Asked on Feb 07, 2019

How do I stop my cats from scratching the door frames?

Billie Ann
by Billie Ann

My cats keep scratching the door frames in the house. I need a way to stop this.

No declawing is not an option, I believe it is cruel. I want something that I can

attach to the door frames so they could scratch that instead of the wood. We just

had the frames all replaced and now it doesn't look like it. We do have lots of kitty

scratching posts around for them, which they use also. But they seem to like the

door frames better. Please help. Thanks

Cat gone wild?!

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  13 answers
  • Charl Charl on Feb 07, 2019

    I have the same problem and I agree....declawing is NOT an option! Unfortunately I also cannot figure out a solution. She does it when she’s trying to get our attention and she knows she will get our attention bc we jump up and have her stop. Cats are smarter than we think!! We’ve tried taking her to her scratching post but it doesn’t work. So our solution is my husband paints every few months...she wins lol!! But seriously I’ll be interested to see if someone has a solution. Good luck!

    • Col49669178 Col49669178 on Oct 04, 2020

      Maybe you could assemble a few pieces of wood over or some wood posts around the existing frames and let them have at it.

  • Tess Tess on Feb 07, 2019

    Have to agree on the declawing, NOT an option. Try double sided sticky tape on door frames where they scratch. Cats don't like the stickiness, it won't hurt them, and they might just leave it alone. Or...try crumpled aluminum foil. They don't like that either. Also have to agree that cats are smarter than we Good luck.....

    • Charlotte Charlotte on Jul 10, 2020

      Sorry for chiming in to this thread so late, but I just had to share this in case it helps someone out.

      I wish I had gotten this advice YEARS ago as a cat owner...

      My best advice?

      Give the " Cat Language Bible" a read.

      It really is the only long-term solution to discipline your cat, OP.

      There is no other cat guide book that shows in pictures the cat behavior meaning, how they think and how sometimes they manipulate us to get what they want. The book explains how our pitch of voice, tone and length can affect our cat’s interaction with us.

      With years of research, The Cat Language Bible is a complete simple guide that anyone can use to interpret cat sounds as they’re happening.

      By reading the book, it is easy to know when your cat wants to be left alone or wants to be hugged. It is a fascinating book which teaches us how to learn the cat language.

      In my opinion, The Cat Language Bible is a must-have for all cat lovers. It is a definite and essential step to understanding your cat 100% and especially in cases that you don’t know if your cat is sick or just energetic.

      I highly recommend it. It should help you with your problem.

      Here's a link to their site.

  • Oliva Oliva on Feb 07, 2019

    Spritzing your cat with vinegar should cease the behavior. Your only other option is to wipe the wood with an orange scent, clove oil, or Rue, which cats dislike.

    • See 3 previous
    • Oliva Oliva on Jan 31, 2020

      Hi, Dawn,

      There are a number of orange scented wood cleaners/waxes containing orange/lemon scents.

      I can't address the potential for finish damage from essential oils, but if the wood is sealed adequately, I should hope there would be no adverse effect. Perhaps someone with expertise in woodworking projects can better address this issue.

      I do know of cat owners who have sprayed the wooden legs of furniture with a mix of water amd oil of Rue, or crushed Rue leaves (wearing gloves), to keep the cays from the furniture in question. I have not known of there being any warnings about potential wood damage.

      Given that cats' olfactory senses far exceed those of humans, I'd believe that a mix of essential oil in water in the right ratio would work. I'd be leery about using essential oils in full strength.

  • Carol Brault Carol Brault on Feb 08, 2019

    Some vets say cats scratch to sharpen their claws which is true in a sense. My cat, he is dead now would scratch on his posts made of rope and carpet. Then he would move to the wooden frames on the door. Our new vet, when we moved too far for the first, explained that cats scratched carpet , cloth furniture, carpet and rope to loose nail coating that shales off. they're probably hiding around your house looking like the same shape but a little thinner. He said cat

    will scratch on the wooden legs on furniture, door frames and other items to sharpen their claws. He made and sold scratching posts of wood and it worked. My husband made one of wood and rubbed catnip on it to get their interest. They soon realized they liked the wooden post and now leave the doors alone. You have to rub it with catnip about every 2 days or so.

    Good luck!

  • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Feb 08, 2019

    You can have the tips of their claws a little claw tip cap. Vets do it and no pain. It may help. My cat did it at our previous home so bad we had to hire a carpenter to fix it before we could sell it. My ex insisted she either become an outdoor cat or get her declawed. We were building our first new, dream home that was designed to look like a log cabin = lots of wood. I had her declawed without doing any research whatsoever. Oh my god, I felt so bad for her when i picked her up that i carried her around everywhere for two weeks. Never again would i do that to a cat. However, it did solve the problem.

    • See 2 previous
    • Oliva Oliva on Feb 08, 2019

      Obviously, some people love their cats more than their home's expensive woodwork and furniture... They are also very patient to repeatedly repair the damage.

      Some people have had great success with mixing vinegar and water, and spritzing it above the cat, not in their face.... The cats learned rapidly to cease clawing wood.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 08, 2019

    Please don't declaw it is down right mean & cruel it is equivalent of cutting all your fingertips at first joint off of your hands,or your toes,could you ever do anything the same again!! Can you imagine then trying to scratch in your litter box to go to bathroom like a good kitty. You need to provide your cat with scratching post of same material as trim(what kind of wood is it soft/hard) most like softer wood,make sure the post( 4x4 is best)is tall enuf that cat can fully stretch out extending tippy toes upward and fully stretched out, that is how they scratch. Keep it's toenails trimmed it lessens the damage they do when scratching,and keeps sheath from forming on/over nails when claws get longer & longer.They scratch to help loosen this cover/sheath. I use human toenail clippers works really well quickly place sideways over toenail & snip. Get spray bottle use only clear water and put on stream(make sure to get strong sprayer good long stream) so when you hear/see cat scratching where you do not want it too spray it & yell it's name then "stop it" simutaneously, get it's attention. Cats can be trained they just need more time & patience than dogs. Scratching is a needed physical requirement for cats,not bad behaviour and they don't do it to spite anyone;so if you provide the proper item they need for this activity then everyone is happier. Not all cats like catnip so don't advise using that on post either.To make post use 4x4 attached to big piece of plywood base use 4 bolts to attach to base from underneath. Make plywood base according to size/how tall post is for your cat's length stretched out so it won't tip over,or you can dbl it(2pieces together) for added weight. Don't even need carpet or sisal if your cat likes the wood.Add the carpet to very bottom so it doesn't scratch your flooring. Keep the post by it's favorite door then slowly move away from door, you can add some dbl sided sticky tape to door trim(they don't like the tape) until cat starts using post continuously. Glad you aren't declawing or getting rid of your cat many end up in shelters because owners "no longer want to deal with it" it's sad reason to be rid of your pets.Sorry about the soap box but I work daily with animals in shelters,that are homeless and abused.

  • Col49669178 Col49669178 on Oct 04, 2020

    Maybe you could assemble a few pieces of wood over or some wood posts around the existing frames and let them have at it.

  • Col49669178 Col49669178 on Oct 04, 2020

    Maybe you could assemble a few pieces of wood over or some wood posts around the existing frames and let them have at it.

  • Grace Grace on Mar 22, 2021

    Maybe staple pieces of carpet over the door frames? That way they can’t get to the wood

  • Breanna Wattier Breanna Wattier on Apr 05, 2021

    I found a really great pheromone spray. They also have almost like scent diffusers to. Helps to stop spraying and scratching and they have an option for multi car to help stop fighting!! Brands are “feliway” for the diffuser and comfort zone for the spray !

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 10, 2021


    Why not add Rope covered boards around where they scratch?

  • Des79006180 Des79006180 on Mar 04, 2023

    Something i have done to protect the door frames from scratches from claws is this: Ive taken a heavy weight shower liner, measured about a 3’x 16” section, cut it , used flat tacks to wrap around door frame and tack it to wall on either side. Helped protect door frame! I also use it on wall behind litter box to protect wall from any “accidents” a cat may have if he/she raises the butt a bit high while peeing. Doesn’t happen hardly at all, but when it does the wall is protected by a nice clear sheet of heavy plastic. Looks clean and neat when hung properly on wall.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 05, 2023

    Don't declaw but instead there are small plastic caps that a vet can glue onto the cats nails. Or if you want to save money hang a scatching post (some hang off or door knobs) to redirect the cats behavior.