Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall?

Cats scratch things for all sorts of reasons. Scratching helps them get rid of parasites, bacteria, and other germs. Most cats also enjoy feeling the texture of different materials such as wood, fabric, or even concrete. 

If your walls and furniture have been the victim of a little furry friend, you understand the frustration this creates. But why do cats do it?


Your cat may be bored out of its mind. Or maybe he’s just getting older and needs more stimulation. If you want to help him get rid of this habit, try giving him a new toy or puzzle to keep him occupied. 

Cats also scratch at the wall as a way to get attention. Understanding these common causes of scratching behaviors is essential if you are attempting to stop your cat from scratching walls or furniture. 

To File Down Their Nails 

Cats don’t have the luxury of using nail files so they try to file their nails on any surface they can find. Not a great option for your walls.

Cats are naturally aggressive animals in the wild  that use claws to attack prey. Their claws grow over time, and if the claw gets too long, they can affect their ability to catch prey unencumbered. This causes the cat to lose grip on things and become weak. 

Scratching on hard surfaces helps to remove the outer layers of the shell, thus exposing more new material underneath. This process helps their nails become stronger.

Feline Conflicts 

A cat is territorial. When he sees another cat, even one he lives with, he can sometimes feel threatened. He scratches on walls because he wants to mark his territory. They’re very sensitive to scents, and they’ll often fight over territory. 

So you should give them something they can use to avoid scratching up walls, but not too close together.

Marking Territory 

Another instinctive behavior of felines is to leave their scent behind. This helps other cats know if someone else has been in that space before them. Cats don’t scratch things out of anger.

However, they do mark their territory as a warning to others. Their claws are used to protect themselves and their owners.

Scratching on surfaces means that they want something. Cats are very smart animals and they know how to use their claws to get what they want. They don’t pick fights unless they feel threatened. 

Cats don’t scratch walls as a show of bravado. Instead, they mark their territory to warn others about who owns the space. A cat will often keep away from other cats if it smells their scent.

Expression Of Happiness 

Cats love to play. They do this by clawing things. Happy cats tend to be more active than unhappy ones. You need to give them enough time and space to play with their toys. Cats are playful creatures who love to play with people. 

They are usually not destructive unless provoked or bored. A cat who scratches a wall is actually trying to get attention as scratching can be a form of communication for cats.

Scratching walls may be a method for your pet to express herself. Cats scratch on surfaces to indicate they are content with their environments.

Popular scratching surfaces include those covered by furniture, carpeting, and rugs as well as surfaces that are smooth and hard. Playing is fun for them, but if they get too excited, scratching can also help them calm down.


Cats like to stretch in many different ways. Some cats prefer to stretch on the ground or at an angle. Others like to stretch upright.

Your cat may be stretching on the wall because it doesn’t like being on the ground or at a low angle. It may be trying to reach something higher than it can get to by stretching on the wall


In the same way, scratching can express happiness but it can also be a sign of anxiety. Cats scratch because they miss their owners. When they’re away, they’ll scratch on things to remind themselves that they’re still loved by their owner.

Furthermore, cats are sensitive creatures. Even minor changes in their environment or routine can make them anxious. When cats scratch walls, they’re declaring their territory. A new baby or pet in the house can cause stress.

So how do you stop it?

How To Stop Cat Scratching Walls

Regular Nail Trimming 

A cat’s claws are made for scratching. If you keep them trimmed, it won’t be necessary for your cat to scratch. You should use clippers designed specifically for cats or let the vet do it. Keep your cat’s nails short. How can you do it at home?

Cats’ claws retract into their paws, but they can’t retract completely. When they get too long, they curve over and can’t be retracted.

To keep their claws trimmed, cats keep them retracted except when they’re actually using them. Accustoming them to being handled helps them to tolerate getting trimmed.

To remove a cat’s claw, apply light pressure to the end of the claw. Then, pull outwards slowly. This method helps to avoid cutting the cat’s paw. There are many different kinds of claw trimmers designed specifically for cats.

These are better than human clippers because they are designed not to crush claws. 

You should only clip one foot per day until you and your cat get used to the routine. Don’t try to clip all four feet at once, or your little furry friend might end up with only bad memories of claw clippers!

Provide Other Surfaces 

Scratching is a natural instinct for cats. Their claws are sharpened by scraping against surfaces. This helps them to stay safe when climbing trees or protecting themselves.

However, although scratching is normal behavior for most cats it should be kept under control especially for the sake of your furniture and walls. 

Some cats enjoy using vertical surfaces to scratch while others prefer horizontal ones.

You can provide your cat with a variety of scratching posts, including traditional scratching posts, as well as wall-mounted scratching surfaces, such as shelves or cabinets. Experiment with different ones to find one that your cat enjoys using. 

Exercise And Stimulation 

Cats need mental and physical stimulation to stay happy. If your cat isn’t being stimulated enough, he may start scratching out of boredom. You can use interactive toys to provide mental stimulation. 

Playtime should happen in the mornings and evenings to ensure regular exercise. A puzzle feeder is a great way to help them get more exercise and mental stimulation.


So, there you have it, a guide to why cats scratch and what to do about it. Happy scratch post shopping. 

Courtney Trent
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