Cat Q&A

How do I get my cat to stop scratching my woodwork?

How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Scratching My Woodwork?

Scratching is a common and natural behavior in cats that allows them to mark their territory and clean or sharp their nails. The problem is that it’s often destructive to your furniture and can be difficult to stop.

Understand Why Your Cat Is Scratching

Scratching woodwork is usually the result of the combination of several factors:

  • Boredom: If your cat has nothing to do all day, it can start scratching as a way to entertain itself.
  • Inadequate scratching post: Your cat needs a dedicated scratching post that is sturdy and tall enough, and preferably covered with a material your cat loves to scratch like sisal or bark.
  • Separation anxiety: Cats are territorial, so if they feel anxious because one of their family members has been away, they may start to scratch furniture to mark the area as their own.

Stop Your Cat From Scratching Woodwork

To stop your cat from scratching woodwork, you can try the following techniques:

  • Buy a scratching post: Providing your cat with a scratching post can satisfy the scratching needs and keep your furniture safe. Make sure the post is made of a material that your cat loves to scratch, such as sisal or bark.
  • Encourage your cat to use the scratching post: Place the post near the furniture you want your cat to stay away from. Rub the post with catnip, and use positive reinforcement to encourage your cat to use it.
  • Wind a tape around your furniture: When cats scratch furniture, it’s usually because they like the feeling of the material. Wrapping a bit of tape around the areas your cat usually scratches can make it feel less attractive and less likely to be scratched.
  • Give your cat something to play with and explore: Make sure your cat has plenty of toys and interactive activities that stimulate all its senses to keep it from getting bored and finding other destructive ways to entertain itself.


Scratching woodwork is a common problem for many cat owners, but there are ways to prevent it. Understanding why your cat is scratching and providing it with alternative scratching posts, activities and objects of exploration can help it stay away from your furniture.

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