How to Fix Cat Scratches on Window Ledges

Cats are naturally attracted to sunlight and sills.
Cats are naturally attracted to sunlight and sills. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Cats love to scratch, and they don’t always differentiate between their scratching post, your favorite armchair, wall molding and a windowsill. If your kitty has created significant damage to your sills, simple repair techniques can get them back into tip-top shape. Consider an anti-scratch plan to protect against future damage after repairs are made.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Sander or wood stripper
  • Degreasing agent
  • Stainable wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Paintbrush

Position a drop cloth over furniture or flooring under the windowsill that could be damaged by flying sawdust and wood stain; otherwise remove the furnishings.

Clean the windowsill using a degreasing cleaning agent and allow it to dry. Sand the cat-scratched portions of the windowsill, sanding in the direction of the wood's grain. If a small area is damaged, you should be able to touch up a single section. If the entire windowsill is damaged, you may opt to sand away the paint or varnish across the entire surface to create a uniform finish. Use a sander or a wood stripper for this process.

Fill in pits or grooves with wood filler as necessary, using a putty knife to apply it. Follow directions on the manufacturer’s label for how long to allow the material to cure. Once it's dry, sand the surface again until you get a smooth and seamless finish.

Stain or paint the windowsill as desired. Allow the paint or stain to dry completely, and seal with a polyurethane topcoat.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your windowsills are made of a material other than wood, you may be able to fill in the scratches with a plastic putty compound and paint over the surface to conceal the repairs.
  • Consider using an anti-scratch spray on your windowsills after your repair is complete. This will deter your cat from scratching there in the future.
  • If your cat doesn't already have a scratching post, get one and train her to use it so she leaves your furniture intact. You may opt to install a carpet-covered pet ledge on your sill. This will allow your cat access to the window she loves without doing damage.
  • Make sure the area that you're working in is well ventilated against fumes. Put the cat in a pet carrier, or in another room so she doesn’t attempt to get on the sill as you’re making your repairs.
  • If you’re doing an extensive sanding job using a power sander, utilize safety goggles and a respirator to ensure you don’t damage your eyes or breathe in dust particles.

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