Cats scratch the carpet with their front claws to loosen and remove the outer husk of their claw. Scratching the carpet also exercises their muscles, particularly the spine and forelimbs. Carpet scratching will keep your feline friend in tip-top condition.
Your carpet is the perfect surface for scratching. First, it allows your cat to scratch by lying down. The carpet is the ideal surface for your kitty to pull her bodyweight along the floor to keep her muscles in shape. Finally, the carpet is the ideal scratch surface because it’s fixed and non-yielding. Therefore, it resists the force exerted by your cat.
When scratching the carpet, your pet is marking her territory. It is regular territorial communication. However, this marking behavior produces a smell unique to your pussycat. Your cat’s sweat glands, located between the pads of the feet, release the unique smell.
When claws are scraped down on the carpet, the scent is deposited. And the combination of the smell, the mark, and discarded claw husks give off a strong visual and scent message to other felines.
What are the reasons cats scratch carpet?
There may be several reasons cats scratch carpet. However, before you do anything about it, you should understand that scratching is normal behavior for kittens.
House cats with little or no access to the outdoors are forced to perform their natural activities. And cats have an uncanny ability to find a suitable surface for scratching. Unfortunately, often they find your carpet to be the best scratching surface in the home.
What’s a completely natural behavior in the wild becomes carpet shredding in your home. Your cat uses your carpet to keep her claws sharp. They don’t care if they ruin your carpet in the process. You can fight back by making your home cat-proof and trimming your cat’s claws.
Related post: The Mysterious Case of the Cat Who Smells Like Maple Syrup
Cats scratch carpet because they enjoy it
Many cats enjoy the texture of carpets. The texture and the resistance make the carpet an inviting scratch point in your home. And, sometimes, scratching can serve as a precursor to playing.
A bored cat might scratch your carpet
Carpet shredding is one activity that might get your attention. Your cat doesn’t care if you are angry about the carpet scratching.
Cats communicate through carpet scratching
Your cat might scratch more in your presence. Scientists aren’t quite sure why cats behave in such a way, but carpet scratching may be done in an effort to leave a scent mark to communicate with other cats and animals in the area.
Cats may scratch carpet to feel more secure
When your kitty feels vulnerable, she may rub her own scent on the carpet by scratching. Instead of leaving urine as a scent mark, your cat may use the scents produced by scratching the carpet.
If your pussycat is trying to increase feelings of security, she may scratch the carpet near the doorways.
Why does my cat scratch the carpet when I come home?
Many cat owners are rightfully thinking, “Why does my cat scratch the carpet when I come home?” But, unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of scientific evidence of why your cat feels the urge to scratch the carpet when she sees you.
One theory is that your cat scratches in your presence to communicate with you. According to another theory, cats might feel the urge to scratch to express excitement. And it makes sense that your cat would be happy to see you. After a long day alone, your cat is happy to see her play buddy. So, when you finally come home, she wants to communicate her feelings.
Regardless, carpet scratching in the presence of humans is a common behavior among our feline friends.
How to stop cat scratching carpet at door?
You have several options for preventing carpet damage from scratching. First, to stop your cat from scratching at the door is to direct her attention somewhere else. Scratching posts, especially horizontal posts, are engineered for that purpose.
What can I do if my cat uses the carpet as a scratching post?
You can start by providing an alternative surface. For example, if you can make the new surface more desirable than the carpet at the door, your kitten might stop scratching the carpet.
A horizontal scratching pad could stop a cat from scratching the carpet at the door
If your cat likes to scratch the carpet, it may prefer to scratch horizontally.
To stop your cat from scratching the carpet at the door:
- Install a flat scratching pad in the same spot.
- Experiment with a wedge-shaped scratch pad, and if it doesn’t work as expected, try a flat scratching pad.
- Use the one your cat prefers near the door.
You can find out what your cat likes faster by trying multiple scratching posts and pads simultaneously. Try scratch pads with different textures and materials. Don’t just try carpet-covered scratching posts. Experiment with different materials, such as plain wood, corrugated cardboard, or sisal.
Cats like to use different surface angles for scratching, ranging between horizontal and vertical. So make sure your home includes at least one of each: an inclined scratcher, a tall vertical scratching post, and a flat scratching mat. Use a heavy and sturdy scratching post by the door, so it stays in place while your cat scratches it.
Your cat may prefer one of the new scratch pads and stop scratching on your carpet at the door.
Cover up the carpet at the door
A quick way to stop your cat from scratching the carpet at the door is to cover up the spot where your cat scratches. You can move a scratching post or furniture to the area. One potential danger here is that your cat may decide to scratch the furniture. In that case, read our “How to get your cat to stop scratching furniture” article.
A sisal scratching post may be a good option at the door. Another option for discouraging carpet scratching in front of an entryway is to cover the spot with a thin mat. Two-sided tape also works as a cat deterrent.
Spray the carpet at the door to repel the cat
Infuse the carpet by the door to stop the scratching. For example, you could spray a vinegar solution on the carpet near the door. Another option is to make your own citrus cat repellent spray.
Trim cat claws to reduce carpet shredding
As you try to get your cat to stop scratching the carpet at the door, you could reduce the damage by regular claw trimming. It’s a simple way to reduce the damage due to destructive scratching in your home.
Trim your cat’s claws at least twice a month. Use a sharp claw-trimming tool. Trimmed claws will help keep the scratching damage to a minimum.
How to stop a cat from pulling up carpet?
It’s possible to stop a cat from pulling up the carpet. The easiest method is to cover the area with a piece of furniture and place a scratchpad on the spot. If this doesn’t work, you could install a transparent plastic carpet protector long enough to cover the area.
You could also install double-sided tape. Cats hate sticky surfaces, and the tape might be enough of a deterrent to getting her to stop pulling up your carpet.
How to stop a cat scratching carpet stairs?
You could cove the stairs your cat likes to scratch. Use a transparent plastic carpet protector. You could even use some double-sided tape on top of the carpet protector to drive home the message. Hopefully, the kitty will understand that scratching carpet stairs is a bad idea.
What can I spray on carpet to stop a cat from scratching?
You can quickly whip up an effective cat deterrent spray to stop your cat from scratching the carpet. Although not every home remedy works for every cat and every time, it’s worth a try. Offering natural, healthy spray to ward off your cat’s carpet scratching habit is a safer and cheaper alternative than harsh chemicals.
A cat’s sense of smell is about 40 times more sensitive than ours. Therefore, your natural cat repellent spray will rely on your kitten’s keen sense of smell. If you try one cat repellent recipe and it’s not working, try at least a few others. Cats are unique with different likes and dislikes, and what smells pungent to one cat may go unnoticed by another.
Citrus cat deterrent spray recipe
Mix two cloves of crushed garlic and the juice of a whole lemon with two cups of water. Let the mixture rest for one day. Strain the mixture before filling your spray bottle, and you got yourself a potent cat repellent.
Vinegar cat deterrent spray recipe
Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of liquid hand soap and one cup of water. Spray your homemade cat repellent over areas your cat likes to scratch the carpet.