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Are you sitting there wondering why does my cat try to climb walls?

Well, there are several reasons behind your cat’s shenanigans. 

But we’ll break down each one and answer other questions to help solve this issue.

I promise we’ll get to the bottom of why your cat keeps climbing the walls.

6 Reasons Why Your Cat Climbs Walls

cat above the walls so why does my cat try to climb walls?

Many explanations are behind cats’ desire to climb their owner’s walls.

However, it usually boils down to the following six causes:

Reason 1. Fearfulness

cat looking scared

Cats will naturally climb objects, such as trees when trying to get away from other animals. Your cat could be doing the same action. 

In other words, your family dog has been getting a little too rowdy. So your cat has taken the opportunity to climb up your walls to get away from them. 

A dog isn’t the only cause for this fearfulness, though. Loud noises are another nuisance for kitties that can result in them climbing up walls. 

Reason 2. Pent-up Energy

Many people assume cats are going to be lazy and overweight. They picture them straight out of a Garfield comic. 

But this belief doesn’t cover all cats, as some will be very energetic. It shouldn’t be too shocking since cats do have a natural behavioral instinct to hunt and kill.

So they’re often on the prowl while moving around your home. It’s why pet owners with rodents or other small animals aren’t always the greatest fits for cats. 

As a result, it’s common for these indoors to have lots of pent-up energy. It leads them to do things, such as climb up onto your walls.

Some cat owners mistake this energy for schizophrenia or them being crazy. But it’s just your cat trying to release all the fuel they’ve gotten from sleeping all day. 

You’ll likely catch them doing these odd behaviors during the night. However, an easy way to avoid these behaviors is by playing with your cat frequently. 

Regular play sessions with toys can eliminate this pent-up energy and save your walls. 

Reason 3. Your Cat Loves Climbing Things

cat climbing the cat tree

As I mentioned earlier, cats naturally love to climb things. Your cat is mostly climbing up the walls because it’s something that they enjoy doing.

If your cat has been acting irregularly, enjoyment is likely behind its climbing walls. A certain level of randomness will also come with their climbing as if nothing is forcing them to do it. 

Reason 4. Playfulness

A cat climbing onto walls is often a function of trying to play. It’s an easy way of getting their exercise and enjoyment.

In these cases, this energetic playing usually comes out in the early morning or late at night. These times are when cats feel the most active. 

Reason 5. Trying to Get Outside

Any attempt to climb up a wall near windows or doors could be about getting outside. Obviously, this situation happens more with cats who are allowed outside. 

If your cat is climbing up walls near their normal outdoor exit, it’s their way of trying to go outside. So open up the door, and this issue will disappear. 

Reason 6. Sees Something on the Wall

tuxedo cat looking at the wall

Sometimes, we forget cats will see and hear things that we can’t. I don’t mean cats will see ghosts or otherworldly beings, but they have more acute senses.

Due to this, your cat will be a lot more interested in whatever moves on the wall. It could be something as innocent as a white fluffy, but your cat will still be ready to pounce on it. 

Based on a few signs, you can even tell when the pounce will happen. Most cats will shake their bums before finally jumping or bouncing on the falling debris.

How to stop a cat from climbing the walls

So you now have a handle on why your cat’s climbing the walls, but it still brings up one question. How does an owner stop them?

Well, I’ve collected a few tips to help curb this behavior a bit. You’ll soon have a couple of methods to stop your cat’s wall-climbing madness!

Buy A Large Scratching Post

cat beside her scratching post

Cat owners often buy smaller scratching posts with attractive features like little toy mice. But in most cases, these posts won’t meet your cat’s needs.

Any cat tree under 3 feet isn’t going to be sufficient enough for a full-grown feline. It won’t give them enough room to stretch themselves fully and enjoy the cat tree. 

Instead, buy a large cat scratching post and place it near the wall where they climb. You can then see whether they start scratching and climbing onto it. 

Encourage Scratching Elsewhere With Catnip

A simple way to keep them off your walls is by encouraging them to go elsewhere. I’ve found placing catnip on other areas can limit the likelihood of any wall scratching. 

You can then combine the catnip with treats by rewarding them. In other words, if they do scratch and climb the right area, give them treats and attention.  

Sadly, this process isn’t going to be a short one. Deterring a cat from doing anything will take a lot of patience and a sense of consistency. 

Ensure your entire family is on board with the training and using the selected methods. Otherwise, the whole process will become effectively useless.

Your cat will be climbing up the walls and other furniture without any sense of right or wrong. But if everyone stays consistent, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Use Double Sided Tape

Cats hate the feeling of double-sided tape. After all, it has a habit of getting stuck on their paws and can cause them to rethink going near it. 

So you can use their hatred to your advantage. Line the wall with double-sided tape to discourage scratching and climbing the area. 

After jumping on or walking across the tape, your cat will move to another area. This method is more suited for door frames and counters, but it also works with walls. 

It’ll just require more time and patience to set up on your walls. However, the results should come rather quickly once it’s in place. 

Purchase A Diffuser

diffuser on the table

As I mentioned earlier, scratching and climbing are a way to release pent-up energy. This excess energy can lead to increasing your cat’s stress levels if unchecked. 

A diffuser is one helpful tool to help with a cat’s stress levels. These products are excellent at calming down felines because they emit pheromones designed to relax cats. 

It’s a simple, straightforward method of keeping your cat’s scratching and climbing to a minimum. Diffusers are also completely safe, inexpensive, and space-saving. 

Another benefit of diffusers is their helpfulness in multi-cat households. These homes can be very stressful for pets at first, but the calming pheromones can ease tense situations. 

Give Your Cat More Regular Attention and Exercise

cat cuddling

One of the simplest ways to solve cat wall climbing is by giving them attention. Their actions may be their way of stating that you aren’t meeting the attention quota.

So give them an extra amount of petting and exercise to encourage better behavior. Honestly, a little love can go a long way in curbing an unwanted behavioral issue. 

It also reduces stress and anxiety, which is always a massive positive. I’d even recommend trying to entice your cat into some play sessions. 

For instance, I’ve found a feather toy that does wonders with my cat. He loves leaping and pouncing at it for a few minutes, then going right to sleep. 

Don’t Ever Punish Them For Scratching or Climbing

Lastly, it’s essential to avoid using punishment methods for scratching or climbing. These actions are natural behaviors that impact a cat’s happiness. 

After all, cats need to scratch and climb to survive. Deterring these actions would be fundamentally inhuman, hence why declawing is looked down upon, more on this later. 

Instead, use positive reinforcement and encourage them away from off-limit areas. It’s not their fault that your walls look fun to climb onto for them. 

How come indoor cats have so much energy?

tiger cat relaxing on her bed

Every cat will have moments when they run across a room or meow like crazy. It’s part of the experience of owning a feline.

You might have heard this wild behavior referred to as the “midnight crazies.” But honestly, it’s just a way of your cat to entertain themselves. 

But the reason behind this behavior can vary from situation to situation. So if you’re ever wondering why your cat has suddenly got the zoomies, it’s likely one of these five causes:

Predatory Instinct

cat looking above his scratching post

As I stated previously, cats are natural predators. It’s not something that goes away because you’ve decided to keep them inside the house. 

In some cases, the crazy bouts of energy exhibit these hunting behaviors. They could even be practicing escape techniques or fighting maneuvers. 

You’ll need to prepare for these energetic bouts by giving them outlets. Toys and scratching posts around your home can do wonders to help keep these situations to a minimum. 

In the end, this exercise is essential for indoor cats, so it’s best to encourage it. Don’t yell or throw stuff at them, as these actions will only scare them and damage your relationship. 

Nocturnal Instinct

Your cat’s crazy behavior could be a function of them being nocturnal animals. Due to this, they are often most active at night or in the early morning. 

If your cat isn’t getting enough exercise during the day, its crazy levels can become very noticeable. It’s a common issue for domestic cats, especially indoor ones.

Many indoor cats spend their days inside and alone while their owners are at work. So I’d imagine it becomes very boring for them.

Given this info, it’s never surprising to come home and find a cat being very active or playful. Furthermore, kittens are often the biggest culprits in exciting bouts of crazy energy.

Senility

tiger cat climbing the brick wall but why does my cat try to climb walls?

Unfortunately, crazy behavior isn’t always a result of instincts or pent-up energy. Some older cats will start doing odd things because of senility or cognitive dysfunction.

As your pet ages, its brain can start functioning differently. This situation will lead to them exhibiting strange behaviors for no reason whatsoever. 

Scheduling a vet visit has never hurt anyone if you notice anything unordinary. You always want to get in front of these situations before anything serious occurs.

Fleas

If your cat’s energy is more focused on biting or meowing, the reason could be fleas. It can cause your cat to look crazy and do all sorts of irregular behaviors.

The meowing aspect usually comes from a cat being hypersensitive to flea bites. So their reaction to it will be following you around the house and meowing. 

If you think fleas are the issue, proceed to treat all your furry friends with a prescription product. Ensure the product is designed specifically for each animal to avoid any problems. 

I’d also suggest seeing your vet to determine if any secondary allergies or a skin infections from the fleas need treatment. Don’t forget to treat the environment, as well.

A good starting point would be doing laundry, vacuuming, and using area sprays/flea bombs suggested by the vet. 

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS)

Cats who engage in “intense biting or licking of the back, tail, and pelvic limbs” could suffer from Feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS).

It’s a rare condition, but one capable of making your cat seem crazy or more active than usual.

Discuss the possibility of Feline hyperesthesia syndrome with a vet if these symptoms occur:

  • Your cat’s back has rippling skin when it’s running around.
  • Frequent bites are made by your cat on their back above their tail, especially after you’ve adequately treated them for fleas.
  • Your petting of the cat’s tail or back triggers them to groom, bite, or scratch the area excessively and do zoomies around the house crazily.

Learn more about this syndrome in this video:

Why Declawing is Not the Answer?

Declawing used to be a standard method for stopping unnecessary scratching and climbing. But it has become frowned upon by experts and even banned in certain countries.

For instance, it has numerous drawbacks and can negatively affect a cat’s behavior. Here’s a look at what harmful medical conditions and physical limitations come from declawing:

Medical Conditions

It’s necessary to understand that declawing is much more than a permanent trim. The procedure requires the removal of the last bone in each toe to ensure claws won’t grow back. 

This issue can cause intense pain long after the surgical procedure. It can then lead to infections or change how your cat walks, causing back pain and lameness.

Physical Limitations

Cats without claws might stop using their litter box due to pain caused by their digging. It makes sense because the cat has wounds from declawing: “If cat litter gets in those wounds, it hurts.”

They can also become bitter since they no longer have claws to protect themselves.

Furthermore, a declawed cat is usually clumsier as it can’t balance on its claws. It becomes a massive issue when they’re jumping or climbing onto objects.

FAQs

Can Cats Climb Brick Walls?

Cats can climb brick walls when needed and determined. But if there’s another way to get where they want, I’d imagine they would take it over a brick wall.

What to spray on curtains to keep cats off

Spraying deterrent sprays on curtains to keep cats off has been shown to be effective. You can mix a homemade solution by using citrus scents and adding drops of water to it. From there, spray it around the curtains daily for the desired results.

Conclusion

Cats climbing onto our walls is a natural part of the cat owner’s experience. It’s an easy way for them to get the necessary exercise to get rid of their pent-up energy.

But if you still have a question or two, feel free to leave a comment in our comment section. I’d love to help you out in any way possible. Thanks for reading!

cat climbing the wall
Ben Roberts
Ben Roberts

Ben is an animal lover, blogger, and all around geek. He divides his love equally between his family, his animals, and his video games. In his spare time he is attempting to get a blog off the ground. Boy, are they heavy!