Why Does My Cat Scratch the Wall at Night? (+ Solution)
If you are getting stressed about your cat scratching up your walls at night you may be keen to understand why and how to stop it happening.
Why does my cat scratch the wall at night?
Your cat is scratching your walls at night for a few possible reasons. For example, termites or mice in a hollow wall, sharpening their claws, burying food, or even a result of anxiety. You need to identify which one to see what to do.
What you will need to stop it happening
|01. 4CLAWS Wall Post (Best Option)
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|02. 4CLAWS 26 inch Wall Scratcher
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|03. Cyclamen9 Wall Mounted Scratcher
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Now that you know why your cat is scratching your wall at night. Keep reading t learn some options to stop it happening, why anxiety could be the main issue for your cat and why their nails need to be maintained, and much more.
How do I get my cat to stop scratching the walls?
Now that you know why your cat is scratching your walls you are probably keen to know how you can stop it happening. Therefore, in this section, I will explain how you can do this. Here are some options:
- Use a wall-mounted scratching post (best option)
- Identify the root cause & rectify it
- Block access to the room completely
Use a wall-mounted scratching post (best option)
One of the best ways to stop your cat scratching your wall is to use a wall-mounted cat scratcher. This will divert their attention from your wall and onto the scratcher.
It is not 100% foolproof, but it helps. Especially when your cat is doing it to maintain its claws.
Identify the root cause & rectify it
Earlier I mentioned a few reasons why your cat is scratching, such as anxiety, burying food, termites in the wall, etc. If you can identify which one it is, you can then work to resolve the issue. For example, get rid of the termites, are you with me?
The challenge with this method
This sounds very logical. But, in practice, it’s not always that easy. Mainly because it is not always obvious what the issue is. For example, anxiety is not always easy to see (more on this later).
Block access to the room completely
This method is quite drastic, but it works, if done correctly. The idea is simple, if your cat cant access the wall, it can’t damage it, right?
The problem with blocking access
Again, this sounds easy in theory but challenging in practice. The reason being, it is not always possible to block access.
For example, the wall in question could be a hallway wall. Meaning, unless you restrict your cat to one room, which is not ethical or realistic, then it won’t work, are you with me?
So, now you have three methods to consider, so you can stop your cat scratching. But, regarding anxiety, I mentioned its tricky to identify, remember? Keep reading for some tips to do this.
How do you know if your cat is scratching because of anxiety?
As discussed earlier cats can sometimes scratch up your walls out of anxiety. In this section, I will explain some tell-tale signs that your cat is anxious, which will help you help to alleviate this tension.
- Mood seems different
- Hiding from you (or your guests)
- Unexpected aggression
- Not eating as usual
- Not using the litter tray
Mood seems different
If you have noticed that your cat is acting differently, it may be a sign that she is anxious. This is hard for some people to see because it can be very subtle. It could be how she looks at, reluctant to make contact with you, etc.
Hiding from you (or your guests)
If your cat is usually very sociable, but now is not. For example, hiding from you, or even one of your houseguests, then this could be an example of anxiety, and the reason she is shredding your walls.
If your cat is usually very placid and friendly, and now she is touchy, or even worse, biting and attacking you (Click here to see how to stop this happening), then you might have an issue.
Not eating as usual
Is your cat usually greedy, but now she is refusing food? This is a bad sign. It could be anxiety, or worse case a health issue. You need to look into this, it could be why she is scratching up your walls at night.
Not using the litter tray
Is your cat messing up the floor all of a sudden? And, this is out of character? And, searching up your walls at night? Then, you may have an anxious cat that needs some attention, are you with me?
So, now you have a few examples of why your cat could be anxious. If you identify with one or more of these, and your walls are seeing shredded in the night, you can try and address it.
But, what if it’s not anxiety, keep reading to see why your cat could be scratching as a weird food burial ritual.
How can you help an anxious cat stop scratching?
In this section I will give you some tips on how to address an anxious cat, to prevent her from scratching your walls.
Identify the issue
Firstly, you need to read the possible issues discussed earlier. And, if you see one or more than you can fix, do that and see what happens. For example, if its a mouse hiding in the wall, get rid of it, are you with me?
But, what if it’s not possible to get rid of the cause of anxiety?
If you have a situation that is not easy to “fix”. For example, your cat is anxious about a new dog you have, or baby, etc. Obviously, you can’t change this, right?
So, in these situations, you can try to calm their nerves. One of the best places to start is with a pheromone diffuser product and see how she responds.
Why do cats scratch and try to bury their food?
Earlier I mentioned that your cat could be scratching the walls for part of their food burial. But, why could this even be happening? I mean, what’s the point of them burying the food?
Your cat may attempt to bury food as part of their instincts. As kittens, in the wild, they may see their mother dig and hide food. This is a survival technique. It keeps their food safe, and, more importantly, makes sure their predators do not know they were there.
Now that you know why your cat might be scratching to bury their food. But, if this is not your issue and your cat is just sharpening its claws on your wall, keep reading to understand why keeping their claws sharp is so important to them.
What happens if your cat stops sharpening her claws on your walls?
In this section, I will explain why offering your cat an alternative that she can scratch, such as a wall-mounted scratcher is a good idea.
If your cat is blocked from scratching your wall, the chances are she will find another surface to scratch. This could be your sofa get scratched up (Click here to learn how to protect it). So, it is worth offering them a worthy and acceptable alternative.
Now that you know the consequences. Keep reading to learn why cats need to keep their claws sharp in the first place.
Why do cats need to keep their claws sharp
In this section, I will explain why cats need to keep their claws sharp, and what may happen if they neglect this grooming activity.
Your cat needs to keep its claws sharp so they stay effective. But, another major reason is what happens if they don’t sharpen and maintain them. If it stops sharpening, it will eventually grow out of control.
And, in extreme cases, curl back into their paw pad. This would need quite a lot of neglect, but is a reason for them to maintain them.
Now that you know what can happen if your cat has no place to sharpen their claws, keep reading to learn if you should be trimming their nails for them.
Should you trim your cat’s nails?
If you have stopped your cat scratching (Click here if it got your eye as well) your walls and worried about their nails, you may be wondering if it is necessary to trim their nails.
According to ASPA, you should be trimming your cat’s nails. And, ideally, this should be every 10-14 days. But, they do state that it’s worth taking it slowly at first, maybe trim two nails in one sitting to keep her calm.
What could cause a cat to pat the wall after pooping?
If your cat is pat the wall after pooping its likely to be one of its weird quirks. Eachg cat is different, and some may be more prominent than others. It is not likely to be a cause for concern, but worth monitering to be sure it is not destroying your wall, slowly.
If you ever wondered why your cat was doing this now you know. But, it is normal to be concerned about this. If its a new kitten, even more reason to relax, chances are it will grow out of this weird habbit.
In some cases, it could be related to the food its eating and an in-built urge to hide its meal, but more on this later.
Why does my kitten scratch the wall after eating?
If you have noticed that your cat is scratching the wall after eating it could be its way, or attempt to cover the food after eating. Altough this may seem odd, or illogical to us humans, to them this is classed as a smart defensive action.
Meaning, they may feel compelled to hide the scent of teh food from predators. This is usually an ingrain instince. And, not always a direct response to a local cat or predator.
Howeevr, if there is a local cat, or new pet that makes it feel threatened, it could make it react in this way.
How can I cover the cat scratch marks on the wall?
If you cat is making your wall look unsightly you may be keen to understand what you can do to cover up the marks. Here are some tips:
01. Patch it up
You can simply patch it up. This is the quick and easy method. And, ususally the prefered method if there is just a few patches, and works best with painted walls. You need to collect a sample of the paintwork and take it to your local store.
You should be able to find some filler, to fill out the gashes in the wall, and a similar, or identical paint to cover it with. Once you get this you can fill the scratch, sand it down and re-pain the area.
If you are bad at DIY, or just hate doing it, then you can always considering paying someone to do it for you.
02. Re-paint (Or paper)
If your wall is covered with scratch marks. And, unfixable, in your opionion, then you may need to re-paint, or paper the entire wall. This is quite extreme though, and hopefully you can avoid this.
Why does my cat scratch the wall after using the litter box?
If your cat is scratching the wall after using the litter box this could be a subtke request for you to clean it, or an attempt to cover it up after using it. if its the former, you need to check and make sure it is clean.
Most cats will refuse to use a dirty litter box and these weird gestures can surface as a result. if it is not that, and it is trying to bury its mess, this is more of a built in instinct and not your fault.