You came home from work, excited to see your kitty and give her a big cuddle. But you couldn’t believe your eyes when you caught her doing something forbidden. “Why does my cat scratch the wall? Why is she acting so destructive?”
Trust me, you’re not the only one dealing with this issue. Cat parents all over the world are familiar with the scratching habits of their beloved feline friends. No matter how many times you tell them that they shouldn’t scratch walls, furniture, or floor, our kitties don’t seem to pay any attention to that.
If you just had your walls repainted or if you recently put some new wallpapers on, you must be upset about the current condition of your wall. Your cat probably ignored all of your hard work and gave herself permission to scratch whatever she wanted to. But why does she do that?
If this isn’t the first time you’re dealing with this kind of destructive behavior, then you’re already sick of it. The more you try to fix the damage she has made around the house, the harder she tries to mess up with your plans.
It’s time to figure out what’s going on and we’re here to help you with that.
Why does my cat scratch the wall?
When your cat decides to add her own touch to your walls, you may get upset. But instead of ranting and nervously trying to fix the damage that she’s made, you should instead realize what’s going on. Why is she showing these signs of destructive behavior?
Here’s what’s hiding behind all that feline rage.
1. She’s trimming her nails
One of the main reasons why your cat is scratching the walls is the fact that she’s trying to trim her nails. Maybe they’re overgrown and make it uncomfortable for her to walk, so she wants to sort it out on her own.
This is instinctive behavior that she can’t change. It’s in her DNA to take care of herself which is why you catch her licking her coat, making sure it’s in pristine shape.
Her claws are also something she’s proud of and the moment she feels like they’re bigger than they should be, she’ll do something to change that. In this case, it’s your wall that’s going to suffer.
2. She’s trying to mark the territory
Cats have to mark their territory to prevent other felines from crossing the line. So, if you’ve just recently adopted another kitty, then your first fur baby may feel jealous. And she’s doing everything she can to show the new cat who’s the boss.
The best way to do that is to transmit her scent to the different parts of your home. Walls, furniture, and your bed are some of the first things she’ll touch to mark them as hers and show her dominance.
The thing with scratching the wall is that she’s not only doing it to leave her scent. She also wants the other cat to see the marks on the wall. This is her way of sending a message to the feline who came into her home. Uninvited!
3. She’s bored or stressed
Generally, cats tend to scratch walls when they’re feeling bored or stressed. If you’re not sure which one of these reasons is the cause of her behavior, then consider the following things.
Have you recently changed something in your home? Have you bought new furniture or rearranged some of the rooms? Maybe you adopted a new cat or any other pet for that matter? These are all actions that can make your kitty feel stressed. She could potentially be dealing with all that anxiety by scratching the wall.
Another possibility you should consider is boredom. Does your cat belong to an active breed and do you provide her with enough physical activity? Is she considered an intelligent cat and does she have enough toys that could keep her mentally stimulated?
If she lacks any of the mentioned activities, she may show signs of boredom. And the easiest way to cure it is to go around your house and scratch things.
4. She hears something within your walls
We’re not talking about ghosts, but there’s a possibility that there are mice or other pests hidden inside your walls. As you already know, cats have a strong sense of hearing and they can easily pick up the sounds we don’t even notice.
If your feline heard something inside the walls, she may have tried to scare the unwanted guests away and protect your home. In the process, she caused some damage to the walls but trust her when she meows that it wasn’t a part of her plan.
5. She’s just stretching
We all know how good it feels to wake up from a nap and get a good stretch. Well, maybe that’s what your cat was trying to do, but in the meantime, she caused some minor damage to the wall.
We’re sure your furry friend didn’t want to ruin your wallpaper. She was just trying to stretch her body and get ready for another busy day in a cat’s life.
How to prevent your cat from scratching the wall (or any other forbidden surface)?
Now that you know why your cat scratches the wall from time to time, you probably want to find some kind of solution that will solve this problem. Honestly, we get it. You’re tired of moving furniture around your home so you can cover up the damage your feline has caused.
You need to find a way to prevent her from going into this destructive mood and you need a solution right now. So, here are some ways you can do that.
1. Provide an alternative
The fact that your cat is scratching walls probably means that she doesn’t have anything else to scratch. At least not something that she likes.
So, a great way to solve this issue is to provide her with an alternative, something that’s going to be entirely hers and that she can scratch as much as she wants.
You probably know that the best idea would be to invest some money in a tall and sturdy scratching post that’s going to keep her occupied. She’ll run to it every time she’s feeling stressed or is simply looking for something to trim her nails.
If you already have one of these posts at home and she doesn’t seem to like them, you can choose a vertical scratcher and see how she gets along with it. Maybe she’ll be more comfortable with something that’s lying right in front of her, especially if she’s an older kitty.
2. Place an alternative in a location she loves to scratch the most
Now, once you get her a scratcher, you can easily trick her into using it by placing it right in front of a spot she enjoys scratching. In this case, if she loves to scratch a wall next to your TV, you should place a scratcher right in front of it.
Next time she goes for a wall, she’ll stumble across her new scratcher. We all know how curious cats are so your furry friend will want to figure out what’s this new thing. Once she realizes how good it feels, she’ll start using it and that way, you’ll save your wall from further damage.
3. Make sure she gets enough mental and physical stimulation
If you realize that the main reason why your cat scratches the wall is because she’s bored, then you need to provide her with enough mental and physical stimulation. She needs some sort of entertainment to stay in good shape, especially if you don’t spend a lot of time at home.
It’s all rainbows and sunshine when you’re around since she knows you’ll play with her. But what should she do when you’re gone? She needs to have some sort of game that will keep her happy even when she’s home alone.
A good idea would be to get some vertical shelves installed, especially if she loves climbing up and down. This activity will keep her fit and it will also keep her occupied since she’ll be able to explore her surroundings from different viewpoints.
If she likes to observe the outside world, you can install a window perch so she can enjoy the view and relax by the window. Just make sure to protect the area around it since she may get too excited and start scratching.
When it comes to different games, there are tons of options on the market. A simple feather wand could be something she’ll be interested in. You can secure it right above the door so she can play with it even when you’re not home.
Interactive puzzles that she needs to solve in order to get a treat are also a good option, especially if you’ve noticed that she loves these kinds of games.
You can always get her a cheaper toy and see if she likes it. Once you figure out what her preferences are, you can easily upgrade her toys and get the more durable and sturdy games that will last her longer.
You’ll not only end up with a happy kitty but you’ll also solve the scratching issue.