Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall & How To Stop It?

If you’re looking for an answer to ” Why Does Your Cat Scratch The Wall,” This article will explain everything.

Any cat owner would agree that scratching is a natural habit for cats. Cats scratch on walls, furniture, floor, couch, tree, or mirrors for several reasons.

One may not be very attentive if the cat starts to scratch a brick wall, and it always starts innocently. Cat owners love to watch their felines stretch the muscles, stand up on its forelimbs, and scratch a surface.

This behavior stays tolerable until the cat starts to scratch every surface it can get. Before one can realize, the cat has already destroyed half of the household’s furniture and carpets.

So, one needs to understand the reasons behind this behavior. Knowing these will help in mitigating this situation and saving thousands of dollars on new furniture.

This article will address all the probable reasons behind your cat scratching the wall and how one can stop it.

Why does my cat scratch the wall & furniture?

Every cat has its personality, and every cat behaves differently in a different situation. While one cat can scratch the wall to trim its nail, another cat is probably scratching for marking territory.

Another cat is plausibly behaving this way due to boredom. So, one cannot always know the purpose of the scratching.

But we should know all the possible reasons to use this knowledge to stop them from destroying the household furniture.

1) Marking the territory:

Cats have several pheromone glands throughout the body, which helps them to denote their territory. One of the most significant areas where the cats have these glands is the head.

That is why cats rub their heads on many surfaces. However, there are many pheromone glands in their paws as well.

These glands secrete a chemical that helps them mark their regions in the house. This behavior is more prevalent in a multi-cat household as they need their territories to be well defined.

If one cat decides to scratch at a place where another cat has already scratched and spread its pheromone, conflicts are unavoidable.

Cats are animals of habit. Any change in their schedule or environment can cause this behavior. A new pet or child in the household can trigger the response of marking their territory.

So, experts advise that all the cats should have separate scratching areas or posts. Providing different scratching posts can reduce the chance of your cats involving themselves in fights.

2. Sharpening the Claw:

One has probably seen tigers or lions scratch big trees with their paws. It is a very crucial activity as it helps big cats in keeping the clean sharp.

The house cats do not need to hunt, but they get these habits from their ancestors. This inherent trait is essential for cats as it serves the same purpose.

Cats need their claws as it is their most crucial defense tool. Cats also use their paws to grab onto things and pounce on mice or rabbits.

As cats get older, the outer layer forms a sheath, and cats lose their ability to hold onto something. Scratching a hard wall or a post will remove the claw’s outer layer, and the new, shiny, sharp nail will emerge from it.

3. The sense of security:

Cats are insecure animals, and any schedule change can cause anxiety in cats. It is one of the main reasons why cats scratch the walls.

If the cat owner changes any aspect of the routine or environment to which cats are accustomed to, they start to scratch the walls in desperate need of making themselves secure again.

Cats react unnaturally when the cat owner comes home late, rearranges the room, or invites many people into the house.

Break from the cycle of their daily routine makes the cat uncomfortable in their own home. The cats start scratching the walls as a coping mechanism.

4. Expressing boredom or happiness:

Cats often start scratching walls when they are happy or bored. If one feeds the cat well, it will always stay in a good mood.

Scratching on the walls is a way of expressing their content and showing that they are satisfied with their surroundings.

It is a glorious achievement for any cat owner as we all know that keeping a cat happy is not an easy job. There is an easy way of determining the happiness of the cat.

If the cat starts scratching the walls after one feeds it, then the cat is happy with the attention one is giving it, and scratching is the way of showing that. A well-fed cat can also scratch the wall as a method of stretching and exercise.

There is another human-like emotion, which can be responsible for this destructive behavior. Boredom can be the reason behind the scratching on different surfaces.

If one has spoiled the cat with several toys and keeps adding new toys to their collection, it starts expecting a new set of toys often.

Failing to do so for some reason can make the cat feel bored, and scratching is probably the result of this. We can all agree that cats feel a sense of excitement while scratching the walls.

5. The old habits:

Many cat owners have reported that their feline friends are scratching the walls near the litter box. One can attribute this specific scratching regime to the old habits of their ancestors.

Tigers or other big cats have the habit of pawing the elimination place after they do their deeds. Our small feline friends also have this inherited trait. They probably want to hide their excrement, and scratching the wall is a result of that.

How to stop your cat from scratching the wall?

One cannot stop the cat from scratching the wall. As we have mentioned previously, scratching is an instinctive behavior, and no one should try to stop this.

Now that one knows all the possible reasons behind this trait, one can try to reduce the scratching instead of stopping the behavior altogether. We are going to discuss all the ways that one can use to mitigate the situation.

1) Play with the cat:

Playing with one’s beloved furball can reduce the chances of the cat suffering from extreme boredom. One can invest 10 to 15 minutes in their daily life to play with the cat, and make them feel content.

Playing with the cat helps them better connect with the owner, and cats restrict themselves from scratching all the surfaces in the house.

2) Providing alternatives:

One can always spend a few extra bucks to buy a scratching post or cat tree for the young feline. Providing an alternative scratching method can help the cat maintain their daily routine without destroying half of the furniture in the home.

One can easily find a scratching post online or at pet stores. It is also easy to make the scratching post at home in a few simple steps.

A sisal rope or cardboard scratching post can reduce the scratching on the walls largely, if not entirely.

3) Maintaining the territory:

Reducing the anxiety issues of the cat can help in getting the situation under control. One should ensure that the cats do not get into an unnecessary conflict with other cats in the household.

Keeping separate litter boxes, scratching posts, and food/water bowl should help in this regard. Maintaining an exclusive territory for each cat can decrease the internal conflict.

One should also make sure that outside cats do not enter the household. Reducing the anxiety issues will help in driving the cat away from walls.

4) Trimming nails:

Trimming nails is not the perfect solution to this problem, but it can reduce the losses due to this destructive behavior.

Cats will still scratch their paws on the wall as it is an inherited trait, but the damages will be less.

It can reduce the scratching if there is a single cat in the house, and it does not need to define its territories. Maintaining a tight schedule and trimming the nails should help in that case.

5) Covering walls and furniture:

Making the surface unattractive works like a charm to make the cat avoid scratching on it.

One can wrap the wall or furniture with a sticky material like aluminum foil, sandpaper, or double-sided sticky tape that repels the cats from touching the surface again.

Cats hate rubbing sticky places, and one can use this knowledge to mitigate the situation.

However, this is a temporary solution as no one wants to have their beautiful wall or furniture covered with these materials. So, one should use this method while training the cat to use a stretching post.


It should be evident that the inherited behavior of scratching is unavoidable in any cat household. There can be various reasons behind this behavior, but one cannot remove all those to stop the scratching.

There are multiple ways in which one can make the cat reduce the pawing on the wall. One should be patient and attentive towards the feline and accept this behavior.

The best thing one can do is redirect this urge of scratching to a safer option like a scratching post or cat tree.


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