The first option to prevent damage from scratching is to direct the cat’s behavior towards an acceptable target, a scratching post designed for that purpose. What do you do, though, if your cat refuses to use that scratching post, or occasionally decides to ignore it in favor of your carpet? Here are some possible solutions:
Add a horizontal scratch pad. Cats have their own individual scratching patterns and preferences, and carpet scratchers may be more inclined to scratch horizontally than a vertical scratching post. There are scratch pads made for this purpose; some are in a sloping shape and others are flattened.
Add multiple scratch posts and pads, covered with different materials and different textures. Choosing different scratching options may relieve your cat of the need to sharpen her claws on your carpet. Many scratching posts are covered with carpet, but add one or two made of a different material, such as sisal, corrugated cardboard, or even plain wood.
Remember that cats like variable surface angles for scratching, ranging from horizontal to vertical. So, ideally, have at least one of each: a tall vertical scratching post, a flat scratching mat, and an angled scratcher.
Cover the place where your cat scratches. Move a piece of furniture (or a scratching post) over your cat’s favorite rug spot. A sisal scratching post can be a good option here. To scratch habits in front of the front door, cover the area with a thin rug.
Spray area with scent. Use a Comfort Zone plug-in or spray on the area where your cat is scratching. Although not specifically marketed for this purpose, cat behaviorists have found that the “friendly pheromones” can trick cats into believing the area has already been “marked,” thus discouraging scratching.
Be aware of your cat’s anxiety level. A cat may resort to scratching more frequently if it is emotionally stressed, such as when it feels threatened by environmental changes or if a new pet (or even a new child) has recently become a part of the household. Giving your cat more attention or playing with her more can give her the peace of mind she needs to give up her carpet-scratching habits.