When a cat is allowed to go outside, you might discover that she scratches on a wooden gate, fence post or a tree. These locations outdoors, are all usually visible to other felines. Your pet is doing this to mark her territory and show any other cats in the vicinity, her boundaries.
When a kitty is kept indoors, she still has this instinct to mark but needs to search for similar areas. In the home, you will often discover that it is upholstered furniture and wooden table legs that are targets in addition to her scratching the carpet.
Why does a cat scratch the carpet?
In the first place, a cat won’t be attacking your carpets and rugs to annoy you. Cats have an inborn instinct to scratch their claws habitually. So that she can do this, the cat will find a surface that will enable her to sink her claws into it. Unfortunately, this is quite often a sofa, curtains or the carpet. She will drag her front claws in a downward motion, making a loud noise, either on a vertical or horizontal surface. There are several reasons why a cat claws will scratch in this way.
# Giving herself a manicure – the action of stropping slackens and removes the outside edge of the claw. The cat will sharpen her claws in this way to reveal a sharp new nail underneath.
# To stay in shape – the cat will give herself a workout by scratching. By exercising the muscles of the spine and forelimbs she will be super-fit and ready for hunting. Likewise, some felines lie down on the floor pulling their body along horizontally.
# Marking their territory – to deter other felines and predators
# Scent glands between the pads used as a marker - a cat has sweat and scent glands in between her toes. When she scrapes her claws along the carpet, the scent is left in place. She leaves this as a deterrent to other cats.
# Groundwork prior to a playtime – a cat will sometimes scratch as she looks forward to a playtime session
# A call for attention – if you chase or shout at the cat for scratching at the carpet or sofa, she will begin to associate this action with getting your attention.
How to catch your cat and stop her from scratching the carpet
Your first steps to take to stop cat scratching, include deviating the cat’s behaviour to something you don’t mind her scratching. A cat scratching post or pads are deal and specifically designed just for this use. However, there is also the chance that your pet will ignore this post and move onto the carpet instead. Here are some hints to stop the cat from scratching.
Hint No 1. Provide a horizontal scratchpad
You may discover that some cats just do not like scratching on vertical surfaces. She may have her own preference to horizontal clawing. There are now options available in different designs to suit your cat’s individual scratching pattern.
Hint No 2. Offer different variations of the scratching prevention products
Add variety to the scratching pads and posts. In order to stop the cat scratching the carpet, give her a post covered in plain wood, rigid or corrugated cardboard or sisal rope. Offer other variants too, of vertical and horizontal scratching pads and posts. Add double-sided sticky tape to the cat scratching post. This will give the cat sticky paws, but might just deter her from scratching the carpet.
Hint No 3. Cover up the area where you cat frequently scratches
Once you catch your cat and notice where your cat prefers to claw and scratch at the carpet or side of the sofa, take steps to prevent this. Place a sisal scratching pad over the top of the carpet. Similarly, move another piece of furniture over the spot on the carpet.
Hint No 4. Use a specific anti-scratching spray
Another solution to stop a scat from scratching the carpet is a marking scent. These sprays are thought to contain a scent similar to feline-friendly pheromones. The spray should confuse the cat into thinking another cat has previously marked their territory. She will hopefully stay well away and stop scratching the carpet in this location. Alternatively, try giving the cat some catnip to deter her from clawing at the upholstery with her cat claws.
Hint No 5. Deviate your cat’s attention from the carpet
An anxious cat might just be taking out her stresses and emotions by scratching. Has there been any environmental change in the home, such as a new pet or a baby? You can offer reassurance to your kitty by playing with her more frequently.
Hint No 6. Trim your cat’s claws
First try to clap your hands as a warning to the cat to stop clawing at the furniture. If this loud noise doesn't work, it may be necessary to trim her claws. This wont stop her clawing of course, but it might just prevent further damage to your upholstery.
These hints are all excellent ideas to stop cats from scratching the carpet. It’s important that you remember that your kitty isn’t doing this clawing and scratching just to annoy you. She is exercising her feline instincts to leave her scent, sharpen her claws and to have a good stretch. There is no need for you to remove the carpet from your living room.