How to Stop Your Cat From Scratching Walls, Doors and Furniture

Cats scratch walls, doors and furniture: this is how you can stop them scratching.

Scratching and clawing are natural instincts

We love the many positive qualities of our cats and everything would be perfect if there was only one thing, namely the scratching of wallpaper, doors and furniture. First of all: It is not possible to train cats to do any scratching. Cats are predators and sharpening their claws is part of their natural instincts. But: Cats can also learn rules and we can raise our cats. We can make our cat prefer to whet the claws where it doesn’t bother us, for example on the scratching post, on a scratching wall or scratching board or on a scratching barrel.

But why do cats scratch at all?

There are many reasons for scratching:

  • Scratching acts as a defense : in nature, the cat has to defend itself from enemies. She can fight back by scratching with her sharp claws. She also needs the claws when jumping and climbing and to catch prey.
  • Scratching as a play instinct : When cats play with each other, scratching and biting are always part of the playful brawl. In this way, movements and hunting are trained and social behavior is learned. Since cats have fur, scratching with each other is not as dramatic as it is with us on bare skin. Be careful not to offer the cat your own hands and feet to play with, then it will not get used to attacking these parts of the body in the first place! Young cats in particular sometimes get into a kind of intoxication when playing and can be quite wild and shoot past the target.
  • Enjoying movement : It is in the nature of the cat to move a lot: hunting, territorial fights, climbing, escaping: all of this is normally part of a cat’s life. Cats love to train their body and keep fit and are mostly live. If you can’t live all this out in the apartment, then look for a valve to release the tension and let off steam on the sofa, doors and wallpaper.
  • Scratching marks the territory : In the wild, cats mark their territory on trees. This is done by scratching the bark and placing its fragrance mark. There are glands in the cat’s paws that release pheromones when scratched. This sets a fragrance brand to keep rivals at a distance.
  • Scratching as a claw care: Since cats cannot cut their claws themselves, but they grow back continuously, they are kept at the correct length by grinding and scratching on rough surfaces and the dead claw shells are stripped off. Outside, the cats use the bark as an oversized nail file, so to speak. If your cat does not have enough options to wear its claws yourself, you should cut them yourself with a special claw cutter. It is best to have your veterinarian show you the correct procedure. You can also protect your couch and furniture by choosing smooth surfaces instead of rough surfaces. These are less interesting for your cat and so they can also stop her from scratching.

How to stop your cat from scratching

Cat runs over sofa backrest

Getting cats to stop scratching doors, wallpaper and furniture takes a lot of patience and perseverance. In contrast to many dog ​​breeds, cats are naturally more independent and do not have the absolute will to follow their humans unconditionally. You can, however, accustom them to a certain behavior through cat education by using their natural curiosity and willingness to learn. It is ideal to start with the kitten at the age of 10 to 12 weeks. You should always concentrate on practicing a certain behavior pattern. Cats react to the soft sounds. Speak to your roommate in a warm, calm voice, but always use the same short announcements so that you can be understood. If it scratches your hands and feet, use sibilants to stop them.

If the cat is at home alone, you can, for example, deposit items on unauthorized furniture that make noise when the cat jumps on it or scratches it. Empty cans are quite suitable or other metallic objects. Placing a plastic sheet over unwanted scratches and furniture can also be effective. In general, it is advisable to choose smooth, rather than rough, surfaces for the interior. These are much less interesting for the cats.

How to get the cat used to the cat tree

In order to get your cat used to allowed scratching alternatives as part of cat education, you should praise them as often as they use the allowed scratching spots. Confirm the praise with pats or treats and draw the cat’s attention to these places again and again in a playful manner, for example by depositing cat toys there. On the other hand, if you catch your cat scratching the wallpaper or a piece of furniture, respond with a clear “No” and immediately put the animal in the permitted scratching spot. It is important to react quickly and consistently here. Cats can learn desired behavior and will then prefer the scratching site with the treats. It is often recommended to spread sour smells (vinegar, lemon oil) to keep the cat away.

Scratching posts or scratching walls offer alternatives

If you want to keep your cat from unwanted claw sharpening on the interior, there should be at least one allowed scratching spot in every room of an apartment. Place a scratching post, sisal trunk or simple scratching board in your cat’s favorite places. Scratching bins with entrances and sleeping places inside are also very popular: This way your cat also gets a cozy retreat. Ceiling-high cat trees with resting platforms at different heights have also proven their worth. This means that you can meet your cat’s natural need for a viewpoint. Big cats also really like scratching boards, where they can stretch particularly well when scratching. If your cat constantly scratches the carpet, then you should rather buy a lying scratching carpet as an alternative to the scratching post. To make a newly acquired scratching post more attractive, you could scent it with valerian or catnip. Scratching posts from pet stores are usually already treated with special substances that cats like. Or you can rub a cloth over your cat several times and then over the new scratching area, then the new scratching post smells much more familiar!

Noticeable scratching: what else can be behind it?

Perhaps the unwanted behavior is also a signal that your cat is simply bored and has no playmate. Domestic cats, especially if they are kept alone, often react to insufficient stimulation by scratching furniture and walls. In this case, regular seasons help, during which she can really let off steam. A loving cat massage can sometimes work wonders and can help relieve excess tension. Interesting cat toys can also be used for employment, especially if the cat is alone in the apartment. An empty box – possibly with different entrances – can easily and cheaply stimulate the exploration drive.

Stressed cats often try to reduce their aggression by scratching. Please use these signs as an opportunity to spend more time with your pet. If a cat scratches a lot, it can also indicate an above-average area behavior. This can be the case especially in non-neutered tomcats.

Conclusion: patience, patience and again patience …
With cats it often only really helps to be patient, to be persistent and not to give up! Employment and affection work much better than punishment, because in most cases the cat doesn’t behave like this to annoy you!

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