How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching You Does your cat take your face as some sort of living scratching post? Here is a compilation of practical ways to get it to stop.

How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching You

Does your cat take your face as some sort of living scratching post? Here is a compilation of practical ways to get it to stop.

All cat owners must surely have a few memories where their cat’s attitude was anything but friendly. Episodes like that, especially when they involve scratching, are painful and frustrating to tackle.


However, it’s important to always remember that cats are very intelligent animals and as such rarely ever do anything without having a reason.


They could be scratching you as an unusual form of play, a way to release energy and show affection, to seek attention or it could simply be a way to show aggression. They do this when they feel threatened and uneasy, often around other cats.


Scratching in cats could also be a way of attempting to establish dominance.

Although here, their scratching goes beyond your face to involve your couch, your carpet, and the rest of your home. [1]


You need to get a handle on this ASAP.


Here are a few tips you could use –


Ø  Figure out why it’s scratching you

Unless you ask your cat and they tell you clearly, you might never find out the exact reason for such behavior. Still, attempting to figure out what might be the reason could point you in the right direction of what to do.


For instance, if their scratching is because they’re scared of you – as is seen in rescue cats – you will need to show them that you’re not going to hurt them.


Ø  Identify your cat’s triggers and make an effort to reduce them

As stated earlier, cats rarely ever do anything without a reason. These intelligent animals respond to stimuli differently and different ways of communicating discomfort to their owners, one of which includes scratching. 


The trigger could be a trespassing rat or an unfamiliar cat. If the perpetrator is a rat, it might cause your cat to go into hunt mode.

If the problem is another cat, this is going to cause your cat to feel territorial and threatened. As a result, your cat is going to react by attacking the first thing within reach, unfortunately, this might just be you.


Is this a classic example of transferred aggression or what? It sure seems like it.


If you want this to stop, begin by getting rid of the triggers. Find a way to exterminate the rat or remove your cat from the area that puts the strange cat into its line of sight. Also, reassure your cat and calm it down as much as you can.


Ø  Be firm

Make it clear to your cat that your body is not a scratching post. Whenever your cat scratches you, show them that such behavior is not tolerated.


Find ways to make it realize that you’re not a toy. Your best bet is to start when it's still a kitten. This is to prevent your cat from getting used to doing this even when it gets older.


Those cute little paws will grow into razor-sharp claws that could do some real damage to your skin. Plus, it's harder to get them to stop when they're older.


Show exaggerated signs of pain and use command words like "no" to show your disapproval and stop them from getting used to it.


Ø  Give your cat a time out whenever it scratches you

Punishments are necessary when dealing with stubborn pets. If your cat continues to scratch you, consider giving it a timeout.


Do this by leaving the room without your cat and not showing them any affection. It’ll eventually realize that scratching you makes you go away and ignore it.


However, note that this method might not be as effective in an independent cat as it’d be in a kitten that craves attention.


Ø  Divert its attention towards something else

Cats are generally curious animals and are easily excited by moving objects, making this tactic especially useful during an active attack.


When a cat is scratching you violently during a display of aggression, be on alert as this situation could be very deadly.

Get away from the cat immediately and grab a flashy toy. Dangle it in front of the cat to distract it, eventually, the cat is going to focus on the object and forget you. Also, the toy will give it a surface to hold onto.


Ø  Consider trimming its claws

Trimming a cat’s claws is more than just a grooming measure for a cat that prevents its claws from becoming ingrown. [2] It’s also a way to put the scratching under control.


While this is an effective technique to help you, it might not teach the cat to stop scratching. Instead, it will make a spontaneous attack less painful and dangerous for you.


But be careful here, claws are very important to cats. Don’t trim too short or too close to the nail bed.  Remember to use only animal-specific tools.  This procedure is best left to a professional.


Ø  Get professional help

Granted, visiting the vet because of a scratching cat might sound unusual. However, if you’ve tried every other strategy and nothing seems to work, it might be time to pay a visit to a cat specialist.


Their aggressive behavior could be because of an underlying behavioral or medical condition, such as anxiety – as is often seen in stray cats.


The outburst of aggression could also be a sign that the cat is in pain and a visit to the vet will help you confirm this.




Cats make great companions. Try to reciprocate. Being a dedicated cat owner doesn’t mean you should tolerate unruly behavior.


BUT, you can make some concessions for your beloved pet. For instance, getting a scratching post would help them greatly with their instincts and save you the trauma of getting scratched.


Try these tips with your cat. You’ll be glad you did. And, your cat would be thankful to have such a purr-fect owner.

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