Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Scratching - is it a problem?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why do cats scratch surfaces?

  • To express excitement and pleasure
  • To leave visual and aromatic messages to other cats
  • To remove the worn-out sheaths from their claws
  • To stretch their muscles and spine

In other words it's our problem not theirs when they scratch the new sofa or the silk curtains!

If your cat is scratching in the ‘wrong’ place eg the new sofa you will have to simultaneously discourage her from scratching the sofa while encouraging her to scratch an appropriate object eg a scratching post.

Apply double sided tape, a car mat with nubby side up or rubber carpet runner to the sofa.

Purchase a sturdy vertical post scratcher, which is tall enough for her to stand on her back legs and reach up for a really good stretch ie at least a metre. If she doesn’t take to the material on the post try covering it with alternatives like sisal, corrugated cardboard, the backs of carpet squares, carpet offcuts.

If your cat is scratching the carpet she may prefer a horizontal scratching surface. Provide an old piece of carpet or cardboard.

Encourage your cat to use the new scratching surface by enticing her there with catnip, treats or toys and immediately rewarding scratching in the right place with a treat.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


fleas overweight competition marking IBD behaviour change obese sudden blindness abscess blockage odour training obesity panamax pain relief spray fluid pills stiff dilated pupils AIDS drinking more kittens poison mental health of cats face rub open night pred antibiotics cat history best veterinarian snake desexing best clinic snakes runny eyes kidney itchy health check hypertension calicivirus flu moving cat containment kibble exercise urine annual check cryptococcosis snake bite cat behaviour heavy breathing hunting lame allergy introduction snot feliway client night breeder joints dementia gasping in season cystitis revolution slow gifts rough play lump ulcer blood cat fight sore eyes birthday cat enclosures cat worms blue hungry spraying castration lily whiskers ACT anxiety holiday bite nails permethrin urination panadeine hairball panleukopaenia photo competition eye infection hypertrophic cardiomyopathy depomedrol activity new cat pheromone rash tablet teeth flea prevention renal disease head award old cat vision sore ribbon high blood pressure scratching post house call hyperthyroidism cat enclosure runny nose old outdoor cat liver asthma best cat clinic weight eyes blind painful information night fireworks rub plants herpesvirus paracetamol kidneys vomit fat love skin cancer bladder polish conflict cancer attack lick vaccine aspirin snuffle food puzzles inflammatory bowel disease thirsty drinking a lot antiviral body language abscess,cat fight hiding noisy breathing ulcerated nose groom sensitive goodbye physical activity scratch weight control enclosure paralysis tick appetite stare into space hard faeces tapeworm hyperactive blood in urine kitten deaths open day wet litter fits tradesmen enteritis dental computer salivation pet insurance blocked cat poisonous plants diuretics poisons feline AIDS weight loss blindness worming scratching comfortis massage toxic lymphoma senses poisoning poisonous bump indoor cats Hill's Metabolic on heat cortisone blood test tooth xylitol feline herpesvirus diet sun corneal ulcer Canberra Canberra Cat Vet hunter virus advantage sense of smell hunters train holes diabetes sick cat worms examination introductions toxins sneeze fear best vet heaing straining urinating restless pancreatitis yowling kitten constipation socialisation touch FIV pica paralysis urine spraying holes in teeth dental check unsociable petting cat catoberfest holidays cough tartar blood pressure behaviour flea treatment furballs FORLS sick skinny paralysed snakebite learning cat hole urinating on curtains or carpet checkup scale cranky roundworm home visit change eye signs of pain dymadon new year aggressive stress rigid head fever hunched over prey home diarrhoea return home changed kitten play pain killer string cage desex adipokines opening hours when to go to vet pet vet visit bed collapse litter introduce allergy, eye ulcer meows a lot skin brown snake vomiting furball sucking wool fabric mass arthritis crytococcosus new kitten grooming aggression twitching jumping heart disease thyroid chlamydia urinating outside litter carrier panadol fight bladder stones vaccination echocardiography insulin free litter box cat friendly ulcers not eating check-up sensitive stomach pill wobbles off food visit tick cta fight New Year's Eve lilly senior pet meat strange behaviour christmas foreign body mycoplasma mouth breathing headache appointment tumour sore ears vocal decision to euthanase hospital microchip enemies plaque kidney disease breathing difficult dental treatment mince unwell panleukopenia pain African wild cat cat vet grass hearing rolls biopsy lilies thiamine deficiency euthanasia prednisolone feline enteritis anaemia cat flu spey aerokat bad breath intestine snuffles nose scabs wool introducing radioactive iodine seizures dry food cognitive dysfunction


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions