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5 Reasons Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall (With Solutions)

5 Reasons Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall (With Solutions)

All cats scratch and this is their normal, natural instinct. Some of them will scratch floors or furniture, while some will concentrate more on your wall.

If you noticed excess wall scratching in your cat, I believe this must frustrate you. This cat behavior is quite annoying, and your walls aren’t looking good anymore!

Luckily, there are some things you can do to stop this unwanted behavior in your kitty. But first, you should understand that there’s a root of every behavior a cat shows.

Now, let’s see why your furry friend might be scratching your wall.

#1 Her Nails Are Overgrown

the cat sits on the laminate and scratches the wall with its nails

Your cat has a perfectly nice scratching post, but she still seems to prefer your wall over the place that’s actually made for her scratching needs?

Well, maybe your cat needs nails trimming, and she’s using a firmer surface like a wall to do this. So many walls inside your home got her thinking – Hey, this is a good place for me to sharpen my claws!

Cats in the wild used to maintain their nails sharp and short to always be ready to hunt and rip apart their prey.

Of course, domestic cats have different lifestyles nowadays, but, their natural instincts have not completely vanished; our house cats still like to keep their nails trimmed!

Check out this article to find out what happens if you don’t trim your cat’s nails.

#2 To Mark Her Territory

We all know how territorial cats can be. According to Weronika Penar and Czesław Klocek [1], cats have a strong desire to gain and maintain territory, and this behavior gets ever more pronounced when another animal comes to their home. 

So, it’s a priority for every cat to have her own territory. By scratching the wall, your cat is leaving her scent in a part of your home which she wants to mark as her territory.

See, most of the cats enjoy solitude and might not be comfortable with other pets’ presence, especially at the beginning.

When she leaves her traces in a certain place (wall) in the house, she reduces the chance of another pet coming there.

#3 To Relieve The Stress

the cat scratches on the wall

Scratching the wall might be a cat’s way of relieving stress.

What might your cat be stressed about? According to Marta Amat and her associates [2], there are many stress triggers for felines, such as changes in environment, a poor human-cat relationship, inter-cat conflict, etc.

These authors emphasize how stress can increase the risk of cats showing territorial behavior and aggressive behavior, and also reduce food intake, which could potentially lead to severe health issues.

Your cat has recently started scratching the wall, and hasn’t shown this type of behavior earlier? Consider whether she might be stressed. Maybe there has been a change in your household recently; if yes, you know the reason behind a sudden destructive behavior. 

#4 She’s Just Bored

Cats need a certain level of stimulation, both physical and mental, to feel motivated and happy. 

If your cat lacks this, she might get bored and will show this in some unwanted behaviors, like scratching your wall.

So, if your cat hasn’t got any new activities, toys, or socialization for a while, this will negatively impact her mood.

If that’s the case, she’s likely to try to show you her distress and seek your attention by doing something she doesn’t normally do, like, scratching the wall, or even by licking it!

#5 A Mouse In Your Wall

Your cat is scratching a certain wall in your house, and looks like she’s waiting for something to appear?

She might have heard a mouse moving in the wall, and now she’s just waiting for him to move again!

Cats have a very good hearing. As the FirstVet suggests, humans can hear frequencies as high as 20,000 Hz, while cats can hear as high as 64,000 Hz!

There’s a chance you won’t even hear or see anything, but your little hunter is there to help you notice intruders such as mice. 

How To Stop The Cat From Scratching The Wall?

So, there are multiple causes of this annoying behavior in your kitten. 

There are also some things you can do to stop and to prevent feline wall scratching, depending, of course, on the cause of this habit.

Here’s what they are: 

Trim Your Cat’s Nails Regularly

Cutting your cat’s nails is as important for you, as it is for her! We all know how cat’s scratches are annoying, and can even be painful, especially when her nails are long.

Also, by doing this, you’ll be less worried about your cat destroying your furniture, floors, and wall with her overlong nails.

Still, many cats will simply hate getting their nails cut. If this process is a nightmare for both you and your kitty, take a look at the video below. 

This is one angry cat, but her owner managed to get the work done!

If your cat’s nails are not overgrown, chances are she’ll have less desire to scratch your wall.

The Power Of Stimulation

Giving your cat your time, attention, and some new activities can do wonders with her behavior. 

If boredom caused scratching in your cat, you can solve the problem quickly and easily.

Just give your kitten some new toys, let her outside for a play session, or provide her with some hunting time!

Always make sure your cat is stimulated. We all perceive felines as independent and aloof, which sometimes makes us forget that they still need our presence and encouragement to stay healthy and satisfied.

So, what could entertain your kitty the best at this moment? Maybe a brand new cat tree that looks like an actual tree!

Try Redirecting The Bad Behavior

You see your kitty’s about to scratch the wall, you say No, stop doing that! in a firm voice, and she walks away.

This isn’t a likely scenario!

Even if it does happen, this doesn’t mean you have eradicated this unwanted behavior.

But, there is something you can do that is likely to have a long lasting effect: Redirecting your cat’s behavior.

So, right before she’s about to attack the wall, you can use a whistle or clap your hands to get her attention. 

As I already mentioned, cats have very good hearing and are sensitive to loud sounds. There is a good chance that a sudden noise will distract your kitty from her original intention.

Use Double-Sided Tape

Another thing you might try is to use a double-sided sticky tape on the wall your cat is scratching. Cats will not like the feeling of this sticky tape on their paws!

Still, this might not be the most practical solution, since she might give up on that one, but there are plenty of other walls inside your home, right?

However, there’s still a chance this will work with your cat, so it’s worth a try!

What To Do If Nothing Seems To Help?

Not being able to solve this issue on your own might be frustrating. But, one thing you shouldn’t do is punish your cat. As the VCA Animal Hospitals suggests, Punishment is the least desirable tool for changing behavior.

If you don’t see any results from your attempts to stop the unwanted scratching, you should consult your veterinarian. 

Perhaps there’s an underlying health issue in your cat, and her scratching the wall might be a cry for help. 


[1] Penar, W, Klocek, C: Aggressive behaviors in domestic cats (Felis catus). January 2018, Annals of Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW Land Reclamation 52(2):143–150. DOI, Retrieved April 05, 2023. 
[2] Amat, M, Camps, T, Manteca, X: Stress in owned cats: behavioural changes and welfare implications. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, American Association of Feline Practitioners. DOI, Retrieved April 05, 2023.

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