It’s the age-old struggle of cat owners worldwide – the relentless scratching at closed doors. Just when you thought you could enjoy some undisturbed shut-eye, you hear that familiar scritch-scratch from outside the door. If this sounds all too familiar, you’ve probably asked: How do I stop my cat from scratching at the door?!
It’s as if your door has become the ultimate adversary in their eyes: one that needs to be conquered to all ends. But fear not, for in this blog, we solve the cat door-scratching mystery and help you discover ways to put an end to it once and for all. Let’s dig in.
The Eternal Feud: Cats Versus Closed Doors
So, why do cats hate closed doors in the first place? Cats are known for their inquisitive nature. Their inherent desire to explore every nook and cranny of their territory runs through their blood, and if they’re prohibited from a certain area, their curiosity only grows stronger. A closed door is like a personal insult to their adventurous spirit, and it becomes an irresistible puzzle that demands their attention.
What’s more? If your kitty wants your attention and you’re on the other side of that door, their desire to get through only heightens. They may experience anxiety at the click of a closed door, and feel separated from you when they’re closed off from your room or the epicenter of entertainment. This does not, however, mean that you have to let them through every time they scratch. More on that later.
Why Does My Cat Constantly Scratch at My Door?
Understanding the root cause of your cat’s door-scratching obsession is the first step toward finding a solution. Several reasons could be driving this behavior, including:
- Attention-Seeking: Cats are notorious attention-seekers, and scratching at doors may be their way of demanding your presence.
- Boredom: Cats, like humans, get bored. If your feline friend lacks mental or physical stimulation, scratching doors might become their source of entertainment.
- Territorial Instincts: Cats are territorial creatures. They may scratch doors to mark their territory or signal to other animals that this space is theirs.
- Anxiety or Stress: Changes in the household, new pets, or unfamiliar noises can stress out your cat, leading to compulsive behaviors like door scratching.
Are cat claws getting you down? Don’t worry, there are humane alternatives to declawing. Read all about them here.
How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Clawing the Door?
Now that we’ve made sense of this annoying cat behavior, let’s explore some effective strategies to curb it.
Wear Your Cat Out
One of the most effective ways to deter door scratching is to tire out your cat through play. By engaging in interactive play sessions using toys that mimic prey, your kitty will expend their energy, leaving them satisfied and sleepy. Remember, a tired cat is much less likely to engage in destructive behaviors, and you’ll have a more peaceful home because of it.
Pro-tip: End door scratching by creating an epic cat room your kitty will never want to leave.
Provide Alternative Scratching Elsewhere
Cats scratch for various reasons, including to mark their territory and to keep their claws healthy. If they’re scratching your door for these reasons, it can be helpful to provide them with a better alternative. We recommend investing in a sturdy scratching post or cat tree with plenty of sisal scratching posts. Be sure to place it strategically near the door your cat loves to scratch. You can always sprinkle some catnip on the scratching post to encourage them to use it. You can also use it to redirect them to the preferred scratching area when you catch them in the act.
Get a Door Cat Scratcher
Does your kitty seem fixated on a certain door? If so, you might want to consider getting a door scratcher. While it won’t stop your cat from scratching at the door, it will protect your door from looking like Edward Scissor Hands was trying to get through.
Most door scratchers are designed to hang on the doorknob and provide a more appropriate surface for your cat to scratch on. Not only will it protect your door, but your cat will enjoy scratching the material much more than a wooden door (hopefully!). Door cat scratchers are available in various styles, from simple adhesive pads to more elaborate designs that hang off the door knob. Just check out this cute door scratcher from Petco.
Utilize Deterrent Spray
If you want to completely deter your cat from their door of choice, we recommend using a deterrent spray. These can be a simple and harmless way to keep your kitty from a general area – it might even smell good, too (to you)! These sprays often contain natural scents that cats find unpleasant, discouraging them from scratching the treated surface. Remember to reapply the spray periodically, as its effectiveness may diminish over time. You can either make your own deterrent spray or buy a premade one.
Adhere Aluminum Foil or Double Sided Tape to the Door
Cats typically hate the feel and sound of aluminum foil and double-sided tape. By adhering these materials to the door, you can create an unpleasant sensory experience for your cat, dissuading them from scratching. This method is a non-invasive way to protect your doors and redirect your cat’s attention. One scratch and your cat will want to go elsewhere because it’s just not satisfying anymore. You can purchase large strips of double-sided tape called Sticky Paws specifically designed for this purpose.
Use a Scat Mat
If your cat is relentlessly scratching at your door, especially at night, we highly recommend getting a scat mat. At first glance, they look like a mean torture device, but they’re actually quite humane and extremely effective. Scat mats are designed to train pets to avoid specific areas by delivering a mild static pulse when touched. This won’t hurt your cat, and one mild zap will likely be enough to make them stay away from your door forever. Simply place the scat mat in front of the door so your kitty can’t access the door without stepping on the mat. We have personally used these, and they truly work – especially when you’re desperate.
Protect Your Door and Your Sanity by Directing Your Cat Elsewhere
The eternal struggle between cats and closed doors may persist, but armed with the right strategies, you can save your door and maintain your sanity. From playing with your cat to providing alternative scratching surfaces and using deterrents, there are plenty of techniques to explore. Remember, patience is key when modifying your cat’s behavior. By understanding their motivations and needs, you’ll soon find harmony in your household again. Here’s to peaceful, scratch-free nights and doors that stand the test of claws!
Have you found a solution to cat door scratching that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Stay Informed – Join the HypePets Community!
If you’re like us, your pets are like family. Stay up to date on the latest news, info, tips, and gear to help your pet live its best life!
Also, join the conversation over on our HypePets Discord server!