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Why do cats scratch their claws? Reasons and countermeasures against nail sharpening

A nail sharpener is a must-have item for anyone who has a cat.

Cats are instinctive animals that scratch their claws, so you always need to be prepared.

But with so many types of nail sharpeners on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you...

In this article

  • Why Cats Scratch
  • Measures against nail sharpening
  • How to choose a nail sharpener that suits your cat

And so on.

If you are an owner who wants to understand and take measures against scratching your cat's claws, please read this.

Why Cats Scratch

Cats are animals that instinctively sharpen their claws.

Dogs do not have the habit of clipping their claws, so it can be said to be unique to cats.

Unlike human nails, cat nails have a layered structure similar to that of an onion.

By sharpening the nail, it is designed to peel off from the old outer nail.

One of the reasons cats sharpen their claws is to catch prey.

Wild cats used to hunt small animals such as rats on the ground from the tops of tall trees.

Its sharp claws are perfect for slashing prey.

Sharp claws are also useful in fights with other cats. Not only is it used in battle, but it also functions as a marking that indicates strength.

By leaving claw marks in high places and sticking the odorous substance from the paws to walls and trees, it appeals that "I am superior!"

If you have a cat, you often see it scratching its claws when you are surprised or worried about something.

This behavior is called "displacement behavior" and is seen when an animal is in a state of conflict.

Humans scratch their heads when they are in trouble.

Measures against nail sharpening

Cats instinctively sharpen their claws, so if they don't have a favorite sharpener, they will burr on furniture and walls.

Whether you own or rent a house, you will have problems, so you need to take measures.

As a countermeasure for nail sharpening that can be easily done, it is "to choose a good nail sharpener".

It's also important to praise your dog with treats when it's done well with the nail sharpener.

However, if you know your cat's preferences, it's easy to prepare, but at first you don't know which one is good.

Below, we will explain how to choose a nail sharpener that suits your cat.

How to choose a nail sharpener that suits your cat

cat scratching
  • size and shape
  • material
  • design

It would be nice if you could choose from

There are many things that can be purchased cheaply on the Internet, but if you want to see the real thing and consider it, we recommend purchasing it at a home center or pet shop.

size and shape

Cats tend to like larger size sharpeners because they can sharpen at different angles and positions.

If you have a large cat, choose a particularly large one.

If it is a large nail sharpener, many children will fall asleep on it.

However, if it is too big, it will take up too much space, so make sure to choose a size that matches the size of your room.

Also, the shape of the nail sharpener is

  • put down type
  • vertically long type
  • wall mounted type

And so on.

Each cat has different preferences, but kittens tend to prefer S-shaped scratchers, and adult male cats tend to prefer vertical scratchers.

This is because kittens use their entire body and can sharpen their claws while playing, so the S-shape is a standing type, while adult male cats have the meaning of marking, so they can put their own scent on as high a position as possible. .

It is shaped like a cat chigura, and some of them can be hidden inside to sharpen their nails.

Depending on the shape of the nail sharpener, if it is not firmly fixed to the floor, it may move or fall over, which is dangerous.


Depending on the cat, just changing the material can change the frequency of scratching. For the material of the nail sharpener,
  • cardboard
  • Made of linen
  • cotton
  • carpet
  • wooden

And so on.

The good thing about cardboard boxes is that they are inexpensive. Cats also tend to like it, and it's easy to throw it away as burnable garbage when it's worn out.

However, the disadvantage is that frequent cleaning is required because the dust scatters.

On the other hand, if it is a material that does not scatter dust, there are things such as hemp and cotton.

It has a certain amount of strength, so it is recommended for children who sharpen their nails.

However, there are cats who dislike the unique smell, and you need to be careful about accidentally ingesting fragments.

Many children also like the carpet material, but some children can't distinguish it from the carpet used as an interior, so be careful.

Wooden nail sharpeners are the most recommended for cats that originally used wood to sharpen their nails.

However, it has the disadvantages of producing wood chips and being expensive.

Try each one and see what your cat likes.


One of the pleasures is choosing a nail sharpener that matches the design of your room, such as a simple one or a wood grain one.

Since it is something that you will use every day and for the rest of your life, satisfaction is one of the points when choosing a nail sharpener.

[Summary] Why do cats scratch their claws? Reasons and countermeasures against nail sharpening

Cats sharpen their claws for "catching prey" and "for marking".

For a purely indoor cat, that doesn't make sense anymore, but it's still an instinct, so you need to give him enough scratching.

There are many types of cat scratchers, so it can be difficult to decide which one is best, but in the end, cats prefer “large and stable ones.” , Let's choose the one that suits your cat!

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