How to Stop Cats Scratching Carpet: Quick and Easy Solutions

  • By: Bob
  • Last updated: June 17, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Cats are wonderful pets, but sometimes their natural behavior like scratching can cause damage to carpets and other household items. Scratching is a normal activity for cats, as it helps them maintain their claws, mark their territory, and relieve stress.

While it’s essential to understand that scratching is an instinctual habit for our feline friends, it’s also crucial to discover how to stop cats scratching carpet, furniture etc.

One approach to addressing this issue is to offer your cat alternatives for scratching, such as various cat scratchers made from materials like cardboard, sisal, or upholstery. Additionally, consider using catnip to attract your cat to these designated scratching areas, increasing the chances that they’ll choose the scratcher over your carpet.

Along with providing appropriate alternatives, it’s important to take measures to protect your carpet directly. Some options include using plastic carpet runners or other coverings to limit your cat’s access to the carpeted areas in your home.

how to stop cats scratching carpet

Why Do Cats Scratch

Natural Behavior

Cats scratch to maintain their claws’ health. It helps them shed the outer layers of their claws, revealing sharper layers beneath. Scratching also allows cats to stretch their bodies and release tension in their back muscles.


Scratching is a form of communication for cats. It leaves both visual and scent marks, which convey information to other cats. The scent comes from glands in their paws, and the visual marks are created by the scratches themselves.

How to Stop Cats Scratching Carpet

Scratching Posts and Pads

Cat scratching posts and pads are essential for maintaining their health and grooming habits. A sisal scratching post is a popular choice due to its durability and cat-friendly nature. Both vertical and horizontal scratchers can cater to a cat’s preference, ensuring they have a satisfying option instead of the carpet.

When introducing scratching posts, it’s important to place them in the same room as the carpet being scratched. This helps redirect the cat’s attention and habits to an appropriate spot.

Pheromone Products

Pheromone products, such as FeliScratch, can deter cats from focusing their scratching behavior on the carpet. These products release soothing pheromones that can encourage your cat to use a designated scratching post. Apply the product directly onto the scratching post, following the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results.

Catnip to Deter Scratching

Catnip can be added to the scratching post to make it more appealing to your cat. Sprinkle some catnip onto the surface of the post, and your feline friend will be more inclined to use it. Don’t forget to replenish the catnip regularly to ensure its effectiveness in attracting your cat to the scratching post instead of the carpet.

Alternatives to Declawing

Declawing a pet cat is a painful and invasive surgical procedure that involves amputating the last bone of each of the cat’s toes. This procedure can cause a range of physical and behavioral problems for the cat, such as chronic pain, nerve damage, infection, and difficulty walking.

Declawed cats may also become more aggressive or anxious due to the loss of their primary means of defense. Additionally, declawing is considered unnecessary and inhumane, as there are many alternatives for managing unwanted scratching behavior, such as providing scratching posts, trimming the cat’s nails, or using nail caps.

Many animal welfare organizations, such as the Humane Society of the United States and PETA, strongly oppose declawing and advocate for its prohibition.

Nail Caps

Nail caps are a popular and harmless alternative to declawing. They are small plastic covers that fit over a cat’s claws, preventing them from causing damage while still allowing them to engage in their natural scratching behavior. To use nail caps, trim your cat’s nails and then apply the caps using the provided adhesive. They typically last for 4-6 weeks before needing replacement.

Covering the Area

Another effective way to protect your carpet from cat’s scratching is to cover up the area they target. You can use a variety of materials to cover the scratch-prone spots, such as plastic mats, area rugs, or furniture protectors. This will not only prevent damage, but also discourage your cat from scratching that specific location.

In some cases, redirecting your cat’s attention to a designated scratching post placed near the problematic area can also help solve the issue.

Behavioral Adjustments and Repellents

Reinforcing Good Behavior

Cats scratch to groom their claws and mark their territory. Encourage good behavior by providing appropriate scratching surfaces, like scratchers made from cardboard, carpet, sisal, or upholstery. Entice them by rubbing catnip into the scratcher. Praise and reward your cat when they use the designated scratching surface.

Cat Deterrent Sprays

The use of cat spray repellents such as Citrus sprays can prevent your pet from scratching at your carpet, as cats dislike the smell. Simply apply it to the problem areas. Alternatively, use a product like Comfort Zone Spray.

This odorless, drug-free solution mimics a cat’s natural calming pheromones, helping them relax and reducing their urge to scratch. Be sure to reapply deterrent sprays as needed, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Comfort Zone Cat Calming Diffuser: Starter Kit (1 Diffuser & 2 Refills)

The Comfort Zone diffuser releases an odorless vapor that mimics a cat’s natural, calming pheromones to signal to your cat that an area is safe. When your cat feels safe they are less stressed and is more likely to reduce stress response behaviors like scratching or urine spraying.

  • Calms cats and stops destructive scratching
  • Lasts for 60 days
  • Refills are widely available
  • Fragrance and drug free
  • Vet recommended
  • 90 day money back guarantee
More info
I may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to prevent cat clawing carpet?

Provide designated scratching posts or other appropriate scratching surfaces in each room with carpeting, as cats need to scratch for their health. Observe your cat’s preferences for horizontal or vertical scratching and offer multiple options accordingly.

What scents deter cats from carpets?

Citrus scents like lemon, orange, or grapefruit essential oils can be mixed with water and sprayed on carpets to deter cats. Other scents, such as eucalyptus or lavender, may also be effective in keeping cats away from specific areas.

Why do cats randomly scratch carpets?

Cats scratch carpets for various reasons, including grooming their claws, marking territory, and releasing stress or energy. It’s essential to understand that scratching is a natural behavior for cats and not a sign of aggression or ill intent.

How to protect carpets from cat scratches?

Using plastic carpet runners can protect carpets in high traffic areas, while providing designated scratching surfaces like scratching posts or pads can encourage cats to scratch more appropriate items. Regularly trim your cat’s claws to minimize potential carpet damage.

What’s the best spray for stopping cats?

There are multiple options, including commercial anti-scratch sprays that calm your cat so that he stops his destructive behavior or homemade mixtures with scents that cats dislike, such as citrus essential oils that will discourage them from the problem area.
Experiment with different sprays to find the most effective solution for your cat.

How to stop night time carpet scratching?

Establish a consistent bedtime routine by playing with your cat before bedtime to burn off excess energy. Make sure to provide alternative outlets for scratching in the area where your cat sleeps and consider using deterrent sprays or scents in the area where the cat is scratching the carpet.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The 7 Best Cat Scratching Posts

Previous Post

7 Best Cat Scratching Posts to Deter Destructive Behavior

Next Post

How to Cook Zucchini for Cats: Easy & Nutritious Treat

How to Cook Zucchini for Cats