Why Do Cats Scratch Walls and Columns? 6 Solutions for Annoying Scratching Behavior

Having a charming feline as a companion can bring a sense of comfort and relaxation. The adorable texture of their fur provides an unparalleled joy that cannot be substituted by anything else. Nevertheless, from a human’s viewpoint, a cat is more than just cute. It is a common occurrence for cats to sharpen their claws on various surfaces such as furniture, walls, and columns. To ensure a harmonious living environment for both the cat and the human, appropriate measures should be taken. This article will discuss the reasons behind why cats scratch walls and columns, as well as potential solutions.

✨What is the role of cat claw trimming?

Trimming a kitten’s claws may seem adorable and charming, however, as the kitten grows, its claws become stronger and more resilient. As a result, the trimmed area may experience some damage.

There are explanations for this particular behavior in regards to trimming a cat’s claws.

❂ Role of claw Sharpening ① To remove the old layer of claws

The purpose of claw trimming is to rejuvenate and sharpen the old claws, thereby allowing for more effective hunting of prey.

It is believed that the ancestors of domestic cats were wild Libyan cats that inhabited the Middle Eastern desert and established a relationship with humans roughly 9,500 years ago.

In their natural habitat, these cats hunted small prey such as mice and engaged in claw trimming as a crucial self-defense mechanism to avoid threats from potential predators. For wild cats, an inability to defend themselves could result in death.

Although cats now primarily exist as household pets, the act of claw trimming remains a fundamental aspect of their survival instincts.

❂ Role of Claw Sharpening ② Marking

Sharpening of claws is considered a territorial marking behavior that signifies ownership. This is demonstrated through their assertion of “This is my place meow! This is my place meow!”

Cats require time to get used to new objects or environments and will wander around until they have left their own scent on them.

Preventing a cat from sharpening its claws can lead to increased stress levels and it is recommended to allow them to do so in a comfortable manner as it serves as a means of stress relief.

❂ Role of Claw Sharpening ③ Stress Relief

With regards to group living, cats may hone their claws as a means of coping with stress resulting from conflicts or territorial battles with other felines.

In the writer’s household, the introduction of the third cat, which happened to be the first male, resulted in an increase of marking behavior. It is possible that this was due to nervousness or the heightened territorial instincts that come with being the first male cat. Even minor stressors can lead cats to scratch walls or columns as they sharpen their claws.

❂ Role of Claw Sharpening ④ Mood Change

Sharpening of claws in cats is not limited to instances of irritation, but also takes place when they are at ease, wishing to express affection towards their playmates, or seeking pampering. Furthermore, cats may engage in claw sharpening as a response to visitors, changes in the household, or a desire to alter their mood.

✨Why do cats scratch walls and columns?

Scratching is a typical behavior for cats to mark their territory. Despite being a natural instinct, it can still be frustrating when valuable items such as furniture, wallpaper, and columns become damaged due to their scratching.

❂Marking behavior within their own range of activity

The behavior of cats scratching walls and columns stems from their strong territorial instinct. Through close observation, it can be seen that cats tend to scratch items within their range of activity such as walls, chairs, and columns to mark their scent and establish a sense of comfort. However, if there are no available objects for them to scratch and they are constantly reprimanded by their owner, it can result in hair loss, illness, and negative impacts on their health.

❂Likes the material of the walls and columns

It has been observed that some cats have a fondness for scratching the material of walls and columns. Once they start, it may prove challenging to prevent them from continuing.

The author’s felines each have distinct scratching preferences. The first feline favors flat cardboard, the second one enjoys circular cardboard and vertical surfaces, and the third cat, who is the most adventurous, prefers the sofa, wall, and flat cardboard. Despite the fact that the sofa has been resigned to being replaced, this cat alone continues to scratch it and the wall.

❂ No nail clippers you like

If you have a nail clipper in your room but use it on the wall or pillar, it may not meet your expectations.

If a satisfactory nail clipper is not available, the cat will indiscriminately scratch objects like the wall, sofa, chair, pillar, etc.

✨ What are the measures against cats scratching walls and pillars?

It is understandable to feel frustrated when you discover that the wallpaper has been torn, the pillar has scratches, and your furniture has been scratched. However, it is important to remember that scratching is a natural instinct for cats and attempting to prevent it through force can lead to stress. To prevent this, it is recommended to implement measures and find ways to not cause stress to the cat.

❂ Measure 1: Find your cat’s favorite

Cats are formidable creatures with unique personalities. At the house, there are three cats observed to have differing favorite scratching spots.

It is advisable to identify your cat’s preferred scratching location and ensure it can adequately fulfill its scratching needs.

There are different forms of nail clippers available, such as square, circular, cradle-shaped, and vertical pole-shaped, among others.

The materials used in making nail clippers vary as well, including cardboard, hemp, and carpet. One can choose the material that suits their cat’s preference.

Hemp-based clippers are an alluring material that is easily gripped by a cat’s claws. It is recommended to experiment with various types to match your home’s interior.

Trying out multiple types of nail clippers is suggested when preparing to purchase them.

❂Measure 2: Use Vertical Type Claw Sharpening

When it comes to cats scratching their claws on walls or pillars, they may have a preference for vertical surfaces over horizontal ones.

For optimum use of a vertical claw sharpener, it is best to provide one that allows the cat ample space even when stretching its back. If the sharpener is too small in proportion to the cat’s size, the cat may not use it effectively and therefore not sharpen its claws.

Initially, it is advisable to entice the cat to the claw sharpener by shaking a toy or similar object near it. This helps the cat associate the sharpener with a designated scratching area. Always position the vertical claw sharpener against the wall where the cat habitually sharpens its claws.

❂Measure 3: Cut the claws regularly

Throughout their lives, the claws of cats continue to grow and develop several layers. If left untrimmed, not only will the walls or furniture suffer from sharpening but also the claws may break and result in bleeding.

When trimming a cat’s claws, it is recommended to sit on a comfortable surface such as a sofa, securely wrap the feline in a towel or blanket, exposing only the hands and face while speaking softly to the animal. Care should be taken to avoid cutting the pink portion that contains the blood vessels and only the transparent tip of the claw should be trimmed.

With gradual exposure, the cat will become less resistant and even if it still sharpens its claws on the walls or furniture, the damage will be minimized.

❂ Measure 4: Put protective sheets on the wall

Dogs have an aversion to sticky substances. To discourage them from scratching in a specific area, utilize gum tape or double-sided tape.

Recently, anti-scratch sheets, which can be used to prevent scratches on walls caused by claws, are available for purchase even at 100 dollar shops. These sheets can be peeled off like translucent paper without causing damage to the walls.

DIY is also a feasible option as it can be used without damaging the walls.

For instances where it cannot be directly applied to the wall or furniture, there are anti-scratch sheets that can be rolled.

As an alternative, acrylic plates or lightweight panels sold at home centers can be used. The author covers the wall as a substitute for tapestry by placing a hand towel in a picture frame.

However, it is important to always provide an alternative scratching surface.

❂ Measure 5: Anti-scratch spray

The method of using a spray with a scent that is unpleasant for cats, such as citrus, can be applied to areas where scratching is discouraged.

It is important to ensure the use of a safe spray for cats, in case they lick it.

Additionally, it is important to provide an alternative area for scratching to prevent stress from being unable to fulfill their scratching instincts.

❂ Measure 6: Play with them plenty when you have time

If a feline is exhibiting scratching behavior as a result of stress, it is imperative to address the root cause of the stress.

If you are experiencing stress from owning several pets, consider establishing a designated sanctuary or engaging in physical activity to alleviate the stress.

It has been medically established that not only does physical interaction with cats decrease their stress levels, but it also has a beneficial impact on human health.

Interacting with felines through play can also be beneficial to the well-being of the individual owning the pets.


The claws of cats continue to grow throughout their lifetime and they have the ability to extend and retract them at will. When they desire to walk quietly, they retract their claws and walk on their paws. But when they want to run with full speed, they extend their claws and use them as stoppers by digging into the ground. This is also crucial for them to grip their claws when climbing high places or pillars, allowing them to support their body securely.

However, the constant need to have their claws trimmed can be bothersome. To prevent stress to the cat and maintain a comfortable environment, it is important to take measures such as regular claw trimming and providing a new scratching post if they scratch the walls or pillars.

It should be noted that scratching is a natural instinct for cats and it is essential to create a relaxing environment for them.

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