice, moths, lizards, and other small animals. High-quality wet food is the best you can do to ensure your British Shorthair gets suitable quantities of animal protein, animal fat, and all the essential vitamins and minerals.

How does Untamed fit in your British Shorthair's diet?

Untamed is your best bet at ensuring purrfect meals for your British Shorthair.

Image (c) Untamed

Feline health and happiness are our main priorities. Every Untamed meal your kitty gets is:

Order Untamed and treat your British Shorthair with some healthy and paw-licking meals!

How to order Untamed

Ordering a versatile trial pack of healthy Untamed meals is simple. All you have to do is:

  1. Tell us about your British Shorthair
  2. Pick products you think your cat will like
  3. Place the order

You will receive the packet in a day. Once your feline friend goes through all the meals and chooses what they like best, we can send monthly deliveries of healthy and delicious dishes right to your doorstep.

If you need to create a new tailor-made meal plan for your feline friend, you can cancel the order or make any changes you like from your account.

According to many satisfied cat parents whose kitties have already switched to Untamed, you can expect positive results quickly. Here is what they say:

Time period


The first week

  • Improved digestion
  • Better mood

After two months

After four months