How to Stop Cats from Scratching the Carpet

As much as we love our cats, there are some habits that can be annoying. Furballs, spraying, and knocking over cups of water are a few that come to mind. Another habit that our cats love doing is scratching the carpet. This tends to get out of hand when clumps of carpet fall out or there is visible damage.

Why do cats like scratching carpet?

There are a number of reasons why our little fluffball wants to go at our rugs and it is definitely not to annoy you! Cats scratch surfaces such as carpet to sharpen their claws, to stretch and to leave scent marks. Think of it as a manicure. They get to buff up their claws while also stretching to relax.

What can we do about it?

If you have tried your best to reason with your cat, but cannot get through, do not give up! There are plenty of different ideas that can help. How can we get our cats to stop? A comedian would say to get rid of the carpet. Problem solved! But since removing large amounts of carpet is no joke, here are some more practical ways of getting your little furball to stop scratching the carpet.


Sprays are a decent solution to our cat-scratching problems. They are quick to grab, easy to spray and lead to wanted results. Here are some products that you can spray on areas your cat likes to scratch. Before spraying, however, be sure to test out the product on a small section of carpet. This is to see if there are any undesired effects such as discoloration.

Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray - Natural Training Solution

This spray can be used on carpets, wood flooring, curtains, and furniture. It is created with essential oils and defers kitties away when they are near.

Claw Withdraw Cat Scratch Spray Deterrent - 8oz

This product is made from plant-based ingredients made to train your cat to use another item to scratch. The idea is to spray the area where they are scratching and offer another alternative such as a scratching post instead. More on scratching posts in the section below.

DIY Lemon Spray

Cats hate the smell of citrus. For this DIY hack, you will need a spray bottle, some lemon juice, and water. For a 16 oz spray bottle, put a teaspoon of lemon juice and fill the rest with water. Shake the bottle up and spray on the carpet your cat likes to scratch. The smell of the citrus in the lemon will make your kitty want to avoid the area. Warning! Test on a small piece of carpet to see if the lemon reacts badly to your type of carpet.

Scratching Posts

Scratching posts are designed to be used and abused by kitties. Scratching posts offer a great surface texture that entices cats to scratch. The material also buffs up their claws. This is very satisfying for them. A trick to getting your cat to scratch the scratching post is to place them next to one and scratch it yourself. The sound of you scratching will alert your kitty. Their instinct then will take over when they have the urge to scratch it themselves. Here are some great scratching posts.

Omega Paw Lean-It Anywhere Wide Scratching Post

This scratching post is great to lean against walls. It works and stays in place on any floor surface. Since it is extra-wide, your cat can have enough room to do its business. Place it in a convenient location and your cat will come to it again and again.

Evalan Cat Scratching Post Arch Self Groomer and Massage Durable Bristles

This one is not only fun to look at but it is also fun for the kitty who plays with it. This is a two-in-one scratching post and cat toy. Your cat can have an area to scratch and an area to get a body massage. A win-win for everyone!

One Source International Sisal Hanging Scratch Pad

If you do not want to have a scratching post lying around or getting in the way, then this one is worth considering. This scratching post hangs from a doorknob and is completely out of the way and off the floor.

Sticky Pads

Sticky pads take a different approach. Their method of getting cats to stop scratching is by directly covering the problem areas with a sticky surface. They are transparent, so you will not even notice they are there. Kitties do not like the feel of these pads and admit defeat. They cannot scratch something that is covered up! Here are a couple of products that do the job.

Sticky Paws Scratch Control Strips

The sticky pads are easily able to apply to floors, carpets, countertops and even curtains. Removing the pads are quick and painless. It is made with medical grade adhesive and is not harmful towards your kitties.

Sticky Paws 5 Xl Sheets

These can be applied directly to fabric and is easily removable if needed. These are extra large, so they are able to cover larger areas without needing to use more strips.


Interruptions are a great training tool. They can help get your cats to stop doing inappropriate behaviors. Cats do not like to be interrupted in their tasks, and when you continue to disrupt them, they will eventually learn that the behavior is not ideal.  Here are some safe and appropriate ways to disrupt a cat that is doing something unfavorable.

Clap Your Hands

Cats hate abrupt loud noises. When they start to scratch the carpet, try clapping your hands why saying, "no," in a stern voice. The sternness in your voice tells them that they are being disciplined and are upsetting you. Usually, this is enough to get them to stop. Eventually, they will learn that they should choose another place to scratch.

Jangle Money

Like clapping, jangling money is another way to create a loud noise to get your cat to stop doing an action. This trick is often used to get dogs to stop barking. It is also a good idea to also use an empty tin can to help amplify the sound. Do this every time they scratch. And eventually, they will learn that you do not want them scratching in that area.

Remove Them From Area

There is not a better hint than to physically remove your cat from the area as they are in the middle of scratching. Make sure to remove them as they are doing the scratching. This will let them know that the scratching action is what is causing them to be removed. Try to place them in an okay area to scratch such as next to a scratching post.


The methods above are all great way to get our cats to stop scratching the carpet. Just remember that cats are not trying to deliberately annoy you. They are just exercising their internal instincts to stretch, sharpen their claws, and leave their scent.

Using the tricks or products above are greats to change the behavior. It is also always a good idea to reinforce the bad habit with a new habit. Showing them that a scratching post is the appropriate scratching medium can keep them from finding other places to scratch. Those places could be ones that you don't like to be scratched as well; like the furniture or curtain. The cats do need a place to scratch, so if the carpet is not an option, they will find another place.

You do not have to remove your carpet because your cat keeps scratching it. There are products and DIY tricks available to help you out, so you will not be annoyed, and you can have a better relationship with your cat.