Cat Q&A

How do I get my cat to stop scratching my clothes shelves?

Stopping Your Cat from Scratching Clothes Shelves

It can be very frustrating when cats won’t stop scratching your clothes shelves. Here are a few tips that should help curb this behavior:

Understand Why They’re Doing It

Cats scratch to condition their claws, relieve stress, and reveal their presence. Even though it might seem like they’re going after your clothes shelves, it’s likely just the closest surface for them to scratch.

Redirect Their Energy

You can’t just stop your cat from scratching. Instead, direct their energy to designated scratching posts. Most cats prefer vertical scratching posts, and you can buy them cheaply at any pet store.

Provide a More Attractive Alternative

Make sure that your post is more attractive than your clothes shelves. Rub some catnip on its surface, or use a spray especially designed to attract cats. You can also reward your pet with treats when they scratch the post instead of the shelves.

Create a Barrier

In the meantime, you can make your shelves less attractive. Try using double-sided tape or other similar surface blockers. Some cats don’t like plastic, so you can also cover the shelves with a cloth or aluminum foil to deter them.

Be Patient

It can take some time for your cat to get used to a new scratching post, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Be as persistent as possible and don’t give your pet too much freedom before they learn how and where to scratch.


You shouldn’t give up on getting your cat to stop scratching your clothes shelves. Try providing a more attractive alternative, redirecting their energy to something else, and creating a barrier to stop them from accessing the shelves. Above all, be patient while teaching your cat that scratching posts are preferable over clothes shelves.

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