Why does my cat: scratch?
It can be so frustrating when your cats won’t stop ripping up your carpets and clawing at your sofa. However, it’s important to remember that cats can’t ever be made to stop scratching. Scratching will always come naturally to them.
I wanted to start a new series for My Three Chats to talk about why cats do certain things. Let me know in the Facebook comments any ideas of what you’d like to be discussed.
Why do cats scratch?
Here are some reasons why cats have the need/want to scratch:
- Cats scratch to express their emotions like excitement or stress
- Cats scratch to mark their scent (they have scent glands in their paws)
- Cats scratch to remove any dead parts of their claws
- Cat scratch to help them stretch
How to stop cats from scratching?
The main thing from this blog post I wanted to discuss is how to stop cats from scratching. Not stopping them from scratching entirely, but ways to prevent them from ripping up carpets and shredding couches.
Provide scratching posts
Having a scratching post is probably the most obvious solution to encouraging your cat to scratch elsewhere. Cats usually prefer to scratch tall and sturdy objects (like posts or trees) that allow them to stretch out and easily grip to. This being said, some cats would rather scratch horizontally – if this is the case with your cat, you can get sisal-covered (sisal is the rope normally found on scratching posts) horizontal scratchers.
Some cats also like corrugated cardboard to scratch at (Reggie of the My Three Cats household loves his cardboard bed to scratch at… and to sleep on!) like this one from Amazon – https://amzn.eu/d/9z8xodk.
Use catnip spray
While catnip spray is more commonly used to reduce stress and help your cat feel more relaxed, it can also be used to encourage your cats to scratch other objects. Just give your scratching post a little spray of catnip and it should persuade your cat to scratch them rather than the furniture or carpet. Catnip can be found in pet stores and online.
If you’re worried you don’t have room for a big scratching post in your house, why not try a sofa shield? This one on Amazon: https://amzn.eu/d/dy7KC1u, hooks onto the arm of the chair and wraps around, covering the side of the sofa. You can also get one for the left and right sides!
Clip your cats’ claws regularly
It’s very important to never declaw your cat! Cats use their claws to climb trees and defend themselves if needed. However, you should clip your cats’ claws regularly to prevent them from getting caught on things. If you’re struggling with how to safely cut your cat’s claws, check out our blog post on How to cut your cat’s claws.
The overall thing to remember is that Cats. Always. Scratch. There is no way to stop them from using their claws because they need to. Use things to prevent them from having to use them on your furniture.
Information in this post has been created and researched by My Three Cats. We do not provide medical advice. If your cat experiences any issues regarding their claws, please get in touch with your vet immediately.