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Why Do Cats Scratch ?

If you are a cat owner, you must be familiar with constantly chasing your furry friend when they are scratching curtains, carpets, or the couch. And despite the number of times you try to stop unwanted scratching, they seem to not be listening to you! Certain questions come to mind when this behaviour persists - "Why do cats love to scratch so much?"  " In case they’re scratching somewhere they shouldn’t, how can you help them find a better place to put their paws?"  

Let’s clear the important things first, scratching is perfectly normal. In fact, it is also considered a healthy behaviour used for exercise and marking territory. If your cat is seeking out a perfect scratching spot, they are just following their instinctive behaviour!  

Research has showcased a number of reasons behind a cat’s natural urge to scratch; let’s take a look: 

  1. Exercise : Like every entity's requirement to engage in some or other form of physical exercise, cats too need some action in their lives. When cats scratch, they stretch out their back, legs, and paws and do a little pampering- scratching to file, sharpen, and clean their claws.
  2. Territory : The need to establish territory is another reason why cats feel the need to scratch. This arises from the wish to feel relaxed and find a comfortable space that they resonate with. Through scratching in corners of the house or on furniture etc, a cat tends to mark that space as their home. This is also an indication to other animals that the marked territory belongs to them.

Your cat, owing to its nature, will inherently seek out a range of places to scratch, so you should try to avoid binding them from scratching altogether. But even if it is a part of their behaviour, there are some areas that aren’t suitable, like your expensive furniture. In such cases, you must aim to provide your cat with options that are suitable for you both. Here are some tricks you can adhere to:  

  • Provide them with something to scratch that is suitable for their point of view as well as yours. It can be any object, from a piece of cardboard to a wooden plaque of sorts. Choose something that is tall or long enough and can sustain rigorous scratching.  
  • Once you have a sturdy object they can scratch, place it in the spaces they are most comfortable with this will keep them from ruining the things you like.  
  • If your cat isn’t familiar with their new post/board and is continuing to scratch objects that are dear to you, it's best to deter the cat from scratching the objects you don’t want them to scratch.  

Lastly, be patient and keep in mind that all cats are different, and it may take time to adapt to new ways. Never punish your cat for scratching in the wrong place - instead, work with them to discourage unwanted scratching. Practice showcasing support, praise, encouragement, and love, they’ll soon learn that scratching their new post is the best option!


Please note, these are some simple tricks suggested to monitor your household pets' health. These tips should, under no circumstances, be taken or followed as medical advise. In case your pet is facing any concerning issues, we always recommend that you get in touch with your vet for proper medical guidance. Happy Pawrenting!


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