How to prevent your cat from scratching your carpets

20 June 2020
Allan Grisdale
cat teeth

My cat loves to bite and scratch the carpet anywhere there is a seam. Doors and patches are particular favourites.

Distraction is the best way to prevent a cat from scratching anything, including a carpet.

Start with something simple like a horizontal scratcher. You can get floor scratchers that are just corrugated cardboard stuck together in flatter box shapes that you set on the floor. My cat loves these because they can drag them around.

If distraction doesn’t work you can try dissuasion. Put pepper (cayenne or black pepper, I have used both) on your carpet and along the seams. Pepper also keeps cats out of plant pots. Another favourite of my cat.

Lemon juice and/or vinegar also work but make sure they won’t damage your carpet.

Commercial sprays are available but I can’t speak to how well they work.

If distraction and dissuasion don’t work you can try protection! Use a small rug and try to train the cat to only pull at that one.

Finally, don’t ignore the obvious… scratching could be a boredom thing, or attention seeking behaviour, in which case you will solve the problem with some extra playtime.

Whatever you decide, remember cats respond to positive reinforcement. When your cat starts scratching be ready to grab a toy and entice them to put their energy into that instead. Reinforce the positive behaviour with treats.

Good luck!

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