Are you at your wits ends due to your cat’s behavior of scratching on the door? Not only is the incessant scratch-scratch annoying; it also leaves doors looking worn out.
The good news is there are effective and inexpensive ways to stop your cat from scratching on doors. Below, we give you some tips on how to handle your feline pet’s antiques.
Why Is Your Cat Scratching On Doors?
Finding out why your cat scratches on closed doors can help you identify a suitable solution.
- Attention: Cats are social pets and love to interact with humans and fellow pets in the house. Scratching could be the cat’s way of seeking your attention when you leave her in a separate room. The more sociable your cat, the likelier she will resort to scratching when you shut the door on her.
- Curiosity: There’s a reason behind the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’. When your feline pet incessantly scratches on a closed door, she just might be wondering about the smells or noises on the other side.
- Territoriality: If you used to let your cat roam in and out of a room, for example, your bedroom, and then you suddenly cut her off, she might resort to scratching to get you to let her in.
How To Stop Cat From Scratching Door
Try these tips to stop your cat from scratching on your door:
1. Distract the cat with catnip
Catnip is a common, non-toxic weed belonging to the mint family. Cats are attracted to the volatile oils and acids the plant produces. A whiff of catnip usually gets the cat to roll around, salivate, and purr for about ten minutes.
- Rub a cat tree or scratching post with catnip and place it outside the door. This should direct the cat’s attention to the tree or post and away from the door.
2. Spray cat-deterring essential oils
Cats dislike the smell of oils such as cinnamon, citrus, and rosemary. However, just like catnip, these oils are not harmful to the cat.
- To make your own essential oil repellant, mix 1 tablespoon of each of the essential oils with 3 tablespoons of water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture on the door. This will put off the cat and she will go find something else to do.
Pro Tip: Not all essential oils are cat friendly. Talk to your veterinarian before using this method to deter your cat.
3. Tire the cat out before your own bedtime
A major reason why cats scratch on doors is to seek attention and cuddles. If you suddenly won’t let your kitty into your bedroom, it will likely resort to scratching the door until you do. The solution? Give your tabby want she wants—your attention.
- Before going to bed and after the cat’s meal, play with her for a while. Not only will the attention satisfy her; the kitty will also be too exhausted to scratch the door and will go right to sleep after playtime.
4. Get her a scratching post or bed
Your cat might be scratching doors out of boredom. Consider giving it something else to scratch on or to play with.
- Make or purchase a standing post made of slightly rough material such as sisal. Place the post where the cat likes to hang out or, if this doesn’t work, place it close to the target door.
- Ensure that the scratching post is large enough and firmly anchored to allow your puss to comfortably scratch on it.
- Some cats prefer a scratching bed. Apply catnip on the bed to encourage her to scratch on it instead of scratching the door.
5. Offer her toys or a nice view
Activities such as playing with toys and bird watching can distract a bored cat and keep her away from doors and other furniture.
- Place several types of toys in different locations in the house where the cat likes to hang out. In particular, cats love playing with toys that produce noise, and those with a feathery texture. Faux mice could also keep your feline pet entertained for hours.
- Set up a cat tree close to a window. Cats love birdwatching and checking out their environment from an elevated point. A cat tree can be a fantastic distraction especially if there isn’t much for the cat to play with.
6. Protect your door with double-sided tape
Just as the stickiness of glue or tape irks you, cats also dislike the sticky feeling on their claws.
- Cover the bottom half of your door with double-sided tape. Tape on doors is obviously not visually appealing but it is an inexpensive and sure-fire deterrent against a cat that scratches on doors.
- Alternatively, you could cover the bottom half of the door with bubble wrap, cardboard, or furniture strips. These materials feel different from the door’s wooden texture and are unappealing to cats.
- For a more visually attractive alternative, consider installing a glass or plastic panel to cover the bottom half of the door.
Pro tip: Be careful with bubble wrap. Cats like to lick on plastic and might try to bite and swallow the bubble wrap.
Here are extra recommendations for dealing with your cat’s scratching behavior:
- Keep your pet comfortable at all times
A distressed cat is more likely to scratch on furniture and engage in other destructive behavior. To minimize such tendencies, ensure that her room, sleeping area, and hangout spots are comfortable. Provide kitty with her own warm bed and clean blankets where she can curl up. Ensure that her tree and toys are also clean and do not present any safety hazards.
- Avoid declawing your cat
If your cat incessantly scratches on doors, declawing her might seem like a no-brainer. However, trimming her claws can cause the cat traumatic pain, which can lead to other unwanted behavioral issues.
The relentless door-scratching and yowling by your cat can take a toll on you, not to mention the damage caused to furniture. If ignoring your tabby is not an option, try deterring it with the techniques we have recommended. She might not respond to all of these measures but with a little patience, you should be able to find something that will stop your cat from scratching the doors.
Do you have any comments or questions about cats scratching on doors? We’d love to hear from you!