It’s a perfectly normal, natural cat behavior that meets grooming, exercise and communication needs. But while cats enjoy the sensation of scratching and use their scratch marks to send messages to other cats—“Blinky was here” or “Look how big I am!”—the destructive nature of the habit can put owners and cats at odds with each other.

Declawing isn’t the answer, so what’s a cat owner to do?

To help you and your cat remain in harmony, we’ve pulled together some resources from here on the Fear Free Happy Homes website as well as elsewhere on the internet. They deal with the whys, wheres and hows of scratching so that you and Blinky can stay happy together.

Fear Free Happy Homes Articles

Scratch That! Cat expert Steve Dale on how to encourage appropriate scratching.

Clawful Behavior. Cat expert Sally Bahner explains feline scratching behavior.

Test Cat Roxy Rocks Feliscratch Trial. Senior cat tests new scratching product; approves.

American Association of Feline Practitioners

Living With A Clawed Cat

Nail Trimming


Horizontal scratching posts? Cats like ‘em, says Dr. Marty Becker. Here’s what you need to know.

Teach kittens proper scratching behavior, by Dr. Marty Becker

How to deter destructive scratching behavior, by Dr. Marty Becker

5 things to know about what cats like to scratch, by Dr. Marty Becker

Why do I need to trim my cat’s claws? by Dr. Marty Becker


The Catit Scratching Board With Catnip has a corrugated surface and can be placed anywhere to encourage cats to scratch to their hearts’ content.

Feliscratch encourages cats to use their scratching post instead of furniture or carpet.

Soft Paws are temporary nail caps that prevent damage from scratching.

Sticky Paws strips stick to furniture or other surfaces, deterring cats from scratching where you don’t want. Find them online or at pet supply stores.

Studies and Association Position Papers

Pheromones affect cat scratching behavior, Texas Tech University

Pain and adverse behavior in declawed cats, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, May 23, 2017

American Association of Feline Practitioners position statement on declawing

Cat Fanciers Association position on declawing