Owners are often curious as to why their cats constantly scratch at windows. Worse still, the irritating sound generated really grates on the nerves. Of course, some cats are more prone to this behavior than others.
Cats will scratch at windows when they’ve spotted birds or mice outside. They’ll feel frustrated that they cannot pursue their prey. A territorial cat may have glimpsed its own reflection and thought that it was another rival cat. Your cat may want to sharpen its claws on windows, and may even find the grating sound soothing.
There are several explanations for cats scratching at windows. Thankfully, felines can be trained out of the behavior before they hurt themselves or cause any damage to your home.
Why Does My Cat Scratch Glass and Mirrors?
Cats like to scratch at windows and mirrors for these reasons:
- Watching birds/animals and wanting to hunt them
- Saw its own reflection and wants to fight this ‘other’ feline
- Sharpening its claws
- Your cat is stressed and finds the scratching noise soothing
If you can understand why your cat is scratching your windows all the time, you can take the necessary action and put an end to it.
Cat Has Seen Birds Outside
The most common explanation for window scratching is a cat’s desire to hunt birds and wildlife outside. Many cats will sit and watch birds for hours, as if they’re hypnotically transfixed. Your cat may even trill and chirp in an attempt at mimicking its prey.
Your cat is likely to grow frustrated with just watching its prey, though. A cat scratching a window really fast is expressing irritation at its spectator status and wants to be outside hunting birds.
As Affinity Pet Care explains, playing hunting games with your cat will indulge its instincts, and no birds need to die. Also, you’ll strengthen the bond between you and your cat.
A toy on a fishing rod is a fun hunting game for cats. Just dangle the toy and allow your cat to stalk it. It’ll pounce on the toy, simulating the hunting that it would do in the wild. Here are some other ways to play with your cat.
In the wild, your cat would not catch its prey every time. You’ll have to prevent your cat from ‘winning’ every game, mixing the results up. If your cat always wins, it’ll soon become bored with the activity.
Cats Fight Their Own Reflections
This behavior stems from your cat not recognizing its own reflection. Your cat just see another cat, and this is a rogue feline that is trying to invade its territory. Your cat will do what comes naturally to it. Namely, it will defiantly guard the home with its teeth and claws.
Some cats realize that they’ve made a mistake sooner than others. They will grow bored with what appears to be a constant stalemate. Your cat will notice that it backs away at the same time as the other cat.
Cats Sharpen Their Claws on Windows
Cats are naturally inclined to sharpen their claws, and windows provide a good opportunity to do so. Glass is one of the few materials that are resilient to the attention of feline claws.
This is good, in that your cat will not do any lasting damage to the glass. What is less than ideal is the habit itself. It will be like nails on a chalkboard constantly.
This behavior can usually be resolved with scratching posts. Cats need to scratch as it’s part of their natural instinct. Sprinkle catnip on a scratching post, and it’ll scratch the post rather than your windows.
Relieve Stress and Anxiety
If your cat doesn’t feel safe and comfortable, then it’ll self-soothe in any way it can. This often involves certain destructive behaviors. As windows don’t break or cause pain, they’re the perfect target.
Equally likely is boredom. If your cat doesn’t have enough to do, then it’ll find unwelcome ways to amuse itself. It won’t go unnoticed that scratching windows generates a reaction from humans.
Ensure that your cat has plenty to do. Your cat needs to be mentally and physically challenged regularly to stay happy and contented.
Why Do Cats Paw at Windows?
Stretching and leaning on windows is a common behavior in cats. Many felines enjoy dozing on a windowsill, after all. It’s the best way to absorb the rays of the sun, short of actually being outside.
Cats rubbing their paws on a window, with no attempt to scratch, is fairly common. Here are the most common explanations:
- With the aid of a window to lean on, your cat can stand on its hind legs. This enables it to unlock any kinks with a big stretch.
- Your cat will check if the window lets it out in the way that a cat flap would. It may also be imitating behavior that it saw you engage in, such as opening a window to let in some fresh air.
- Consider whether your cat is marking the window as cats have scent glands in their paws. If you have multiple cats, one will mark the window as its viewing and napping spot.
These will likely be short-term, sporadic behaviors. If your cat is regularly scratching the window, you should train it out of this habit.
How to Stop Cats Scratching Windows
If your cat is determined to scratch at windows, then you’ll need to introduce training techniques to break the habit. According to SFGate, methods for training a cat out of scratching a window include:
- Deny access. Move furniture near the window so your cat can’t reach it.
- Tint your windows. If you tint your windows, your cat will struggle to see out any birds, mice, rats, and other wildlife through them.
- Apply an unappealing scent. If you have a room freshener by the window, use a scent that cats loathe. Citrus will keep cats away.
- Use double-sided sticky tape on the windowsill. Cats don’t enjoy sticky sensations under their paws.
- Use deterrent training. Make a loud noise whenever your cat starts scratching at the windows.
- Scratching posts. Encourage scratching in approved places, such as scratching posts.
- Engage in regular playtimes. This will keep your cat contented and less likely to take out its frustration on your windows.
Train your cat out of this behavior, but take the time to work out why it is scratching the window in the first place. Figuring out the cause of this habit will help your cat to relax and improve its demeanor.