How To Keep Cats From Clawing Woodwork


Cats have an instinctual need to scratch and claw. This behavior is inherited from their wild predecessors, where it was used as a way to sharpen claws, mark territory, and stretch or exercise their muscles. All of these activities are important for cats instinctively. When it comes to cats scratching woodwork in the home, this may be seen as a behavioral issue for humans – one that needs to be addressed in order to preserve the integrity of furniture or other decorative items made of wood.

There are several ways people can keep cats from clawing woodwork in the home. One possible approach is to use deterrents such as double-sided sticky tape and citrus sprays. By placing these deterrents on areas that cats usually like to scratch, they should quickly learn not to do it there anymore. Additionally, having scratching posts available and placing them close by could be helpful in redirecting the cat’s natural behaviors away from the wooden furniture or decorations. The post should also provide enough space so that the cat can comfortably accommodate its full stretching motion while they’re using them; otherwise they may decide to just scratch elsewhere instead! Finally, providing positive reinforcement with treats and toys every time your cat uses the scratching post will help reinforce good behavior in the long run.

Understanding Cat Instincts

Cats have an instinctive urge to sharpen their claws. This behavior is normal and it is important for the health of their paws. Cats use scratching as a way to condition the muscles in their forelimbs and to mark their territory.

Providing peepoles with a variety of scratching surfaces, such as carpeted or sisal poles, can help keep cats from clawing woodwork. These objects should be tall enough so that cats can stretch out while they scratch, and they should also be sturdy enough to handle sharp claws. Scratching surfaces should be placed near areas where cats typically sleep or rest. Placing catnip or toys near these poles may help encourage cats to use them instead of woodwork.

Trimming nails regularly can help prevent scratching damage to your furniture and woodwork, as well as reduce the risk of cats getting their nails snagged on objects or furniture. Additionally, double-sided tape along baseboards or areas where scratching typically takes place can help keep cats away as the texture is unpleasant for them when scratched upon. Consider trying a pheromone plug-in diffuser which may deter cats from certain targeted area’s within your home that you want protected from being scratched on by your feline friend(s). Finally, don’t forget about providing regular playtime for your cat and plenty of interactive toys that are designed specifically for beating boredom and keeping claws occupied!

Alternatives to Scratching Wood

When it comes to keeping cats from clawing woodwork, positive reinforcement and providing alternatives can be key. Cats usually scratch furniture to keep their claws sharp and mark their territory. To discourage this undesirable behavior, you should provide your kitty with appropriate items for scratching. Examples of such items would include scratching posts made out of sisal rope or cardboard, horizontal scratching boards, or even hanging toys that cats can bat around and scratch on. You should place these in areas where your cat is already scratching wood so they will have something else to focus on.

It is also important to give your cat plenty of praise and reward when they use the appropriate item. This could be done by offering them treats or playing with them each time they use the post instead of the woodwork. Once they begin to understand which item is acceptable for them to scratch, you can move it closer to the desired area if needed and it may become the preferred spot for them going forward. If a cat is allowed access to areas where clawing isn’t desirable, you could also place double sided tape on those areas as a reminder not to scratch as cats typically don’t like its sticky texture against their paws.

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Discouraging Unwanted Scratching

Cats are known for scratching woodwork, and this is a behavior that should be managed in order to protect your furniture. Although the natural instincts of cats cause them to scratch, there are measures that you can take to discourage this habit.

The first step is to understand why cats may feel the need to scratch woodwork. Unclipped nails can become overgrown which may urge cats to stretch their toes, leaving gouges behind on surfaces such as walls and furniture. Cats may also scratch for attention or as part of their grooming routine. Additionally, cats may use objects or surfaces as marking posts, particularly in multi-cat households.

To deter unwanted scratching behavior, it would be wise to invest in nail clippers and get into the habit of regularly trimming your cat’s claws rather than letting them become overgrown. Scratching posts can be used to divert the urge your cat may have to claw at other items in your home by redirecting their attention away from furniture and towards an acceptable scratching post instead. It is important to introduce these items early on ” kittens will easily adapt but older cats might prefer their own familiar scent on their posts so some patience may be required when making changes like this. Spray deterrents such as Feliway® spray can also be employed if needed; just make sure that these products are animal safe by checking labels before purchase and following instructions carefully once purchased. Finally, positive reinforcement like providing rewards when they exhibit desirable behaviors and ignoring inappropriate behavior (instead of punishing it) can go a long way in reinforcing desired behaviors without damaging the relationship between you and your furry friend!

Trimming Techniques

Trimming your cat’s nails is one of the best ways to reduce their ability to damage woodwork or other items in your home. If you have been unsuccessful at deterrents such as double-sided tape, spray bottles, or citrus scents for prevention, then it may be time to consider trimming your cat’s nails. Regular nail-trimming can help keep your cat from clawing furniture, wallpaper and other items in your home.

When it comes to trimming your cat’s nails, there are a couple of different options for doing so. One option is the “scissor” method; with this technique you just cut the tips off of each of the cat’s claws. Use a special pet nail trimmer that has an ergonomic handle and an angled cutting edge as these make it easier to carefully clip away just a tiny bit of each claw tip. You should also wipe away any freshly cut off parts should they fall on surfaces around the house – they can be dangerous if someone steps on them.

The second option involves using guillotine-style nail clippers; these are specifically made for cats and resembles a guillotine with shallow grooves where the claw is inserted before its quickly clipped off. Depending on how co-operative your cat is some owners find that using this type of clipper works better than scissors for trimming nails because it makes precision cuts much quicker without having to worry about cutting too far down onto the live fleshy part of their claw which could cause pain or bleeding. Make sure to only clip off small amounts at a time and look ahead while clipping to make sure you know exactly where the quick starts so you don’t cut into it. If bleeding occurs use cornstarch or styptic powder immediately applied directly onto the area will help stop any bleeding.

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Providing Distractions

Distractions are a great way to keep cats from clawing woodwork. To start, create a space for them to scratch that is separate from the furniture. It could be something as simple as a cardboard scratcher or you could go all out and get something like a hanging scratcher tree. However, it’s important to be aware of your cat’s preferences when selecting products. If they don’t love the style of their present scratcher then they won’t be likely to use it. Make sure the scratching post is sturdy enough not to topple over when your cat jumps up and down on it.

Another good way to distract your cat from clawing woodwork is providing interactive toys. Invest in some toys, such as wand toys that feature feathers or other materials which cats love, and use them in fun active play sessions with your feline friend. This can help stimulate them physically and mentally, and will hopefully keep their attention off of the furniture! Additionally, make sure that you provide places where they can hide away if too overwhelmed by active playtime (such as behind a curtain or chair). This will give them an outlet for self-soothing in case distress builds up during these sessions and prevent them from lashing out at furniture.

Protecting Woodwork

One of the most effective ways to keep cats from clawing woodwork is to provide them with an appropriate scratch post. Place a scratching post near wood surfaces that your cat seems to be targeting. Cover these surfaces with an object such as double sided tape, plastic or something similar (make sure your cat won’t get hurt if they touch it). You can also try providing your furry friends with a scratching pad or mat in their favorite scratches spots and try incentives such as treats and verbal praises when they use it and avoid furniture.

To further prevent cats from clawing your wooden furniture, you can try trimming your cat’s nails more frequently, as this may help decrease the damage done to furniture over time. If possible, create designated ‘no-go’ zones for cats where you don’t want your pet to go so that you can direct them away from problem areas if needed. Additionally, keeping your cat stimulated through playtime and offering alternative materials for scratching may also help reduce the attraction to woodwork surfaces. Finally, make sure that any heavy objects such as bookshelves or cabinets are securely fixed down so that your cat has no reason to climb onto the furniture.


By preventing your cat from clawing at the woodwork, you can save yourself from having to fix and replace surfaces in the future. Additionally, this will provide a safe and comfortable environment for cats and reduce their stress levels associated with scratching. Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed on a regular basis and making sure they have plenty of appropriate outlets for scratching is important for the safety of both you, your furniture, and your furry friend. Providing them with good quality, tall scratch posts that are firmly fixed to the bottom or floor can help discourage cats from sharpening their claws on furniture. Adding some catnip to the posts can also entice them to use it more. With these simple steps, you and your pet can enjoy a long-lasting relationship without any damage to wooden surfaces!

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