How to Stop Your Cat Grabbing the Wall, and Why They Do It

Your cat grabs the wall because they:

  • Have seen something on the wall
  • Feel energetic and want to hunt
  • Are excited
  • Need stimulation
  • Need more vertical spaces

Get your cat a scratching post, use a variety of toys to provide enrichment, and show them affection to deter wall grabbing.

Seek a vet to rule out medical problems.

Our feline friends are guilty of doing weird things. Probably you have seen your cat jumping on walls, and you wonder why they do so.

This article will explain why your cat has suddenly got such a burst of energy that has got them to want to scale walls.

Read more to know why your cat likes to grab the wall, and how to deter the behavior.


1. Your cat has energy to burn

We know that indoor cats have a reputation for being lazy, but this does not mean that all of them are.

Cats have an innate instinct to hunt. Therefore, even if you have an indoor cat, it still has these instincts, the energy to hunt rodents and other small animals.

Being a nocturnal animal, your cat mostly displays this kind of energy at night, even when there is no prey nearby.

Your cat jumping and grabbing the wall could be just because they are expelling pent-up energy gained from sleeping all day.


2. Your cat is excited or stimulated

This might sound the same thing as having that extra energy. They may be all curled up on the sofa sleeping, but climb the wall when seeing you come back from work.

Your furry friend is trying to tell you “I am so excited to see you.”

Similarly, your cat may also grab the wall when they are excited after hearing the sound of food being dropped in the bowl, or the sound of people or birds outside.


3. Your cat is bored

I know I have just said that a stimulated cat will grab the wall. But even lack of stimulation can have a similar effect.

If your cat stays bored the whole day without enough play, it may engage in some unwanted behaviors.

This is your cat’s way of letting you know they need playtime more frequently.


4. They see something on the wall

It’s important to remember that our cats have a much sharper vision than we do. They may therefore see minute creatures that pass our attention.

While you may not notice the little creatures on the wall, these tiny insects cannot escape your cat’s sharp vision, and they are ready to pounce.


5. Your cat needs more vertical places

Climbing places or staying on elevated areas is undoubtedly a favorite pastime for your cat. Some cat owners say that their cats prefer to stay on top of a bookshelf, instead of the cat bed prepared for them.

Cats in general, love to stay in high places, because they can view everything from an aerial point of view. They can thus keep track of any changes in the house.

Some cats will jump and grab the wall simply to satisfy their desire to jump.


How to Deter Your Cat from Grabbing the Wall

When trying to get your cat to stop grabbing, or climbing the wall, try these practical tips:


1. Get your cat a tall, sturdy scratching post

Cats need to scratch to express emotions, leave their scent, remove the dead part of their nails, and stretch.

Without a proper outlet to fulfill this instinctive behavior, your cat can engage in destructive behaviors, such as scratching the sofa, or jumping on walls.

Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post for them to have a good stretch and sharpen their claws. The best material to choose is wood or sisal.

If you choose carpet material, it will be hard for your cat to distinguish between the carpet on their scratching post and on the rest of the house.

An ideal scratching post should be half as tall as your cat to allow them to stretch.

Place the post in an area where your cat likes to grab walls, and see if this will distract them from doing so.

You can encourage your cat to use its scratching post by sprinkling catnip on it. Reward them with treats whenever you catch it using a scratching post.

It’s also a nice idea to provide your cat with more vertical places such as cat trees, windows, and perches, where they can watch the outside world.


2. Use a variety of toys to provide enrichment

If your cat is bored and needs stimulation, they may act in some weird behaviors like trying to grab the wall. Our cats often display an independent nature, and therefore most cat owners leave them alone without feeling guilty.

However, your cat craves and requires physical interaction, and mental and physical stimulation.

Boredom can make your cat frustrated and engage in destructive behaviors. The good thing is that you don’t need a lot of money, time, or effort to provide an enriching environment for your cat.

Depending on your cat’s preferences, it may enjoy food puzzles, chasing games, or stalking imaginary prey.

Some of these toys can be things you already have in your home. For example, you can collect empty toilet paper rolls to create cardboard toys. Add to the fun by putting treats inside, and watch your cat enjoy the adventure.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you provide an enriching environment for your kitten:

  • Have a variety of toys that mimic prey, such as a mouse. Such toys that have erratic movements can be very exciting to your furry friend.
  • Allow your cat to capture the prey at the end of the play session to satisfy their natural hunting instincts.
  • Cats play more when they are hungry. So hide food inside its toys to encourage them to play more.
  • If your cat walks away, it means they are done playing. Don’t force the interaction.

These suggestions will provide your cat with plenty of mental stimulation. You can also get them a playmate. Passive toys are best if you are not able to actively engage with them.


3. Show your cat affection

As mentioned earlier, your cat grabbing the wall could be its way of telling you it’s happy to see you.

What better way to reciprocate this feeling than showing your feline lots of love and attention. You can give your cat special attention by letting them cuddle on your lap, offering them their favorite treats, or giving them a massage.

Cats love massage. Stroking your cat from its head to tail gives you and your furball a feel-good feeling. Pay special attention to the places they like, such as below its chin and cheeks, and at the base of its tail.

Grooming is also an essential part of any cat’s social life. Most cats spend lots of time grooming themselves. Use your hands, or a soft brush to groom your cat’s fur, which is a good bonding experience.


Why Your Cat Scratches the Wall

Although scratching is a healthy and normal behavior among cats, most of us don’t like it when our felines leave scratch marks on the wall.

Here are possible reasons why your cat scratches the wall:  


1. Territory marking

Cats are territorial, but male cats are more concerned about guarding their territory. So, if you have a tomcat, expect more of this behavior.

Each time your cat scratches the wall, it is as if they are shouting “This is for me only.”

Cats have scent glands in their paws, among other body parts. So scratching helps emit its odor into the space, and claim ownership of it.

This is also a form of communication with other pets in the house. Another cat will know that this area is marked.


2. Claw exercise

A household cat may scratch to flex its claws, and also give its forelimbs a little workout. You could say that stretching is a form of exercise that strengthens its claw muscles.

It also helps keep the claws healthy and functional. When your cat scratches a hard surface such as the wall, the outside husk of its claws wears down, giving way to new and improved sharper nails to grow back.


3. Balance

Sometimes the behavior could be just something that helps your furry one achieve balance. Maybe they need to get up from the floor quickly, and the only way to do so is to scratch the wall.


4. Comfort

Perhaps your cat is just feeling stressed out, and their scratching helps them find comfort. It is a self-soothing action. Your cat finds a lot of relaxation and reassurance in its scent.


5. To stretch

If your cat enjoys scratching the walls right after waking up, it could be its way of stretching its body after a long nap. The same way you would stretch your arms after waking up.

Writer: Flora Ojow

flora ojow

Read about me