How To Stop A Cat From Scratching Walls: Simple Tips

If you have a kitty cat at home, then you’re probably looking for tips, answers, and a way to keep your cat’s paws and claws away from objects in your house. Cats love to scratch surfaces, furniture, and even walls. If this has become an issue, do not fret. There are ample ways on how to stop a cat from scratching walls.

You can get a cat to stop scratching your wall by buying scratching posts to put around your house or use something that will deter the cat from going to the wall. Cats like certain textures so covering the wall with plastic or spraying the wall with a citrus or menthol spray will help them to stop.

gray cat scratching wall

Why is my cat scratching the walls?

First tip: to know how to fix the issue is to know why do cats do what they do. There are many reasons a cat scratches different objects. One reason is that they do it to remove frayed or worn out claws. Another reason is to mark their territory. Many cats even scratch as a form of stretching.

Cat’s Causes and Reason for Scratching

Marking by rubbing with scent glands

Felines have scent glands on their cheeks, paws, and flanks. This is them putting their scent on that object. This is so the next cat will find the scent and realize it’s marked by another animal.

As you will learn, scratching is normal for cats, and there is no way for you to stop it. The next best thing is to learn how to teach them what to scratch other than your furniture and walls.

Destructive Scratching: How to Stop a Cat From Scratching Walls or Furniture

Destructive scratching in a house can be stressful and consume a lot of time trying to find the reason. The problem is usually that one area gets better because you’ve found ways to fix it, but then the cat’s paws find a reason to scratch objects elsewhere.

two gray cats on white couch looking playful

As cat owners, we know the frustration that comes when cats scratch. Here are tips and different ways to help your furry friend keep their paws and nails off of walls, furniture, or objects lying around the house.

Buy them a scratching post

You can start by buying your cat a variety of scratching posts. However, you may feel overwhelmed as there are several scratching posts available on the market. Additionally, there is no definite brand or model that your cat will like. More often than not, you have to do a bit of trial and error to find the right scratching post that will suit your preference and adjust the cat behavior.

Start the search with vertical scratching posts and if your kitty cat doesn’t like it, then move to horizontal ones or vice versa. When you find the one, order more of these posts and spread them around your house.

Hopefully, your cat’s attention will then be diverted to these different scratching posts instead of on the wall.

gray cat with blue eyes laying on cat bed on scratching post

When buying scratching posts, make sure that it is steady and not wobbly as cats tend to lose interest otherwise. Scratching posts should also be built tall so cats can get a better stretch for their bodies.

Maybe even consider a cat tower for one of their next cat scratchers.

Find the right material for your scratching posts. If you are inclined to buy scratching posts, then look for the right materials. For example, a scratching post made from carpet is not ideal. The material can be flimsy and may snag your cat’s claws. Instead, look for scratching posts made from sisal rope. This type of material is highly recommended and often used in high-quality scratching posts.

Bait them with catnip

Catnip may not always be the answer, but if your kitty cat is not feeling the scratching posts, then you can try baiting them with catnip. Hang catnips or other toys on the scratching posts. This will lure and attract them to play with the posts. You may also try placing the scratching posts on areas where your cat will most likely play.

Make use of citrus scents and sprays

Another tip: our feline friends deter the smell of citrus. Spray some to the wall and furniture, and see how your cat will react. Once they take a whiff of that citrusy smell, they will deter to do any scratching in that area. This will work well if the smell stays on their paws long enough.

white spray bottle on pink background with lemons and mint

Most cats do not like water. So spraying your cat with water when she scratches the wall will help stop her from doing this. It is best to teach the cat when they first start this behavior. Yet, this is normal behavior, a cat can simply train to not tear up your walls or baseboards.

You can also use vinegar spray or a homemade spray with peppermint or citrus essential oils.

What smells deter cats from scratching?

Cats do not like the smell of vinegar, peppermint, or citrus. Citrus smells include orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit. So using a homemade spray with these scents will help cats to stay away from the the things you do not want their claws to sink into.

How to use vinegar for cat repellent?

Test the small portion of surface before using the full recommended amount. You can use straight white vinegar or dilute it to one part vinegar to two parts water once a week. You can use this around your yard too, but be careful around plants as the vinegar can kill or turn your plants brown.  

Cover the usual areas

Another way for you to prevent your cat from scratching the walls and furniture is to cover the walls with plastic. You may try using aluminum foil, sticky tape, or sandpaper, too. Once your cat gets used to not scratching those areas, then you can eventually remove the cover.

Just remember when using double-sided sticky tape, make sure that it is not the permanent variety. It is best to test it out on a small area item before wrapping your furniture or other valuables with tape. Avoid using an adhesive that’s too strong and might get stuck to the cat’s paws.

Trim their nails

As you know, cats scratch to make way for new claws. You can help them by properly trimming their nails. If you feel unsure, then you can always seek the help of professionals to do the work for you.

two gray cat paws with nail trimmer on pink background

Make declawing the last resort

Some may suggest declawing cats as a possible solution for scratching. This method is not recommended at all. It is also a fairly extreme action to take.

As mentioned before, cats scratch not only to make way for new claws but as a defensive measure to mark their territory. If you declaw your cat, then not only will they feel vulnerable, they will also feel some extreme pain because of the procedure.

Indoor cats might have the toughest time staying away from walls. Since they tend to lack exercise and outdoor play, they might get bored or stressed and act out more often.

Products to Reduce Cat Scratching on Walls

Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post

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If you want to make sure that you are getting a durable scratching post that is going to hold up well, even in a multi-cat household, this is a great option. The shape of this cat post is similar to a wall and also tall. Your cat can sink its nails on this lovely scratch post while not tearing up your lovely home.

Check the Latest Price on Amazon

Dimaka 34″ Tall Ultimate Cat Scratching Post

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Cats will scratch something so you may as well make sure that they are scratching something like the Dimaka 34″ Tall Ultimate Cat Scratching Post. This post is extra tall which allows your cat to stretch while also scratching. This ball on tall encourages your cat to play and let its claws sink into this post.

This post is made from sisal rope, which is one of the best cat scratching materials for cats. And it can be easily replaced when it gets worn down. This doesn’t take up a lot of space, so it’s great for any home or apartment.

Amazon Basics Cat Tree With Scratching Posts

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This scratching post is an activity center for your cat, as well as a comfortable place for them to have a nap. You can help your cat fall in love with this scratching post by sprinkling catnip on it.

Buying this cat tree can help your cat’s scratching needs long-term. While the sisal rope on these posts can simply be replaced over time. You can find out more here on how to do it.

Stopping a Cat From Scratching Wall: Final Thoughts

Owning a cat is a great joy in itself. Your feline friend will bring you happiness and companionship. Still, owning a pet comes with great responsibilities.

Some cats tend to take time to warm up to their owners. This could happen to you, or you may experience a different scenario.

Be Persistent and Consistent

When your cat starts to scratch the wall, the furniture, and all the other stuff in your home, do not let them get away with it.

Start them early by teaching them what to do and what not to do.

It may seem like a tedious task, but with all the tips mentioned above, you will surely find the right method that will work with your pet.

You can always start by buying scratching posts to help divert attention from your furniture and wall. You may also entice them with different cat toys made from different materials and textures. Cats love to play. You should provide them with ample toys to sustain their attention.

You may also try different home remedies or sprays that will deter cats from coming near your furniture. Spraying citrus and lemon scents on furniture is an ideal method to keep them at bay.

You may also cover your furniture and wall with sticky tape, aluminum foil, or plastic. The texture of these materials is not suited to the cat’s claws. The result is that they will lose interest and will find a more appropriate surface to scratch on.

Keep Up With Your Kitty Research

Last but certainly least, do your research and read reviews; find ways to make your adjustments work. Cats differ in personality and behavior. One thing may work well with one cat but will not work on others. The important part is to catch your cat and see what issues are causing them to scratch.

Reading the experiences of your fellow cat owners going through the same dilemma can be helpful. You may be able to find some good nuggets of wisdom just by reading through their experiences and remedies.

Thank you for reading our post! We love researching and providing you with some of the best information for you and your lovely pet. We hope our tips, reasons, and showing the best cat scratchers will help bring order to your home.

our cat Ember on a cat scratcher she uses as a bed

Our cat Ember started scratching walls when she was a kitty. Something we never dealt with as a cat owner. As we love her dearly, this habit was not a good match for our rental.

We hope that we could provide some help and relief to you too.

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