cat scratching wallpaper pin blue leopard graphic wallpaper

You wouldn’t want your cat to ruin this graphic dancing blue leopard wallpaper

Tips to prevent your cat from ruining your wallpaper

Do you have an active cat with a penchant for destruction? You might not be surprised that wallpaper, too, can fall victim to your feline’s little razor claws. As a wallpaper blog, we won’t be giving any pet training advice, but rather, some preventive measures you can take when choosing wallpaper and a few ideas on salvaging the situation if it’s already happening.

Read Ahead

  • Avoiding texture
  • Proper application
  • Water & stain resistance
  • Wainscoting
  • To Summarize Textured Silver wallpaper

    While this textured silver wallpaper is super pretty, it would not be a good choice for a home with misbehaving cats.

    Avoiding Texture

    After reading enough horror stories in the online forums of cats removing wallpaper, the one common thread you will notice seems to be that it’s always a textured wallpaper. Even with scratching posts nearby, making use of a sturdy wall wallpapered with texture, seems to be the universally preferred choice for mischievous cats.

    If your lucky enough to read this before wallpapering with a naughty cat around, it seems as though trouble can be avoided if you just stick to smooth wallpapers. This should be no different than a normal wall to your cat.

    Proper Application

    Of course, when putting up a new wallpaper, you’re going to want to properly apply it. But for those non-perfectionists out there, this goes doubly when there’s a meddling cat around. Any loose edges will surely tempt her.

    Blue Wood Herringbone wallpaper

    Water and stain proof wallpaper like this blue wood herringbone wallpaper will come in handy for cat training techniques that involve spraying water.

    Water and Stain Resistance

    If you expect that your cat might strongly oppose your new wallpaper, consider picking one with water and stain resistance in mind. This is because many cat training techniques involve spraying the cat with water. It would be too ironic to ruin the new wallpaper yourself while trying to prevent the cat from doing it first.

    As well, spraying a mixture of orange essential oil and water (cats hate citrus) directly onto the wallpaper is apparently effective at preventing cats from scratching it. Just make sure you have a wallpaper that won’t be stained by the oil let alone the water.

    Read more about which care symbols to look for when buying wallpaper in our article “Understanding Wallpaper Symbols”

     psychedelic pink kaleidoscope wallpaper mural

    The lower part of this psychedelic pink kaleidoscope wallpaper mural is being protected from pets with wainscoting.


    In the scenario where your cat is simply untrainable or the damage has already been done, wainscoting is a great way to salvage the situation. Wainscoting is when you panel the bottom part of your wall with wood – it can be with interlocking boards or larger sheets with trim. While being an extremely practical measure against unruly pets, wainscoting also adds a tradition character to a home and using wallpaper on the upper part creates some fresh contrast. Win – win!

     cat scratching wallpaper pin

    To Summarize

    • Cats scratching at wallpaper is a well-documented phenomenon
    • Textured wallpaper is preferred by cats – choose a smooth wallpaper if you think this might be an issue in your household
    • Be extra careful to firmly seal all edges so no loose bits will tempt the cat
    • Be mindful of picking a water and stain resistant wallpaper if you think you might be using water spraying tactics to train your cat
    • If all else fails and you lose the battle against your cat, wainscoting will help you win the war.

    Do you have experience with a cat scratching at the wallpaper? If so, how did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!