Why Do Cats Scratch?

If you have a lovely cat at your place, you’d have observed strange acts, such as bouncing off the walls, displacing your favorite outfits and hats. However, the most prominent habit among cats of the most breeds is scratching! Yes, we now know how much you hate it! However, for cats scratching isn’t second nature; but it’s in its primal, instinctual urges. This urge to scratch isn’t just present in cute little kittens, but cats of all ages can be observed in such acts.

The unfortunate part is that this scratching goes everywhere, from your hand to your luxurious furniture. As a result, most cat owners are often frustrated by not controlling their feline companions. Such usual destruction of expensive household items and injuries to family members is a primary reason why many cats are removed from their homes. Although cat owners rarely tolerate such aggressive behavior, it’s also important to understand that cats never perform anything without a physiological or physical reason.

So why are cats so in love with scratching? And how to control it? If you are also looking for these answers, then luckily, you are in the right place as here we have discussed this concern in detail. We have an expert team of researchers and analysts that have carefully scrutinized the relevant details and therefore came up with this one!

Let’s get started!

Reasons why your cats scratch

Irrespective of how many times you stop your furry friend to stay away from your curtains, sofas, and carpet, it seems like your feline friend rarely understands it. It may be because of:


If you see your lazy kitten scratching pretty much these days, then most probably it’s exercising. Well, scratching is an excellent exercise for kittens to stretch out their legs, paws, and rest of the body along with a bit of pampering. Plus, it may also scratch for filing, sharpening, and cleaning its nails!

Similar to the way we humans stretch in the morning, cats also scratch to stretch their vital tendons, muscle, and joints and to keep them healthy and fit. Whether it be a joint or muscle in cats’ feet, toes, back, or even shoulders, scratching helps to alleviate any tension there. Although cats may scratch multiple times a day, most of them stretch right after waking up in the morning.

Marking its territory

If you have petted an animal earlier as well, you’d already been aware that animals mark their territory in certain ways. In this regard, many cats scratch to mark their home and presence, while communicating their space to other animals. The paws of your feline contain scent glands that, when pressed on during the scratching, exhibit an odor that is undetectable to humans but identified by other cats. Plus, the visible marks made while scratching are perfectly understandable by other cats. This explains why cats love to scratch, even if they are living alone.

Removing Parasites

Every cat owner is already aware of the self-grooming ritual of one’s cat, and therefore they scratch to remove the dead layer of nails. However, another major reason for compulsive cat scratching is the attack of parasites such as fleas. Fleas, in particular, are a major culprit in abnormal scratching and licking among cats, as the naturally grooming cat tries to remove all traces of fleas by scratching itself. Not just fleas, but other parasites, including ticks, mites, and ringworms, can also cause abnormal scratching.

 Being Excited or Anxious

Why Do Cats Scratch? 3 Reasons and How To Stop It

Undoubtedly, cats are also loaded with emotion; just like humans, they react to situations differently. At times when your little furry bundle of love is stressed out or anxious due to some reason, you may observe it to scratch excessively. Especially when the cat is brought to a new home or an addition to a new member of your family, you may witness such compulsive disorders. These psychological disorders are more common in indoor cats than outdoor ones as they tend to lack proper exercise and excitement.

Even when your cat gets excited at some point of the day after seeing something exciting (most probably an animal or bird or a close family member), ample energy is developed in your cats. As a result, you may see your little feline rush from room to room and scratch vigorously to expel its energy.

Dry Skin and Allergies

Allergies are also pretty common among cats, due to which cats tend to scratch more. If your cat has been shifted to a new place, or their new addition in its diet, you’d observe environmental triggers in your cat that may lead to scratching. Besides, dry skin is also pretty common in winters that may make your cat quite uncomfortable and get it to scratch uncontrollably.

Why Furniture?

So yes, every cat in the world does scratch, but the question here is why your cat mostly behind your furniture is? The actual reason for this is that wild cats used to use trees and logs for scratching. As a result, they find similar characteristics of a log onto your furniture, since they are sturdy, strong and their scratching leaves a visible mark on it. Therefore, the next time you see your cat scratching upon your sofa, bed, or wardrobe, you would be well aware of the actual reason.

How to control inappropriate cat scratching?

Now that you know that scratching is an instinct of every feline fellow out there, you can try to control your cat from scratching on inappropriate places such as your expensive sofas by adopting certain measures including:

Get a scratching Mat for your Kitty.

The ideal approach to prevent your cat from scratching is to provide an appropriate alternative to it. If you do not already have a scratching mat or post, get one placed near your Kitty’s favorite point. Now whether your cat likes a scratching mat or a vertical post depends, therefore it’s important to choose the one that your cat will like the most. As a result, it will always be tempted to scratch there only, saving your vulnerable furniture!

Apart from that, try looking for rough-surfaced mats and posts, preferably wrapped in sisal fiber rope. This will give your furry bundle of love the actual vibes of scratching in the wild!

Trim its claws

Overgrown claws are something that all cat owners hate; therefore, make sure to regularly trim out the claws of your feline friend to avoid them becoming ingrown. By trimming down the claws, you will be able to reduce inappropriate scratching and can make the rogue attack less painful. Yet, declawing your cat is strictly not recommended.

 Say No!

Your cat understands you; therefore, you may use phrases to correct your cat. Just use a single corrective word, preferably a “No,” and be consistent with it. Just be clear with it, and don’t yank it, or else your cat may scratch even more.

Deal with your cat’s anxiety and Boredom

A lot of the time, disruptive behavior such as scratching is caused due to psychological reasons. To reduce such behavior, you must make sure the cat feels loved, safe, and comfortable at home. Besides, your cat may be afraid of something around her. Therefore you must carefully hide it from its sight.

Of course, even cats feel bored like us, especially during this never-ending quarantine. So try spending some quality time with your furry bundle of love regularly even as little as 15 minutes of active play can give her a feeling of safety and love. It can even improve the bond between you and your cat, along with reduced scratching.

Have Multiple Scratching Post

Individuals who have had cats for several years advise having many scratching posts or mats at your home to reduce inappropriate scratching. As your little feline would have more options to scratch upon, it’s unlikely that it would scratch on inappropriate places like furniture. So make sure to get several scratching points placed at your home!


Scratching is an instinct among cats, and to control this behavior, you’d require lots of patience. By following the above-stated methods, you’ll surely witness results very soon. The thing is that our cat brings phenomenal happiness in our lives, thus even while controlling a bad habit, you must deal with her with love and care.

The main goal is not to finish the instinct of scratching among cats but provide her with a perfect substitute place to scratch that won’t damage your elegant household.

We hope that you would be having a clearer idea of why cats scratch and how to deal with them. Let us know if you have any further queries in this regard. We’d be glad to help you further!

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