Cat Scratch Fever: Preventing and Redirecting Unwanted Scratching

Cat Scratch Fever: Preventing and Redirecting Unwanted Scratching


Cat scratching is a natural and essential behavior for felines, but it can become a problem when directed towards inappropriate objects like furniture, carpets, or curtains. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior and finding effective ways to redirect it is crucial for maintaining harmony in a cat-inclusive household. This comprehensive guide explores strategies to prevent and redirect unwanted scratching, ensuring the well-being of your cat and the integrity of your home.

Understanding Why Cats Scratch

Scratching serves several purposes in a cat's life:

1. Claw Maintenance

  • Cats scratch to shed the dead outer layers of their claws, keeping them sharp and healthy.

2. Marking Territory

  • Scratching leaves visual marks and deposits scent from glands in their paws, marking their territory.

3. Stretching and Exercise

  • It provides a full-body stretch and strengthens their muscles.

4. Stress Relief

  • Scratching can be a way for cats to release stress or excitement.

Strategies for Preventing Unwanted Scratching

1. Provide Appropriate Scratching Surfaces

  • Offer various types of scratchers (vertical, horizontal, angled) in different materials (sisal, cardboard, carpet).
  • Place scratchers near your cat’s favorite areas or where they tend to scratch inappropriately.

2. Encourage Use of Scratching Posts

  • Use catnip or treats to attract your cat to the scratchers.
  • Praise and reward your cat when they use the scratching post.

3. Make Unwanted Areas Less Appealing

  • Apply double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or specific deterrent sprays on areas where unwanted scratching occurs.
  • Ensure these deterrents are safe and won’t harm your cat.

4. Regular Claw Trimming

  • Keeping your cat’s claws trimmed can reduce the damage caused by scratching.

Redirecting Scratching Behavior

1. Positive Reinforcement

  • Reinforce good behavior with treats, affection, or play whenever your cat uses the scratcher.
  • Avoid punishing your cat for unwanted scratching, as this can lead to stress and anxiety.

2. Creating an Attractive Environment

  • Make the area around the scratching post entertaining with toys and comfortable resting spots.
  • Use vertical space with cat trees or shelves to appeal to your cat’s climbing instincts.

3. Consistency and Patience

  • Be consistent in redirecting your cat to the scratching post. It may take time for them to change their habits.

Understanding and Addressing Behavioral Issues

1. Stress and Anxiety

  • Unwanted scratching can be a sign of stress or anxiety. Identify and address any potential stressors in your cat’s environment.
  • Consider pheromone diffusers or consult a veterinarian for advice.

2. Boredom

  • Increase interactive playtime to keep your cat engaged and mentally stimulated.
  • Consider puzzle toys or feeder toys to keep them occupied.

Maintenance and Care of Scratching Posts

1. Regular Inspection

  • Check scratching posts for signs of wear and replace them when necessary.
  • Ensure they remain stable and safe for use.

2. Keeping it Interesting

  • Rotate or add new features to the scratching post to maintain interest.

Designing a Cat-Friendly Home

1. Incorporate Scratching Posts into Home Decor

  • Choose scratching posts that complement your home’s aesthetics.
  • Consider custom or designer scratchers that serve as both functional and decorative pieces.

2. Designate a Cat Zone

  • Create a dedicated area for your cat with their bed, toys, and scratching post.


Preventing and redirecting unwanted scratching is essential for keeping your cat happy and protecting your home. By understanding your cat's needs and providing appropriate outlets for their scratching behavior, you can foster a positive environment for both your pet and your family. Remember, patience and consistency are key in redirecting this natural feline behavior.

In summary, managing unwanted scratching involves understanding your cat's instincts, providing suitable alternatives, and engaging in positive reinforcement. By creating a cat-friendly environment that respects your cat's natural behaviors, you can enjoy a harmonious coexistence with your feline companion while keeping your home intact and stress-free. Discover Australia's most affordable range of premium cat trees and towers at where we bring joy to your feline friends with Australia's best cat trees and towers!

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