Why is My Cat Scratching Doors at Night?

Probably one of the most annoying things your pet cat does to keep you up all night is them scratching your doors and meowing at an unbelievable intensity. It ruins not just your good night’s sleep but your walls and doors, as well.

If your cat is scratching doors at night it might be a sign that they are bored, anxious, or stressed. This is more common in indoor cats as they get less exercise. It may also be a sign that your cat wants to be with your or they want to have a midnight snack.

Why Do Cats Scratch Doors At Night?

The scratching and crying go on and on and you lose the battle. You give in and you let them in, in hopes of getting back to that part of the dream where sleeping was fun and your cat didn’t bother you. You couldn’t.  So, you wonder if there is a way to stop the scratching while looking at your cat sleeping soundly. As if they weren’t hysterical a few minutes ago.

Why Is My Cat at My Door Every Night?

It can be annoying and you might think your cat is weird when they scratch your doors. They’re not. It is but one of the many ways they try to communicate. They are not big fans of closed doors so when they are putting their nails on them, they mean they want in. And, they are not shy to let you know.

The harder and more persistent they scratch, the worse they want to get in. ▶ Just like this cat

Why do they want to come in? For many reasons. It could be that they want to cuddle. Or could also be your habit of giving them food first thing in the morning, that they want to be there when you wake up.

Also, it could be that they scratch at your doors because they like how it feels. Scratching is also one of the many ways cats groom themselves since it helps to get rid of the outer sheath of their nails.

When cats scratch your doors at night (or at any given time), it allows them to mark the spot with their scent glands, plus it is a great way to stretch.

How do I stop my cat from scratching on my door at night?

Try feeding your cat before bedtime or with an automatic cat feeder. Your cat might be getting bored so getting a cat tree for a special place to relax and play could end their scratching behavior.

How to stop a cat from scratching at the door to get in?

Try to deter your cat away from the door by spraying the door with an essential oil spray, citrus smells work great as cats hate them. Playing with them before bed or purchasing a cad bed or condo could help long-term. If you’re not getting sleep at night purchasing a motion censored air can can scare your pet without harming them.

How do I get my cat from scratching under the door?

This may be a sign that your cat is extremely affectionate or curios. Using vinegar or a citrus essential oil spray can help keep your cat away. She might also need some extra things to play with to keep her entertained. A motion censor air spray can also work to keep your kitty from scratching under the door.

Should You Leave The Door Open

One of the experts from Pet Health Network says that cats are social creatures and they want to interact with other individuals in the household, whether human, feline, or other pet. Cats are not antisocial like most presume to be.

Cats are also curious. That makes a closed-door something they want to explore. So, should you leave the door open for them? Or would you let them scratch at your door all night long?

What You Can Do

Instead of leaving the door open, there are a few ways you can try to counter your cat’s behaviour. You can distract, tire, or keep them from getting bored. Or you may also try other methods as we have below.

Method 1.
Discourage The Cat From Scratching
Understand why the cat scratches your door. Figuring out what causes this behaviour will help identify the best way to rectify it. Observe when they scratch the door. Is it during the times he is hungry?
Bored? Look for clues and you will easily act upon each cause – offer food when hungry, play games or cuddle when bored.

Method 2. Ignore
Do not reward your cat’s attempt. Don’t let him in, but don’t punish or push them away either. Don’t do whatever it is that you usually do when they scratch at your doors.
Cat loves attention. They scratch to get yours. Whether it is you turning to him to cuddle or punish, it is still attention. If your feline wants attention and he gets it, he will repeat it every time he wants something.
If the cats scratching concerns you of the damages it will do to your door, consider getting a protective film for it.

Method 3.Move Your Cat’s Feeding Schedule
Another reason cats scratch is if they are hungry or they want treats. If they get fed long before the door closes, chances are they will be hungry by the time you will or closed the door. Try feeding them right before you close the door. It will eat and most probably, sleep after.
Do not send mixed messages by waiting for your cat to scratch at your door then feed them. This will make them think you will give them food when they scratch.

Method 4.
Get Help From Motion Activated Deterrents
There are pet deterrents from local pet stores that you can use. There are those in canisters that you can position right in front of your door, or wherever they scratch. Such deterrents sense your cat moving in and it will spray the air that will startle your pet.
If your cat starts to scratch at other places than your door because of these deterrents, provide toys they can play with so they forget the urge to scratch.

Method 5. Spray The Door with Scented Repellants
There are essential oils that safe for cats even when they don’t like them. Citrus, rosemary, or cinnamon essential oils repel cats safely. Spray a little before you close the door at night and your cat will avoid your door at all circumstances.

Method 6. Double-Sided Tapes
Cats hate the sticky sensation from scratching tapes. So, a simple way to deter them from scratching at your door is to stick double-sided tapes on to your door. This will make them feel uncomfortable and they will instantly stop once they realize the door is sticky.

Method 7. Cats Nails
Cats are the most hygienic pets. Part of keeping their hygiene is maintaining short nails. If they feel like their nails are too long, they will feel the need to wear them out. That is when they would start scratching.
Prevent cat scratching by checking their nails every week and trimming as necessary. You may also bring them to a grooming center if you are not comfortable trimming your cat’s nails.


People tend to think that cats love to sleep. They do. The reason that people think that way is because they see cats asleep when they are awake. But, cats are active creatures, especially at night. And, you won’t see that because you are asleep.
If your cat wants scratches at your door when you have gotten to bed, they simply want to play, eat, or cuddle. This is mostly true for kittens under the age of one.
Cats are mostly nocturnal. The good news is that they tend to get familiar with their owners sleeping patterns and they can act accordingly if with proper guidance and training.

Above all of the methods aforementioned, the most important thing to do to keep the cats from scratching doors at night is to redirect their scratching behavior. Spend quality time with them. It is when they feel bored and neglected that they start to do such things. Just make sure you do not overdo it or they become clingy.

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