Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall?
Whilst cats make for some adorable companions, some behaviors they exhibit can be a cause for concern or even frustration.
Cats scratching your walls can be one of these behaviors which cause frustration and damage to your property.
Whilst this action might leave you scratching your head and wondering why they do this, cats scratching the walls is actually a very common behavior.
So why does your cat scratch the walls, and not things like a scratching post or even carpets/upholstery?
We’ll be discussing some possible reasons why your cat does this in our article, so if you’re curious about this cat behavior, read on!
We’ve also included some solutions for you to try.
Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall?
The truth is that there are numerous reasons a cat might scratch the wall.
To figure out why your cat is doing this will take a bit of detective work, because not only could there be multiple reasons why your individual cat is doing this but also because each cat is different.
We’ll now outline the main reasons why a cat exhibits this behavior.
Scratching is a necessary and instinctive behavior. It helps cats sharpen their claws and keep them clean.
Cats typically prefer a surface with a little resistance, like upholstery or carpets. Scratching posts also work well in this regard, and come in an endless variety of shapes and sizes.
If there is nothing available with some resistance, cats will revert to scratching surfaces like walls or corners.
If a cat’s nails become overgrown, they will attempt to file them down to a more comfortable length.
They usually do this through either vigorous playing/exercise or using a scratching post.
Some cat owners will also trim their feline friend’s nails down to a reasonable length.
Marking Their Territory
Cats scratch at surfaces in order to mark their territory. Scratching at walls or other surfaces leaves scent marks that clearly defines the territory to other cats.
Yes, we’re not making this one up.
Cats are extremely playful creatures that require a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep themselves occupied.
They also have a strong predator drive which can come across as restlessness.
They could be scratching at your properties walls as a sign of boredom. If your cat is also displaying other “odd” behavior, there is a strong possibility they are bored.
They could simply want some attention from you as well.
A cat’s sense of hearing is extremely strong.
If they can hear household pests like mice or rats scurrying around in your walls, chances are they will claw at the walls to try and get to the source of the noise.
Now that we’ve covered some potential reasons why your cat might be clawing at the walls, it’s time to discuss some solutions to this common problem.
How To Stop Your Cat Scratching Your Walls
Assess Whether You Have A Pest Problem
If you live in an older house or apartment, or even in a more rural area, ruling this out will help you and your cat in the long run.
It’s worth looking at the locations of the scratching on your wall.
If they’re confined to a specific area on the wall, chances are the cat can hear pests on the other side and is trying to get to them.
To rule this out, you can either consult a local pest control company, or try a DIY approach.
If you opt for the latter, remember to try pest control solutions that won’t negatively affect your cat's health.
Keep Your Cat's Claws Trimmed
The main reason why a cat scratches in general is to help them keep their nails in good condition.
Having your cat’s claws trimmed regularly, either by an animal grooming service or by using clippers designed for cats will help keep unwanted scratching at bay.
Even if your cat does feel the need to claw at walls or furniture, if their nails are short it won’t do as much damage!
Make Sure Your Cat Is Getting Enough Attention And Exercise
Whilst scratching is an important part of a cat’s daily habits, they might be scratching because they’re bored.
An active kitty will need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
There is an endless choice when it comes to the availability of toys for cats, but something like a teaser wand or mouse toys would be ideal.
Much like humans, cats have a schedule. Factor in some play time in the morning and afternoon at roughly the same time each day.
Consistency is key here to prevent your cat from becoming bored.
Promote Tolerable Scratching
Considering your cat might be scratching the walls in order to mark their territory,
This is most likely the case in a home where outdoor cats can be seen by indoor cats, or in a multi-cat home.
Promoting more tolerable scratching takes some time and effort.
As we’ve mentioned, cats leave their scent in the scratches on the walls via their foot pads.
In order to move them away from this method of depositing their scent, it’s worth encouraging bunting.
Bunting is a type of cat behavior in which they rub their face on walls and objects to deposit their scent.
There are commercially available pheromones which mimic the pheromones of other cats.
Using these sprays, wipes, or diffusers around the home should encourage your cat to use bunting to mark their territory.
As we’ve discussed, there are many reasons why a cat might be scratching the walls.
We’d advise that instead of going through the above solutions one at a time, a multipronged approach works best.
By keeping your kitties nails trimmed, playing with them regularly, ruling out rodents, and encouraging other ways of marking their territory, you should be able to prevent your cat from scratching the walls effectively.
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