How to Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Carpet? Cats love to scratch. There is no getting away from it. If you own a cat, know someone who owns one, or have any knowledge of cats whatsoever, you will know that they love to scratch.
Scratching, for cats, is a way of life. The problem is that that way of life slowly invades your way of life because cats do not really care what they are scratching, as long as they are scratching; the kicker is that they often scratch the things which you least want them to. They have a knack for sussing out your prized possessions and scratching them up. They also go for those items which are hard and expensive to replace. Your carpet is directly in the firing line.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
To understand what we can do to deter this scratching, we need to think a little about why cats scratch. If you have ever watched a cat scratch something, with their muscles at full flex and their back arched, you can only agree that it looks awesome. Scratching feels great for a cat, for many different reasons.
- Firstly, scratching removes the outer husk which sits on their claws. This helps to groom and sharpen a cat’s claws
- Scratching exercises the muscles in the limbs and spine. This stretching helps to keep cats nimble and limber
- Scratching helps cats to mark their territory. When a cat scratches, sweat and scent glands mix to create a unique odor. This sends a message to other cats (and humans too)
- Scratching is also a way for cats to play and seek attention
What About My Carpet?
It is great that cats get to stretch, groom, play, and mark their territory, but what about when that territory is your carpet? What are you to do then? There are two main tactics when it comes to stopping a cat from scratching a certain area. You can deter them from scratching the area and provide them with a scratching area which is appealing. The hard part is trying to deter your cat from scratching your carpet; there is just so much of it, that it is hard to cover it all. Let’s start by providing an environment where your cat has scratching options.
How to Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Carpet – Give Them Something to Scratch
The most obvious way to deter carpet scratching is to give your cat something else to scratch. Cats love scratching posts and toys. Place these posts and toys in places where your cat can easily access them, in full view (cats love to be the center of attention), and where they will notice them (close to a sleeping or napping spot). Once you have the scratching items in place, your cat may gravitate towards them. If they do not, then you can give them a little nudge.
Play with your cat and direct their attention to the new toys or scratching post. Use a laser light, and when they are in full flow chasing it, run it up the cat post a little bit. They will likely chase it up the post. Once they realize that they can get a great experience from the scratching post, you will not be able to get them off of it. In addition, perhaps your cat is scratching the carpet, you can also look into scratching pads. They may like the position they get with it, so a scratching pad may work better than a scratching post.
Save Your Carpet
Once you have your other scratching items in place, it is time to make the carpet an unattractive place for your cat. You can do this in a variety of ways. The first way is to make the carpet less attractive than the toys and posts. Add catnip or honeysuckle to your new toys and posts and cats will naturally gravitate towards them. If a cat is given a choice between a place full of catnip and one without, then the catnip is going to win every time.
Your second tactic is to add something to the carpet. If your cat limits itself to one area of the carpet, then you can add some double-sided tape or foil tape to the area; they do not like to get their claws into those materials. If your cat likes to scratch any part of the carpet, then you can try using something with a citrus scent on your carpet or a spray which has a cat scent in it. Cats like to mark their territory. If you can mark it first, they will be more likely to stay away.
If worse comes to worst, you can cover the scratched area with an item of furniture or another object. Also if they cannot get into the area to scratch, then they cannot scratch it.
Are They Stressed?
One big reason cats scratch is because of stress. Has something changed recently? This may be causing your cat some stress. Can you make a change to remove this stress? If you can, then you may notice that your cat stops scratching your carpet and other furniture. You could also pay more attention to your cat and play with them more. The more occupied your cat is, then less time they have to scratch or think about scratching.
There are a number of reasons why cats like to scratch, and all of them are equally as frustrating to cat owners. Finding the root cause is often possible, but it is usually easier to deter your cat from scratching one area and pointing their attention towards another. Leaving a cat to continue scratching your carpet is going to make a mess of your home and cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Taking action initially may cost you a little money, but it will save you a lot in the future. Using our two-pronged approach, you can find ways to deter your cat from scratching your carpet and easily direct their attention to more productive scratching.