We love our cats, even though they do many unexplainable things. Well, inexplicable to us, our cats definitely have a good reason for doing what they do. One of those hard-to-explain things cats do is scratch the floor. Cats like to scratch the floor around their food and water bowls, the floor around the litter box, and the floor in general. Have you ever wondered why my cat scratch the floor? Is there a good reason behind it? And ultimately, what can I do to prevent my cat from scratching the floor?

Why does my cat scratch the floor?

Cats are particularly fond of scratching objects in their environment, and sometimes that includes your precious floor. Yep, the one you are spending hours keeping clean and shiny. However, for the cat, scratching the floor is entirely acceptable behavior. In fact, it is natural. Cats are naturally inclined towards scratching.

Here are the most common reasons why my cat scratches the floor.

Removing the dead nail layer

If you were asking why my cat scratch the floor, the answer might be because she sees the floor as a giant nail filer. Cats use their nails frequently, and such use requires proper maintenance. Removing the claws’ dead outer layer makes their future usage more manageable.

cat scratch the floor

Marking territory

You probably did not know that cats have scent glands located on their paws. Therefore, when they scratch on a surface, they leave a dual mark – one visual from the physical act of scratching and the other one is the scent from the glands. The deeper the scratches, the more smell, they can hold.

Scratching instead of yoga

We all know that cats like sleeping and sitting in weird and curled-up positions. Scratching is the right way of stretching the body. Not to mention that scratching helps cats work off the extra energy they accumulate during their frequent and long naps. If wondering why my cat scratches the floor, the answer for the same reasons you hit the gym – is to stretch and do some cardio.

Why does my cat scratch the floor around its bowls?

Cat parents are continually asking questions like why does my cat scratch before eating, why does my cat scratch the floor after eating, or even, why does my cat scratch the floor when eating? Well, the answer is that cats are true to their hunting origins. Namely, the cat’s wild ancestor had to hunt to survive. Once the hunt and the feast were over, cats had to bury the hunt’s remains to hide their tracks. Although modern cats have their kibble served, they still exhibit remnants of their hunting skills.

Why does my cat scratch the floor after using the litter box?

Cats tend to scratch the floor around their litter boxes as a way of protesting. So, if you were wondering why my cat scratch the floor after using the litter box, the answer might be because your cat dislikes its litter box. The litter box’s size can be one problem, for example, if the litter box is too small or too big. The quantity of litter and its type can be another problem. Maybe you have put too much or not enough litter in the box, or maybe your cat simply dislikes, how the new kind of litter smells or feels under the paws.

cat scratching

Why does my cat scratch the floor? – Solving the problem

As already mentioned, scratching is a normal cat behavior. Bearing in mind how highly cats are motivated to display this behavior, aiming to prevent cats from scratching is highly unrealistic. Instead of stopping this behavior, you need to understand why does my cat scratch the floor and then find a way to redirect the scratching on acceptable objects.

Here are some useful tips on preventing floor scratching and promoting scratching onto acceptable objects

Provide your cat with attractive and convenient scratching objects
Keep in mind that they need to be attractive from a feline’s perspective. Luckily, the modern market offers a plethora of toys specifically designed for cats and scratching.

Consider covering the floors.

Until your cat gets used to its new scratching toy, or if it prefers scratching the floor despite having other options, you might need to cover the floor. Consider covering it with something cats find repellent, for example, aluminum foil, double-sided sticky paper, or sandpaper. Alternatively, if looking for a more permanent solution, you should invest in a specifically designed floor protector.

Replace your cat’s bowl and litter box.

This is useful for cats prone to scratching the floor around their food and water bowl and around the litter box. Just be gradual when it comes to replacements. Cats are creatures of habit and may protest if faced with sudden changes. It is advisable to move the bowls and litter a couple of inches per day until eventually reach the desired place.

Keep your cat entertained

You can keep your cat well-entertained to redirect her focus from scratch. However, this is not an efficient long-term solution.



Cats not only like scratching but they are genetically wired to do this. When faced with cats that tenaciously scratch the floor, many cat parents ask whether they should punish their cats for their destructive behavior. Some go even further and become interested in the declawing procedure. Cats should never be punished for doing something that is in their nature. Declawing permanently prevents cats from exhibiting their natural inclinations. Instead of punishing your cat or considering having it declawed, try to understand its motives and redirect its scratching tendencies.