For your little furry friends, Scratching is a natural and necessary behavior for them; this enables them to remove their dead claw husks so that they can make use of it when they need to climb up something; they also scratch surfaces to mark their territory by leaving their scent and to also stretch.
While your cat scratching your carpet might be annoying and destructive, its natural instincts, and you shouldn’t try to stop them. Instead, find ways on how to keep cats from scratching carpet and get another alternative.
How To Keep Cats From Scratching Carpet
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While the overall solution to the problem is to remove the carpet, removing large amounts of carpet is no joke, so here are some practical ways on how to keep cats from scratching carpet.
Cat Anti-Scratch Sprays
This is a quick and easy solution to cat scratching problems. There are different cat anti-scratch sprays on the market that you can use without harming your cat or carpet.
These products have what is known as”friendly pheromones,” and they can fool cats into believing the area has already been “marked” by another cat, often discouraging scratching behavior.
However, before spraying any product on your carpet, you want to make sure that you test it out on a small section of the carpet. This is to make sure that there is no undesired reaction like discoloration.
You can also make a DIY version of the cat deterrent spray. All you need is a spray bottle, some lemon juice, and some water. To fill up a 16 oz spray bottle, you only need one teaspoon of lemon juice, then fill up the rest of the bottle with water.
Shake the bottle very well to mix, then spray on the area of the carpet your cat likes to scratch; the citrus smell of the lemon will make your cat want to avoid the area. As stated earlier, you want to test out the mixture on a small section of your carpet.
Trimming Your Cat’s Claw
While you’re looking for ways on how to stop your cat’s carpet scratching, you’ll want to try your best to reduce the damage to your home in the meantime. Try trimming your cat’s claw regularly, using a sharp claw-trimming tool. This will help reduce the damage to a minimum.
You can also make use of products like plastic nail caps. If you’ve never used nail caps before, many veterinarians and most large pet supply stores offer installation and training for a small fee. Your cat probably won’t mind nail caps, and they’ll prevent the scratching damage your cat sometimes inflicts on your carpet.
Adding Scratching Posts and Pads
Another way to prevent damage to your carpet is to direct your cat’s scratching to another target. Scratching posts and pads are designed to serve as full-service cat scratcher solutions.
This scratching posts and pads offer a great scratching surface texture that attracts cats to scratch. The material also buffs up their claws more efficiently compared to carpets; this gives them a more satisfying feel.
Before going out and just buying and scratching posts for your cat, you have to note that every cat has its own individual scratching patterns and preferences. If your cat tends to like taking a go at your carpet, then they are more inclined to use a horizontally scratching post than a vertical one.
There are scratching pads made for both horizontal and vertical scratching; some are wedge-shaped inclines, and others are flattened out. These posts are also covered with different materials and different textures.
You may need to place different scratching options to relieve your cat of its need to sharpen its claws on your carpet. This is because most cats like varying surface angles for scratching, ranging between horizontal and vertical.
So you should provide at least one of each: a tall vertical scratching post, a flat scratching mat, and an inclined scratcher. Make sure these scratching posts are sturdy and do not fall over when your cat tries to use them.
There are a number of criteria you want to consider when choosing a scratching post for your cat.
- Make sure the post is sturdy and rigid; cats need resistance when they scratch to do the best job.
- Make sure it is at least 3feet tall so that your cat can scratch at full stretch. If you buy a small one for your kitten, you will need to replace it with a bigger one when it grows up.
- Make sure you offer both horizontal and vertical surfaces in order to give your cat the opportunity to alternate between scratching on both surfaces.
- If you are getting a tall modular scratching post with various platforms and bed attachments, you want to make sure it is stable. You don’t want a tall scratching post falling over when your cat launches itself at full speed.
- If you happen to find out that your newly purchased tall scratching unit seems unstable, you can make it more rigid by attaching it via a bracket to the wall.
One thing is to get a scratching post; another thing is to get your cat to use it. There are a number of ways you can get your cat to make use of any available scratching post.
You want to place the scratching post near a window or radiator in a room your cat frequents, especially if the scratching post incorporates platforms and beds in the structure.
Cats like to stretch and scratch when they first wake up, so it is also a great option to place the scratching post near your cat’s bed.
Even after placing the scratching post in this areas and your cat seems to ignore it, do not try to get your cat to scratch by grasping its paws and showing it what to do or pay particular attention to the scratching post when it first arrives as this may discourage your cat from going anywhere near it!
If your cat doesn’t show any interest in the scratching post, you can try sprinkling a little dry catnip plant over the base; you can try placing a small handful of dry food on one of the platforms.
If it is a tall modular post, this encourages your cat to jump up and explore, or you can even play a game with your cat with a fishing rod toy around the post or panel; this helps to encourage a connection between claws and the scratching surface; it often promotes scratching.
You don’t have to spend a fortune buying scratching posts; some of the most popular ones are made using only corrugated cardboard. If you have limited space in your home, you can always purchase a flat panel that can be fixed to your wall at the appropriate height.
If you love crafts and have the time, you can totally make a scratching post yourself. Many people worry about subconsciously training their cat to use the carpets since the scratching posts are covered with similar material.
However, if you are making your own, you can totally make use of a piece of hard-wearing material designed for heavy traffic areas; this will be more durable and probably remain the only target for your cat’s claw maintenance.
What to do When Your Cat Keeps Clawing Your Carpet
This not only stops your cat from indulging in that inappropriate behavior, but it also trains it. This is because cats hate being interrupted in their tasks, and when you continue to disrupt them, they will eventually learn that the behavior is not acceptable. There are different interruption technique you can try;
You can try clapping your hands while saying “no” in a firm voice; this helps to pass a message of discipline to your cats.
Repeating this anytime to scratch any area apart from the scratching post will teach them that what they are doing is unacceptable, and with time they will learn that they should choose another place to scratch.
You can also fill a tin with coins and rattle it anytime they scratch. Cats hate loud noises; creating loud noise will cause your cat to stop right in its tracks, and eventually, they will learn that you do not want them scratching in that area.
Take Them From the Area
This is a great way to send a message of displeasure to your cat; physically removing your cat from the area while they are in the middle of scratching will let them know that the scratching action is what is causing them to be removed; you can try placing then in a scratching area like near the scratch post.
Scratching is a normal instinct for cats; it is something that shouldn’t be discouraged. Instead, find out how to keep cats from scratching carpet and provide another scratching outlet for them.