How do You Keep a Cat from Scratching?

How do You Keep a Cat from Scratching?

How do You Keep a Cat from Scratching?

How do You Keep a Cat from Scratching?

How do You Keep a Cat from Scratching?


How do You Keep a Cat from Scratching?

Animals have many instinctive behaviors, and for many house pets, some of which stem back to before they became domesticated. For felines, scratching is virtually as normal as breathing – a primal urge that is not a behavior that your cat even thinks about. It is just something that she does. However, if your furbaby is scratching in the wrong places – such as your furniture or your carpets, then it can be a very frustrating and undesirable habit.

Why do cats scratch?

So, we know that scratching is an instinctual thing but there is a range of reasons why cats do it. One of the most common is because they are marking their territory. Their paw pads contain sweat glands and when they scratch, some of their sweaty scents rubs off into the scratches. Any other cats or creatures coming into the area will know that it has already been claimed by another animal living there.

Other reasons for your cat to scratch include:

-         To relieve anxiety

-         To hone and sharpen their claws

-         As a form of exercise

-         To strengthen and stretch their muscles

Cats very rarely scratch people for no reason, and if your feline lashes out at you or another family member, it is probably because she is frightened, nervous or scared.

How to keep a cat from scratching

While you should never expect a cat to suppress this natural instinct, you can train your cat to limit their scratching so that they don’t wreck all of the furniture and soft furnishings in your home.

Here is what you need to know about managing your feline’s scratching.

Buy a scratching post

The single most important thing that you can do to help prevent your kitty from scratching where she should is to buy a dedicated scratching post – or more than one if you are feeling generous! These provide somewhere where she can claw and scratch to her heart’s content without fear of repercussions.

Choose a sturdy scratching post that is tall enough for your cat to reach up and stretch right out while she is scratching. Many cat trees have scratching posts built into their design, and as they also provide somewhere for your kitty to safely climb, often owners will choose a tree over just a regular scratching post. Place your chosen scratching device near to where she sleeps, so that she doesn’t have to go far when she first wakes up and wants a big stretch.

Teach her how to use the scratching post

Some cats will instinctively know what to do, but others may need a little more coaxing to understand exactly what they should do. If you spot her scratching where she shouldn’t, pick her up and place her by the post. Gently take her paw and run it down the post for her so she can feel the texture. Doing so will also transfer a little of her scent onto the post, something which will naturally encourage her to use it. Some owners choose to place a little catnip around the post as another incentive to use it!

Once your cat starts to use the scratching post, reward her with lots of praise and perhaps one of her favorite treats.

Clean any areas she has scratched where she shouldn’t

Scent transfer is a powerful tool, and since your cat’s sense of smell is far better than yours, she will be able to tell exactly where she has scratched in the past. Recognizing this scent may cause her to return and repeat the action, particularly as felines as well used to re-marking their territory once the scent wears off. Much like when you are litter box training her, you should clean any areas where she has scratched when she shouldn’t, to reduce the likelihood that she will start the process over again.


If you would like further advice on the best ways to stop your cat from scratching, please do not hesitate to contact and speak our vet.