Cat scratching carpet for attention – how to stop
Punishment is not the answer to stopping a cat from scratching the carpet, especially if they are doing it to get your attention. Here are some simple methods to stop this unwanted behavior.
Boredom and anxiety
The carpet-scratching behavior is not going to disappear unless you fix the issue at its source. Cats, in general, may not need as much as attention as dogs but they are still social animals. They will crave attention if you aren’t giving them enough of it. It will be evident enough based on the amount of time you play with the cat. Make sure the cat is feeling stimulated. According to PetMD, 4 x 10 minutes play sessions is a good starting point.
Redirect the scratching behavior
It’s normal for cats to scratch. It’s an instinctive behavior that serve many purposes, such as enabling cats to express emotions and allowing them to mark objects with their scents. Place a few cat scratchers on or in the vicinity of the carpet. Encourage the cats to scratch on these cat-friendly posts or boards by sprinkling a bit of catnip on them. You may need to experiment with different cat scratchers before you find one that suits your cat’s liking.
Make the carpet unappealing
If your cat is getting plenty of playtime but still resorting to using the carpet as its scratching post then you may need to take some steps to make the carpet an unappealing spot. You could, for example, place double-sided tape along the areas of the carpet where the cat likes to scratch. Cat-friendly deterrent sprays might also be an affordable option but may only serve as a temporary measure.
Reward your cat
Cats won’t know what is right or wrong. Praise and reward your cat whenever it uses the cat scratching board or post. Over time, the cat may learn that it’s a good behavior to only use the cat scratcher when it needs attention. You will need to make sure there are plenty of cat scratchers around the house which the cat can easily access.
Remove the carpet
Congratulations. You have an asshole cat (just kidding) if none of the above works. Your long-term option might be to just remove the carpet from the floor.