It is an innate behavior for a cat to scratch its claws regularly. The target is almost always a surface with a texture that allows the cat to sink its claws into it. Unfortunately, the material chosen by the cat could very well be the fabric of your upholstery, your curtains, or your carpet. Unless you find a way to break your cat’s habit and direct the scratching to a better target, a cat can ruin household furnishings. Rest assured that your cat is not refining its claws out of spite or because it is terrible. Once you understand the reasons for the behavior, you are on your way to how to stop the cat from scratching carpet.
Why Do Cats Scratch
Everyone recognizes the sight and the sound: a cat scratches its front claws by dragging them downwards, on a horizontal or vertical surface. There are several reasons why a cat does this, from grooming to attention:
This action, called collapsing, loosens and removes the outer covering of the claw, revealing a new sharp surface underneath. The sharpening of the claws is an act of grooming for the cat.
Scratching also exercises the muscles of the forelimbs and spine to keep the cat in perfect hunting condition. Some cats scratch while lying down and pulling their weight on the ground. The surfaces chosen are generally fixed and do not yield to provide resistance against the muscles used for scratching.
Scent and sweat glands located between the pads of the feet combine to produce a unique smell. When claws are scraped off a surface, the scent is deposited, and the combination of the mark, discarded claw husks, and scent provides a strong visual and olfactory message to other cats.
Scratching can be a precursor to playing with another cat in the home or with human companions.
Scratching can be a call for attention in some species. For example, if a cat is regularly chased or chased when it scratches furniture or carpet, it may come to scratch at the attention it receives.
When a cat has access to the outdoors, you may see scratch marks on trees, fence posts, sheds, and wooden gates. These are prominent areas for other outdoor cats. This is a territorial behavior generally used to communicate with other cats, and with that, they mark boundaries. Especially if your cat lives with a dog and your dog has a wooden indoor dog house, you will see the grooming marks on the indoor dog house. For your cat, who will want to leave a mark to determine its territory, it will be beautiful due to its material. You should protect wooden items and fabric items such as dog cave beds. A housebound cat will find similar surfaces indoors to perform this instinctive scratching behavior like most cats. Indoors, softwoods and fabric-covered furniture usually target genetic scratching behavior.
How to stop cat scratching carpet
The first option to avoid damage from scratching is to direct the cat’s behavior to an acceptable target – a cat scratcher house designed for the purpose. What do you do, however, if your cat refuses to use that scratching house or occasionally decides to ignore it in favor of your mat? Here are some possible solutions:
Cats like horizontal scratching may be more prone to horizontal scratching than vertical scratching posts. Therefore, scratch pads are made for this purpose.
Add multiple scratching posts and shelves covered in different materials and textures, freeing your cat from sharpening its claws on the carpet. Many scrapers are carpeted, but add one or two with different materials, such as sisal, corrugated cardboard, or raw wood—cats like varying surface angles for scratching, horizontal or vertical. So ideally, have a tall upright scratching post, a flat work mat, and an angled scraper.
Cover where your cat is scratching. First, move a piece of furniture (or a scratching post) to your cat’s favorite rug. A sisal scratching post can be a good choice here. Next, cover the area with a thin carpet to scratch yourself in front of a doorway.
Spray the area with perfume. Use a Comfort Zone plug-in or spray Feliway where your cat is scratching. Although not explicitly intended for this purpose, behaviorists have found that Feliway’s “friendly pheromones” can trick cats into thinking the area has already been “marked,” thereby discouraging their scratching.
Consider your cat’s anxiety level. A cat may tend to scratch more frequently if it is emotionally stressed, such as if it feels threatened by environmental changes or if a new pet (or even a new child) has recently joined the household. Giving your cat more attention, or playing with it, can provide the reassurance it needs to kick the habit of scratching the carpet. You can get your cat a cat tower for large cats. That way, they’ll have more room to play.