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I feed an outside cat I call Guy. He won't eat inside if he comes in and the door is closed, so he remains an outside cat. The problem is that he's not always there when I go down to the basement to look outside. I don't leave food out as there are other cats, and he gets chased away, especially by Caddie the next door's cat.

This morning I went down and he wasn't there. An hour later and I went down again. Not there. Shortly after I came back up there was this vigorous, noisy scratching at the kitchen door. I opened it, and as expected, Guy was there. I went down and fed him.

Still, it gave me the excuse to post this. My house is oldish (not ancient) and is carpeted with a very durable poyester carpet so I don't mind Missy scratching. She hasn't touched the furniture except for one corner of my computer chair. (longish story) However, she seems to scratch the carpet when she wants something and I'm being a touch dense about what she wants. At times scratching will wake me in the morning, but more usual is the scratching to remind me that it's breakfast time or other hungry times. She'll also scratch when she's feeling that she wants a bit of petting or brushing. Owing to her size, this usually takes place on her blanket at the foot of my bed.

Then there was Zenobi. We were outside and I wanted to suggest to her that she use a piece of plywood leaning aginst the house for scratching. I made scratching moves at it with my fingers. Zenobi went nuts. She she was on the back stairs and she started rushing up and down, and then when I came close, she started to grab at my hands and give me love bites. I had to retreat indoors. When she came in through the kicthen door, she'd calmed down.

So aside from the usual, "they're marking their territory" do any of you have ideas about cats scratching to send messages -- give signals?
 

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Most of the time it's an attention-getting behavior, especially by indoor cats who will scratch on something you don't approve of, such as furniture or carpet. My girl Alkee is especially naughty about this if I get talking on the phone. She doesn't want to be fed, but just wants to get my attention. Most times if I stamp my foot on the floor she understands that I'm annoyed about that behavior and should stop it, and she does. Cats learn that scratching whether it's a door or furniture will get your attention.
 
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