Why Do Cats Scratch Walls?

Teach your cat what they can and cannot scratch.

Scratching is a natural, intuitive habit in cats. Cats have a strong desire to scratch. They do it to show feelings such as joy or stress, to mark objects with their scent (they have scent glands in their paws), to remove the dead part of their nails, and, more often than not, just to stretch.

It's also important to remember that cats don't think in terms of good and wrong. They have no sense of what is right or wrong. Cats are only concerned with addressing their wants. When a cat has a scratching need, the query "Where should I scratch?" is not "What do humans prefer?" but "Where do I prefer to scratch?"

The goal for cat owners is to provide options that both the cat and the person like. Here's how you do it:

Provide your cat with something to scratch that is more appealing to them than your couch or the legs of your dining room table.

Cats love to scratch tall, strong items where their nails can burrow in and obtain a good grip. That is why cats scratch furniture. Most cats prefer (even more than furniture!) a scratching post that is at least 32" tall, stable when scratched, and constructed of sisal rope. If your cat prefers to scratch horizontally, you may either turn the vertical scratching post on its side or choose a solid sisal-covered horizontal scratcher. Some cats enjoy clawing corrugated cardboard. Wood is another good scratching surface, so if you're handy, you can make your scratching post or pad. Simply ensure that it is tall or long enough and strong.

Place the scratching post in an area where the cat enjoys scratching.

If your cat likes to scratch the couch, position the scratching post next to it. Place the scratching post near your front door if your cat enjoys scratching the wall by your front door when you get home. Location is important!

Introduce the scratching post to your cat.

You are aware that you have the ideal scratching surface for your cat, but your cat is unaware. The simplest approach to introduce your cat to the post is to play with them around it, such as with a fishing rod toy or a laser light, so that they interact with the post while they are playing. You can also rub catnip on the post for the first few days to entice the cat to inspect it. You mustn't take your cat to the scratching surface and rub their paws on it. This may appear to be innocuous, but it can cause stress in certain cats, causing them to avoid the scratching post or pad.

Make the objects the cat previously liked to scratch less appealing.

You've now set your cat up for success in scratching the new post or pad. They haven't grasped, however, how much superior the new scratching post is to the furniture. While they figure it out, keep the cat away from the object(s) you don't want them to scratch.

Covering furniture with a tight-fitting sheet is the simplest and most effective method. This sheet will be far less appealing to scratch than the sisal-covered post. For smaller surfaces, use double-sided sticky tape or any other item that will make the surface of the object sticky, smooth, or slippery. Any of these surfaces will not be appealing to your cat's claws. You can remove the covering from previously scratched objects once your cat is routinely using the scratching post/pad.

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