Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall, The Carpet, The Floor, The Furniture, Everything!?
Your home and your nerves are in tatters. Your brand new sofa looks like you have owned it for over a decade. The walls look at though a wild animal has been trapped in your house and had been trying to escape. The patch of shredded carpet is slowly spreading. Your antique cabinet has survived five generations, but it couldn’t survive your cat. Your wallet is slowly slimming. Why, oh why, does my cat scratch everything!?
Your cat is not being naughty, they just don’t know any better. They haven’t been taught what they can and can’t scratch. Scratching is a natural behavior and you’ll never completely stop a cat from scratching.
So, why exactly do cats scratch?
Marking Their Territory – Cats have scent glands in between their paw pads. When they scratch an object the combination of visible scratch marks and their own personal scent allows them to mark their territory.
A Display of Dominance – Sometimes a cat may scratch in front of another cat to show that they are the dominant one, that they are the top cat.
Play – Scratching may also occur during play. A cat may get excited and start scratching items as they dart and pounce around the room.
Maintaining Their Claws – Cats claws have outer sheaths on them that need to be periodically removed, revealing a sharper claw underneath. Scratching helps them remove these sheaths and you can often find them lodged into places where they have been scratching.
Workout – Scratching actually gives your cat’s forelimbs a bit of a workout and helps strengthen and warm-up their muscles.
Stretching – It’s really important that a cat stays flexible and scratching helps them to stretch. They love to reach up as high as they can and pull down, which helps stretch out their spine. Often cats will have a good old scratch after waking up from a snooze, it’s their version of a morning stretch.
They Enjoy It – Next time your cat scratches watch them and you will see that often it is something that they simply enjoy!
Emotional Release – There are situations when a cat may scratch the furniture, walls or carpet because they are anxious, irritated or stressed. It helps them to release some of their pent-up emotions and relax.
There are a variety of reasons that cats scratch and as it is a natural behavior you need to make sure you have provided them with at least one scratching post, something that they are allowed to scratch.