If your cat scratches the wall, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat scratch the wall? The most likely reason why your cat scratches the wall is to sharpen and maintain its claws. This is because scratching the wall removes the cracked outer part of its claws leaving just the healthy parts.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat scratches the wall and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Reasons why your cat scratches the wall

Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat has been scratching the wall and what would make each of them more likely.

To sharpen its claws

Cats’ claws are growing all the time. The old parts of the claws become dull over time and are usually worn away when the cat scratches at hard surfaces. The reason why your cat scratches the wall and other hard surfaces is likely to be that it is maintaining its claws. This would be more likely if your cat does not claw at the wall after a specific time such as eating or using the litter box.

Spreading its scent

Cats have sweat glands on their paws. Another possible reason why your cat scratches at the wall could be that it is marking its territory. This would be more likely if your cat paws at the wall more than it scratches it and if it tends to do it more when other animals have been around.

Stretching

Another possible reason why your cat does it is that it is stretching. This would be more likely if your cat does it more with a stretching motion and it extends its paws and claws.

To get attention

It might also be the case that your cat does it because it knows that it will result in you giving it attention. This would be more likely if your cat tends to do it at a specific time such as before you have given it food.

It likes the feeling

It could also be the case that your cat does it because it simply likes the feeling. This would be more likely if your cat does it at random times and it does things such as purr when doing it. It is likely that this is a secondary reason to scratching the wall in order to maintain its claws.

Things to consider about your cat scratching the wall

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been scratching the wall.

If your cat has always scratched the wall

If your cat has started scratching the wall suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. For example, if it started doing it since losing access to a scratch post, it would be likely that your cat is doing it to clean its paws and because the wall is the best location for your cat to do it.

If there is a certain time that your cat tends to scratch the wall

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your cat tends to scratch the wall. For example, if your cat tends to do it after eating, it is more likely to be because it has an innate urge to scratch after eating in order to hide its food. Whereas, if it seems to do it at random times, it would be more likely that your cat is doing it in order to maintain its claws.

What to do about your cat scratching the wall

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Redirect its focus

One option would be to redirect your cat’s focus towards something else when it seems likely to start scratching the wall. Ways to redirect its focus could include showing it a toy or putting it near another hard surface that you don’t mind it scratching.

Trim its claws

Since your cat is probably doing it to maintain its claws, one option would be to help maintain them yourself. By doing so, your cat will not have as much need to scratch the wall.

Give it a scratch post

Another thing to do would be to give your cat access to a scratch post and to take your cat there whenever it starts scratching the wall. By doing so, you should be able to encourage your cat to scratch the scratch post instead of the wall.

Why does my cat paw at the wall?

If your cat paws at the wall instead of scratch at the wall, the cause is likely to be that it is spreading its scent. Another possible cause could be that it is stretching.

Why does my cat scratch the wall at night?

If your cat tends to scratch at the wall at night, the cause would be more likely to be that your cat hears mice in the walls. This would be especially likely if you have seen mice around the house.

Why does my cat scratch the wall after eating?

If your cat scratches the wall after eating, it would likely be because your cat has an innate need to scratch after eating. This is because it would of helped its ancestors to hide its food in the wild.

Why does my cat scratch the wall after pooping?

If your cat scratches the wall after pooping, it would also likely be because your cat has an innate need to scratch after pooping. This is because it scratching after pooping would of made it harder for other animals to have known where its ancestors would have been in the wild.

Why does my cat scratch the wall after using the litter box?

The reason why your cat scratches after using the litter box is also likely to be that it has a natural need to scratch after pooping.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.