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Home > Cats > How To Protect a Carpet From Cat Scratching: 5 Expert Tips

How To Protect a Carpet From Cat Scratching: 5 Expert Tips

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Your cute little kitty suddenly becomes less adorable when he transforms into a wild feline and attacks your plush rugs! And given that declawing your cat is largely considered cruel and can lead to many long-term problems, you must consider better solutions. But before we get to these tips and tricks, keep in mind that scratching is normal cat behavior. Therefore, it is useless to punish your cat when you catch him in the act, despite the distressing sight of your tarnished carpet.

Instead, check out our five solutions to prevent your cat from damaging your beautiful carpets.


The 5 Tips to Protect a Carpet From Cat Scratching

1. Trim Your Kitty’s Claws

Trimming your cat’s claws is a cheap and quick way (depending on your cat’s temperament!) to protect your carpets.

As a general rule, indoor cats’ nails should be trimmed every 10 days to 2 weeks. In addition to protecting your carpets and other furniture, regularly trimming your kitty’s claws prevents them from curling into the pads, causing pain and infection. If your cat spends a lot of time outdoors, trots all day on rough surfaces, and climbs every tree it comes across, you probably won’t need to trim his nails.

Be careful, however, when trimming the tips of your cat’s claws, not touching the central white or pink part, also called the quick. You risk injuring your pet, causing it to bleed profusely and cause severe pain.

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2. Remove Access to Your Carpets

A relatively simple solution is to prevent your cat from accessing your carpet or part of it by covering it with specific materials:

  • Aluminum: Your cat probably loves to play with small aluminum balls. On the other hand, he hates putting his paws on this material. Indeed, the texture of the aluminum foil and the noise it makes when touched greatly annoy cats. So, you can take advantage of this aversion by placing aluminum foil on the carpet spots your cat targets. However, it is mainly a temporary solution to dissuade your cat from always scratching the same spot because it is neither ecological nor aesthetically pleasing!
  • Double-Sided Tape: Like aluminum foil, cats don’t like the touch of tape. Sticky residue is particularly unpleasant under the paws of felines. So, put double-sided tape on the areas of the carpet where your cat usually scratches, which will keep him away.
  • Plastic Carpet Runners: If your cat has gotten into the habit of scratching anywhere on your carpet, consider buying plastic or clear vinyl runners. You can then cover large areas of your carpets, protecting them while being less ugly than aluminum foil.

3. Redirect Your Cat’s Scratching

As you might expect, scratching is normal behavior for cats. This allows them to mark their territory with scent glands in their feet, keep their claws sharp, and stretch their leg muscles. Since trying to stop your cat from scratching is pointless, you need to use specific items to redirect this behavior:

  • Scratching Post: A scratching post is an essential accessory in all homes where one or more cats live, and even more so if they do not have access to the outside. To limit the damage to your carpets, provide your cat with one or more scratching posts from an early age. He will quickly get used to sharpening his sharp claws there. On the other hand, if your little kitty has already got into the habit of mistreating your carpets, place the scratching post where he tends to scratch and sprinkle it with catnip to encourage him to use it. You can also add a hanging plush to the scratching post if it is not already included.
  • Cardboard Box: Most cats like to scratch on a simple cardboard box. It’s true that a box in the center of your living room doesn’t look very stylish, but if it can entice your kitty to scratch on it instead of your Persian rug, what have you got to lose?
  • Cat Tree: Like classic scratching posts, cat trees are wonderful inventions for felines and their owners! In addition, many options will blend perfectly into your decor. You can also make one easily and cheaply by following a DIY available online.

To encourage your cat to use these new scratching objects, sprinkle them with catnip and praise your pet every time you see him using his new toy.

4. Reduce Your Cat’s Stress

scottish fold cat and funny pug dog lying on grey textile sofa at home
Photo Credit: everymmnt, Shutterstock

While scratching is a normal behavior for cats, excessive scratching is not. So, if your attempts to reduce scratching are unsuccessful, your cat may be suffering from stress.

Certain factors or situations can cause stress in cats, such as health problems, a recent move, conflicts with other cats or pets, too much loneliness, new people, or new pets in the house. household, etc.

Sometimes, your cat just needs to get used to a new routine or new members, animal or human, in the house. Either way, it’s best to have your kitty checked out by a vet to rule out any underlying health issues. They will be able to determine if your cat’s excessive scratching problem is related to a health problem or if it is due to other stressors.

5. Use Deterrents Sprays

You can use natural or commercial deterrent sprays to prevent your cat from scratching your carpets. You can easily make homemade cat repellent that won’t harm your cat or your carpet. Just mix a few teaspoons of pepper or white vinegar with ¾ of water in a spray bottle.



Your cat is not scratching your carpets to annoy you. Most of the time, this is just natural behavior with “little consequence” other than ruining your beautiful rug. Fortunately, by applying a few simple tips and tricks, you won’t have to replace your living room carpet every month!

Featured Photo Credit: Brita Seifert, Shutterstock

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