How To Stop a cat from scratching Carpet

If you’re a cat owner and your cat is scratching the carpet constantly, it can be a frustrating experience. Your carpets are a big part of the furniture inside your home, and if your cat is constantly scratching on them, you may have to replace them in more extreme cases.

Before you consider rehoming your cat or overhauling carpets in your home to tiled floors, let’s look at why your cat scratches the carpet, and how you can prevent this from happening.

Scratching is normal behavior

In the wild, cats scratch as a part of their natural behavior. This has been ingrained in their DNA, because of the benefits it provides to them. These benefits include stretching their back and toe muscles through the tension of pulling on rough fibers, as well as cleaning their claws and removing any dead husks from it.

Cats also scratch rough surfaces like tree bark in the wild in order to mark their territory. This is why cats love scratching posts – the taller they are, the more enjoyable the stretch and scratch feeling will be for your cat. Scratching also releases tension in their bodies and acts to relieve stress when your cat is feeling a little anxious.

Why does my cat scratch the carpet?

Technically, carpets aren’t the preferred material for cats to scratch on. Cats much prefer rougher surfaces like tree bark – or scratching posts with a rough surface on the exterior.

However there are some particular situations why your cat may scratch the carpet. One such scenario would be if your cat is locked outside the bedroom, bathroom or office where you spend time in doing your work or your own business. Cats are very affectionate creatures and don’t like to feel like they are left out, so if they realize that you are on the other side of the door and they aren’t able to access you, they might start scratching at the carpet on their side in order to relieve some pent up anxiety that they’re stuck behind a door and away from their best friend (which is you!)

Another scenario is if you don’t have any proper scratching posts dedicated to your cat’s scratching behavior in the home. This can cause your cat to start scratching at anything that they deem to be a sufficient alternative to tree bark or other rough surfaces in the wild – and carpets in the home are the closest match. Some cats may scratch other furniture such as couches and chairs, but oftentimes it is the carpet that becomes the first choice of their urge to scratch.

How can I stop my cat from scratching the carpet?

In the wild, cats are exposed to all kinds of surfaces with varying degrees of roughness and texture. In order to stop your cat from scratching at the carpet, it is good to create an environment which matches the variety that is found outdoors. Think of tall scratching posts that resemble tree bark, as well as angled scratching surfaces and short ones. This kind of variety will ensure that your cat has easy access to active scratching material that will relieve the urge to scratch on furniture or on the carpet.

Apart from vertical and angled scratching material, horizontal ones are also useful for cats who want to stretch their toe and back muscles and have a satisfying scratch. These horizontal scratching boards are made of corrugated cardboard, and provides a fully satisfying scratching experience for your cat.

Your cat should also have a happy home environment where they can be active and have enough space to roam about and explore, while expending their energy in the daytime. Things like vertical play areas, or spaces where your cat can jump about on is a great way to ensure that they are active enough to avoid being stressed out or anxious.

Cats may also scratch again at areas where they have scratched before – this is because of the pheromones that are left on such areas after your cat scratches on it once. If you see your cat scratching at a particular area on the carpet, wash out that area with an enzymatic cleaner thoroughly so no smells linger.

One important thing to note is to never scold your cat by raising your voice at them. They don’t understand how you could be unhappy with their natural behavior, so it is always best to guide them gently towards using the scratching posts that you have for them around the house.

Other reasons why cats may scratch furniture and carpets

There are other reasons why cats may scratch the carpet. It can be because your cat is excited to see you after you come back from a long day at work, and wants to play with you. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do here, except to possibly avoid placing carpets near the front door so your cat won’t have any carpeted fabric to scratch on.

Another reason is the fact that cats tend to scratch and stretch right after they wake up from sleep or after they eat. If you don’t have a scratching post nearby their food or bed, they might end up looking for the closest alternative to a scratching post in order to relieve their natural urge to scratch.

Conclusion

If you’re frustrated at your cat’s carpet-scratching behavior, keep in mind that this is only their natural, inherited behavior that is in their DNA. The best thing you can do as a responsible pet owner is to find ways to gently introduce different scratching materials into their daily life, such as tall scratching posts, angled and horizontal scratching materials.

Cats may also scratch because they are anxious – this kind of scratching is often a lot more destructive to carpet or furniture material than normal. If this is the case, consider going to the vet to get a medical opinion and therapies to calm your cat down to help her relax.

 

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