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Why Does My Cat Scratch the Wall? (6 Possible Reasons)

Why Does My Cat Scratch the Wall? (6 Possible Reasons)

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Owning a cat is something that will bring you a lot of happiness over the years. You’ll find that cats are some of the most loving pets that you can own, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t be trying sometimes.

If you don’t watch your cat closely, then it’s possible that it could start exhibiting bad behaviors. For example, your cat might start scratching things up in your house.

Many people have had to deal with cats scratching up their furniture, and they’ve had to train them not to do that any longer. You might even have the misfortune of your cat scratching the walls.

Why would a cat scratch the wall this way, though? Read on to learn why cats feel the urge to scratch things and how you might be able to keep this from happening in the future.

1 – Your Cat Might Be Exercising its Claws

One possibility to keep in mind is that your cat could be trying to exercise its claws. This means that the cat is scratching the walls to try to give its claws a chance to stretch out.

Cats feel the urge to do this from time to time for exercise purposes. You might notice your cat stretching its forelimbs while making scratching motions on the wall.

When you have indoor cats that spend all of their time at home, they’re going to need to get a bit of exercise. Of course, this isn’t the ideal thing for the cats to do to get exercise.

2 – Claw Sharpening

Claw sharpening is another reason why cats choose to scratch things. The outside husk of the claw can become dull over time, and scratching the claws against a hard surface will help to break down that hard outer husk.

This can lead to the cat having much sharper claws than usual. Cats are genetically wired to want to have sharp claws because it helps them to hunt and do many other things.

You might be able to prevent this from happening to your walls by giving your cat something else to scratch. Scratching posts are very common and might help to save your walls from getting damaged by your beloved pet.

3 – Marking Territory

Marking territory is another common reason why cats will choose to scratch walls. Cats do things such as scratching surfaces as a way to claim territory.

Your cat choosing to scratch a specific wall could be a way of trying to tell you that it is claiming that spot. You might not know this, but scratching a wall is going to leave behind a scent because claws also have scent glands.

In the wild, actions such as this can show other animals that territory has been marked. The other animals can smell the claw marks due to the scent that is left behind.

If you have other cats in the house, then this sort of behavior might be more common. Your cat could be attempting to assert dominance over the other cats in some way.

4 – Communication

Sometimes cats will scratch surfaces as a way to communicate with other cats. It seems kind of weird, but leaving a scent behind in certain spots might leave a message for other cats.

This isn’t too different from marking territory, but the intention could be different. It might be hard to tell whether your cat is attempting to communicate by scratching the wall or if it’s simply marking territory.

5 – Balance Issues

Cats have been known to scratch walls when they’re trying to get up as well. For example, your cat could be laying down near a wall and will scratch the wall to help pull itself into a standing position.

You probably know that cats like to climb things as well. Sometimes cats might scratch the wall when they’re trying to climb and jump to certain vantage points.

As annoying as this is, you’ll find that cats often won’t think twice about scratching a wall. A cat isn’t likely to understand why this is wrong to do, after all.

6 – Anxiety

Sometimes cats will lash out and do things when they’re anxious. Have you gone through a big change recently in your home?

Maybe you got a new pet or perhaps you moved to a new area. Cats will sometimes scratch furniture and walls when they’re feeling stressed or anxious.

Sometimes cats feel as though the action of scratching things gives them a bit of comfort. It might help to calm your cat down, but this doesn’t mean that you want it to happen.

How to Stop This From Happening

You can try to train your cat to keep it from doing bad things such as this. It’s possible to get your cat to behave better if you understand how to train cats, but you might need the help of a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Aside from this, it’s a good idea to get scratching posts that your cat can use. The cats should be encouraged to scratch the scratching posts so that they will stay away from your furniture and your walls.

You could also try to make it harder for the cat to get to the wall that they’ve been scratching. Some people simply place obstacles in the way or keep cats in particular rooms that they won’t be able to mess up.

Many people also choose to have their cat’s claws removed entirely. However, more and more people are now shying away from this due to it being considered inhumane.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of different reasons why cats will scratch walls. Now that you know more about it, it’ll be easier to figure out what to do.

Hopefully, your cat will stop scratching your wall if it has access to a scratching post. Otherwise, you might need to look into training options to see if you can alter the cat’s behavior in some way.

You might not want to declaw your cat due to it being a painful experience for the cat. Many places won’t even do it now due to it being considered inhumane.

Do your best to care for your cat while also taking care of your home. If you’re vigilant, then you should be able to keep your cat from ruining your walls.

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