If you have decided to adopt a cat for your home, then you may have noticed how they love to scratch. Cats love to scratch surfaces, furniture, and even walls. If this has become a problem, then do not fret. There are ample ways on how to stop a cat from scratching walls.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
The first thing that you need to know is why do cats do what they do. Cats scratch for a number of reasons. One of which is to remove frayed or worn out claws. Another reason is to mark their territory. They even scratch as a form of stretching.
As you will learn, scratching is normal for cats, and there is no way for you to stop it. The next best thing is to learn how to teach them what to scratch other than your furniture and walls.
Tips On How to Stop a Cat From Scratching Walls and Other Stuff
- Buy them a scratching post.
You can start by buying your cat a variety of scratching posts. However, you may feel overwhelmed as there are a number of scratching posts available on the market. Additionally, there is no definite brand or model that your cat will like. More often than not, you have to do a bit of trial and error to find the right scratching post that will suit your cat’s preference.
You may start with vertical scratching posts, and if your cat does not like it, then move to horizontal ones or vice versa. Once you find the one, buy more of these posts, and spread it around your house. Hopefully, your cat’s attention will then be diverted to these different scratching posts instead of on the wall.
When buying scratching posts, make sure that it is steady and not wobbly as cats tend to lose interest otherwise. Scratching posts should also be built tall that cats can get a better stretch for their bodies.
- Find the right material for your scratching posts.
If you are inclined to buy scratching posts, then look for the right materials. For example, a scratching post made from carpet is not ideal. The material can be flimsy and may snag the claw of your pet. Instead, look for scratching posts made from sisal rope. This type of material is highly recommended and often used in high-quality scratching posts.
- Bait them with catnip.
If your cat is still not feeling the scratching posts, then you can try baiting them with catnip. Hang catnips or other toys on the scratching posts. This will lure and attract them to play with the posts. You may also try placing the scratching posts on areas where your cat will most likely play.
- Make use of citrus scents and sprays.
Surprisingly, our feline friends deter the smell of citrus. Spray some to the wall and furniture, and see how your cat will react. Once they take a whiff of that citrusy smell, they will deter to do any scratching in that area.
- Cover the usual areas.
Another way for you to prevent your cat from scratching the walls and furniture is to cover it with plastic. You may try using aluminum foil, sticky tape or sandpaper, too. Once your cat gets used to not scratching those areas, then you can eventually remove the cover.
Just remember when using sticky or double-sided tapes, make sure that it is not the permanent variety. It is best to test it out on a small area item before wrapping your furniture or other valuables with tape.
- Trim their nails.
As you know, cats scratch to make way for new claws. You can help them by properly trimming their nails. If you feel unsure, then you can always seek the help of professionals to do the work for you.
- Make declawing the last resort.
Some may suggest declawing the cat as the possible solution for scratching. This method is not recommended at all. It is also a fairly extreme action to take.
As mentioned before, cats scratch not only to make way for new claws but as a defensive measure to mark their territory. If you declaw your cat, then not only will they feel vulnerable, they will also feel some extreme pain because of the procedure.
Cat Scratching: Final Thoughts
Owning a cat is a great joy in itself. Your feline friend will bring you happiness and companionship. Still, owning a pet comes with great responsibilities. Some cats tend to take time to warm up to their owners. This could happen to you, or you may experience a different scenario.
When your cat starts to scratch the wall, the furniture and all the other stuff in your home, do not let them get away with it. Start them early by teaching them what to do and what not to do. It may seem like a tedious task, but with all the tips mentioned above, you will surely find the right method that will work with your pet.
You can always start by buying scratching posts to help divert attention from your furniture and wall. You may also entice them with different cat toys made from different materials and texture. Cats love to play. It is best that you provide them with ample toys to sustain their attention.
You may also try different home remedies or sprays that will deter cats from coming near your furniture. Spraying citrus and lemon scents at furniture is an ideal method to keep them at bay.
You may also cover your furniture and wall with sticky tape, aluminum foil or plastic. The texture of these materials is not suited with the cat’s claw. The result is that they will lose interest and will find a more appropriate surface to scratch on.
Last but certainly the least, do your research and read reviews. Cats differ in personality and behavior. One thing may work well with one cat but will not work on others. Reading the experiences of your fellow cat owners going through the same dilemma can be helpful. You may be able to find some good nuggets of wisdom just by reading through their experiences and remedies.
As always, treat all suggestions you find on the Internet with a grain of salt. There are many articles on how to stop a cat from scratching walls, and hopefully, you will find the one that will work in your situation.