A: Scratching serves several important functions for cats. It’s a natural behavior that cats use to exercise their muscles, maintain their claws and mark their scent. Your task isn’t to stop your cat from scratching, but to give it appropriate outlets for scratching while deterring it from scratching inappropriate ones. Get a scratching post or some other, similar surface for your cat to scratch. Your cat may take to its new scratching surface naturally, but if not, you can gently drag its paws over the surface to show it the point, or even use your own hands and nails to demonstrate. Always be patient while your cat learns a new behavior.