How To Keep Cats From Scratching Carpet? 9 Awesome Ways


Scratching is a biological need for your cat. This is not something unusual that you are facing. If you are a new pet owner, the fact might be concerning for you, but it’s completely normal. However, no matter how harmless of a natural behavior it is for them, it can get really annoying fast when s/he starts to scratch the carpet.

So when you are looking here and there for solutions on how to keep cats from scratching carpet-we found the ways straight here for you. We found the most effective ways to help you when you cannot find any solutions to follow. Hereby, we are firm that these ways will work for you as we have tried all these on our cats and found these to be working very well.

Now depending on your cat’s nature, some ways might work less effectively than others. You have to make sure of the ones that work. Let’s not talk much anymore, getting into the real deal now!



Why Do Cats Scratch?

Before we start, if you are a cat owner and this is your first cat, you might be wondering what causes this behavior. Therefore, there are various reasons behind the scratching. Some of the reasons why your cat might be scratching are:

  • Exercising the claws: as indoor cats cannot go out to hunt insects or to perform their natural behavior of climbing in the wild, they tend to scratch. As a result, they find rugs, carpets, or anything with an appropriate surface to scratch on.
  • Habit: scratching helps a cat to sharpen his/her claws. Also, they enjoy scratching the carpets or any horizontal surface out of their habit.
  • Curiosity: if something looks interesting or exciting to your cat, s/he may be curious to scratch on it out of curiosity. It gives them the excitement of chasing something.
  • Marking the territory: cats often feel insecure and that’s why they tend to scratch on surfaces to rub their own scent on notable spots to feel more secure and to mark their territory. This mostly happens when you have multiple cats in your house, the cat tries to prove him/her superior.

How To Keep Cats From Scratching Carpet?

Let’s get to the main context now, how can you prevent your cat from scratching your favorite carpet and ruining it. Here are some valuable ways that we have learned while dealing with our cats for the past few years:

  • Add A Scratching Pad: your cat’s natural habit of scratching can be met with a scratching pad. If you get one, s/he won’t scratch on your furniture or carpet. Once the natural tendency of your cat’s scratching is met through the scratching pads, you won’t have to worry about him/her ruining your carpet. Hereby you can get horizontal scratching pads that your cat will like.
  • Add Multiple Scratching Posts And Pads: if you create an area with multiple scratching elements like sisal, corrugated cardboard, or even plain wood, your cat will be less likely to scratch on the carpet. It’s better if you make sure of both horizontal and vertical scratch pads for your cat’s convenience.
  • Cover Up The Spot Where Your Cat Scratches: covering up the specific spot where your cat likes to scratch can be beneficial. Once the habit is gone, you can uncover the area again. Your cat tends to develop a habit where it only scratches a specific area. So you can place pots or furniture over the areas of the carpet where the cat likes to scratch.
  • Cover The Area With Scent: cats tend to hate a few specific scents. You can spray a mixture of water and rue, lavender and pennyroyal, Coleus Canina, and lemon thyme- any one of these to prevent your cat from scratching the carpet. These scents work as an active deterrent for cats. Also, you can get one commercial deterrent spray to prevent your cat from scratching the carpet. While you are getting a proper carpet cleaning, you can use the deterrent spray in that phase. Moreover, you can use scented cleaners that come with cat deterrent formulas.
  • Provide Enough Exercise: adequate exercise can make you active and playful. As a result, the tendency of your cat to scratch on the carpet will be reduced as s/he will be tired from the exercise. Also, playing with your cat regularly can make them healthy and increase their appetite.
  • Provide Scratching Alternatives: if you don’t want your cat to scratch on the carpet, you can give an alternative to your cats where they can scratch their claws. Create a scratch-friendly space and they will be habituated to scratch over it.
  • Consider Your Cat’s Anxiety Level: sometimes, when the cat is anxious or stressed about something, it can scratch the claws to reduce the stress. If you notice any unusual increase in the scratching, that might be caused by anxiety and stress. Therefore, keep your kitty content and play with him/her to reduce the anxiety. You can also pet her to give reassurance of the safe space.
  • Trim Your Cat’s Claws: cats scratch on the carpet mostly to sharpen their claws. So if you trim the claws, they won’t bother sharpening those. Besides, you can use claw caps and as a result of that, even if your cat scratches on the carpet, it won’t ruin it. 
  • Prevent Habits From Forming: if your cat keeps scratching the same spot every day, s/he is likely to build up habits of scratching that area. So if you notice the cat scratching over any place where you don’t like it, simply put a resistance over the place. You can use awful scents that your cat hates or also can put a barrier over the place.

How To Keep Cats From Scratching Carpet

How Do You Train A Cat Not To Scratch?

If you are worried not only about the cat scratching the carpet, but also it scratching you, then you might be looking for some solutions. Hereby, if you want to train the cat not to scratch you, here are a few tips to follow:

  • You should give your cat toys to play with. When they want to practice their hunting behavior, they will look for things to attack. In such cases, avoid giving them any of your body parts like your hands or legs. Instead, give them plenty of toys or balls to play with. You can also make paper balls and throw that to play with the cat.
  • Regardless of giving your cat toys, s/he may still scratch or bite you out of affection. So it’s a better idea to keep your cat’s nails trimmed. Do not trim a lot of nails, just cut one-third from the front. Excessing trimming may hurt the cat’s claws.
  • Make your cat feel that you don’t like it when they scratch or bite you. Yell or scream ‘ouch’ and pull them away. They will feel that you are avoiding this kind of behavior.
  • If your cat is scratching and biting you, it may want attention from you. So don’t give attention to him/her in such times and move them away.
  • Move their attention to another direction whenever your cat starts scratching or biting you. You can throw a ball for them to play with or make use of other toys.
  • You can make use of the scratching pads here as well. Whenever you notice that your cat is scratching you, move their attention to the scratching pads and let them scratch that instead of injuring you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Deters Cats From Scratching Carpet?

Even the simplest things like double-sided tape can deter your cat from scratching the carpet. You can also use smells that your cat hates to deter the cat. Using smells like rue, lavender, and pennyroyal, Coleus Canina, and lemon thyme on your carpet can deter him/her from scratching the carpet. You can also use cat deterrent sprays that are found in the shops.

What Smells Deter Cats From Scratching?

Cates hate the smell of rue, lavender, and pennyroyal, Coleus Canina, and lemon thyme. You can mix any of these with water and spray on the places where you don’t want your cat to scratch on. Also, you can use coffee grinds, cats tend to hate this smell as well.

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Carpet All The Time?

Scratching is a cat’s natural habitat. Indoor cats cannot go in the wild to hunt or climb up off a tree. That’s why they tend to scratch on preferred surfaces to sharpen their claws. Cats like horizontal and vertical surfaces to scratch on. As a result, they tend to scratch on the carpets and rugs, or any uneven surfaces.

How do you stop a cat from scratching itself?

Your cat can scratch itself for different reasons. If you notice that, try to find out the reason and take steps accordingly. Excess parasites can be one of the major reasons behind your cat’s self-scratching. In this case, use the proper medication after consulting with a vet. Also, you can change the food habits of your cat. Playing with your cat when s/he is bored can prevent him/her from self scratching out of boredom or anxiety.

Wrapping Up

As a cat owner, if you want to protect the carpet from your cat’s terror, it’s not a high hope. By now you know how to keep cats from scratching carpet and the reasons behind your cat’s terror-like behavior. It’s a natural tendency of a cat to scratch on different surfaces, and carpet is one of the most suitable ones. So, if you want to keep your valuable carpet safe, you need to take the measurements that we have shared above.

However, playing with your cat and giving them an alternative to the scratching area can reduce your cat’s tendency to scratch on the carpet. From our given methods, you can try out each one of these and see which one performs to be the most effective in your cat’s case. Don’t forget to let us know when you succeed! Good luck!

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like history and reading about carpets. I like to play soccer too :)

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