Are Devon Rex Cats Destructive? Full Explanation & Advices

A coat of waves and a personality of pure mischief – these are the hallmarks of the strikingly unique Devon Rex cat. With their oversized ears and curious eyes, they are undoubtedly one of the most recognizable breeds in the world, as captivating in appearance as they are in behavior. Although their looks often steal the show, what truly sets Devon Rex cats apart is their playful, affectionate, and sometimes mischievous character.

This breed’s lively nature and appetite for fun can occasionally lead to a certain reputation for being a bit, well, destructive. While it’s true that they are known to be one of the most active and playful breeds, it’s important to understand what might actually motivate this so-called ‘destructive’ behavior.

Are Devon Rex Cats Destructive?

One of the first things that you might find while looking up Devon Rex cats online is the myriad of stories about their “destructive” nature. It’s not uncommon to find stories about these feline rascals knocking things over or using the sofa as a scratching post. But is this behavior truly destructive, or is it just a part of their nature that we don’t fully understand?

Firstly, the term “destructive” can be somewhat misleading. Devon Rex cats are not destructive in the way that a storm might be. They do not set out with a plan to wreak havoc on your home. Instead, any destruction usually results from their playful nature, high energy levels, and insatiable curiosity.

Indeed, while some might see these actions as negative, it’s critical to remember that these behaviors are simply expressions of their feline nature. Curiosity, playfulness, and the need for physical and mental stimulation are all vital parts of a cat’s life. Seen from their perspective, these are not destructive behaviors but rather essential activities that ensure their well-being.

However, that’s not to say that their behavior doesn’t present challenges for some owners. When their natural tendencies meet a human’s home, the intersection can sometimes lead to unwanted consequences. It’s here where understanding and addressing these behaviors become paramount for both you and your Devon Rex.

Orange Devon Rex cat.
Devon Rex Cat Near The Window

Types Of Devon Rex Cat Destructive Behavior

When discussing Devon Rex cat behavior, we tend to label certain actions as “destructive.” However, these behaviors are often just their way of exploring the world or dealing with unmet needs. Let’s break down the common types of behaviors that may cause issues.

  • Scratching: Like all cats, Devon Rex cats need to scratch to maintain their claws and mark their territory. Unfortunately, this often involves scratching furniture.
  • Knocking Over Items: Their playful nature and agility can lead to them knocking over items, especially while chasing toys or during high-energy play.
  • Biting or Chewing: Biting or chewing on objects can be a sign of boredom, dental issues, or just a part of their play routine.
  • Unwanted Climbing: Devon Rex cats are agile climbers and may climb on furniture or curtains.

Understanding these behaviors is key to addressing them. Rather than punishing the cat, consider providing outlets for these behaviors that won’t result in damage to your home.

It’s also crucial to remember that these behaviors aren’t out of malice or spite. They’re entirely natural actions for a cat. Labeling them as “destructive” is more a reflection of our human perspective than any intent on the cat’s part.

What A Devon Rex Cat Will Destroy

Now that we’ve discussed the types of behavior that can be problematic, let’s explore the common targets of these behaviors in our homes.

  • Furniture: Sofas, chairs, and other furniture can be prime targets for scratching, especially if they’re made from materials that cats find appealing to scratch.
  • Decorative Items: Vases, picture frames, or any other objects that are placed on shelves or tables can be knocked over during a bout of playful energy.
  • Curtains or Blinds: These can be tempting for a cat to climb, especially if they lead to a window with a view of the outside.
  • Houseplants: Some cats may nibble on houseplants, or use potted plants as an alternative litter box.

Just as with their behavior, understanding what items may be at risk in your home can help you plan ways to redirect their actions.

Remember, your Devon Rex doesn’t see these items as you do. To them, a curtain is a climbing tree, a vase is a toy to be batted, and a sofa is a fantastic scratching post. These are natural behaviors; it’s just that our homes don’t always provide the most appropriate outlets for them.

Why Do Devon Rex Cats Destroy Things?

Having understood the what and the where, let’s delve into the why. What drives these behaviors in Devon Rex cats? A multitude of factors could be contributing to these behaviors, including boredom, marking territory, attention-seeking, stress or anxiety, instinctive behaviors, and excessive energy. We’ll explore each of these in the following sections.


Boredom can be a big issue for any cat, but particularly for active and intelligent breeds like the Devon Rex. Without sufficient mental and physical stimulation, they can quickly become bored and look for their own sources of entertainment. This can result in behaviors that we humans perceive as destructive.

Providing a variety of toys, interactive play sessions, and other forms of stimulation can often help mitigate these behaviors. Rotate toys regularly to keep their interest and consider puzzle toys that challenge their minds as well.

Remember, a bored cat isn’t a happy cat. Devon Rex cats are intelligent, curious, and active – meeting those needs can go a long way towards reducing undesirable behaviors.

Marking Territory

Marking territory is another natural behavior that can lead to issues. Cats mark their territory to communicate their presence to other cats. Unfortunately, this behavior can result in scratched furniture or other damage.

While it’s natural for cats to mark territory, there are ways to reduce its impact on your home. Providing multiple scratching posts or pads in different areas of your home can help. Look for ones that are similar in texture and height to the items your cat is currently targeting.

Remember, marking territory isn’t about causing damage, it’s about communication. Understanding this can help you find solutions that meet your cat’s needs without sacrificing your furniture.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Attention-seeking is another common reason for these behaviors. Cats are social animals and need interaction with their owners. If they feel neglected, they might resort to behaviors that get your attention, even if it’s negative.

If your Devon Rex is engaging in unwanted behaviors when you’re not interacting with them, they might be seeking your attention. Spending time playing with your cat, training them, or just cuddling with them can often help.

Remember, while it can be frustrating to have your cat demand attention in this way, it’s their way of showing they need interaction. Meeting this need can reduce these behaviors.

Stress or Anxiety

Stress or anxiety can also lead to behaviors labeled as destructive. Changes in the environment, a new family member, or other stressors can make a cat anxious, leading to behaviors like scratching or chewing on objects.

If you notice changes in your cat’s behavior, consider whether there have been any changes in their environment that could be causing stress. Providing a safe, quiet place for your cat to retreat to can often help, as can using products designed to reduce cat anxiety.

Remember, cats don’t deal with stress in the same way humans do. Understanding this can help you provide the support they need to feel safe and secure.

Instinctive Behavior

Many behaviors labeled as destructive are simply instinctive behaviors. Chasing, pouncing, climbing, and scratching are all natural behaviors for cats. They’re not doing these things to be destructive – they’re doing them because they’re cats.

The key to managing these behaviors is providing appropriate outlets for them. This might include providing climbing trees for your cat, having regular interactive play sessions, or providing scratching posts.

Remember, your cat isn’t being destructive on purpose. They’re just being a cat, and it’s our responsibility as cat owners to understand and meet their needs.

Excessive Energy

Devon Rex cats are known for their high energy levels. With energy to burn, these cats need a way to expend that energy. If they don’t have an outlet, they might take it out on your furniture or other items.

Providing regular play sessions can help tire out your cat and reduce these behaviors. Consider toys that encourage chasing and pouncing, and rotate them regularly to keep your cat’s interest.

Remember, your cat isn’t being destructive because they want to be – they just have energy to burn. Providing outlets for that energy can help save your furniture.

White Devon Rex cat.
White Devon Rex Cat

Do Devon Rex Cats Like Scratching Furniture?

You may be wondering if your Devon Rex has a vendetta against your furniture. The truth is, they likely don’t have any ill will towards your décor – it’s just that furniture, particularly upholstery, can be quite appealing to scratch.

For cats, the act of scratching serves a few key purposes: it’s a way to stretch their bodies, it helps them shed the outer layer of their claws, and it’s a method of marking territory. With its variety of textures and the enticing resistance it provides, furniture often becomes an unwitting substitute for the trees and bark that cats would naturally use in the wild.

Why Do Devon Rex Cats Scratch Furniture?

Scratching is an instinctive behavior for cats, serving a multitude of purposes. It’s an activity that cats thoroughly enjoy and engage in daily. Whether it’s to stretch their bodies, condition their claws, or mark their territory, scratching is as much a part of a cat’s daily routine as eating or sleeping. Furniture often becomes an enticing scratching target because it provides an ideal surface for these activities – it’s tall enough for a good stretch, sturdy enough to resist their claws, and since it’s a centerpiece in your home, it’s the perfect place for them to leave their visual and scent markings.

The main reasons why Devon Rex cats might scratch furniture include:

  • Stretching: Scratching allows cats to fully stretch their bodies, especially their backs and shoulders, and furniture often provides the perfect height for this.
  • Claw Conditioning: Scratching helps remove the outer nail sheaths, allowing the growth of new, sharper claws. The resistance provided by furniture is ideal for this.
  • Territory Marking: Cats have scent glands on their paws, so when they scratch, they’re leaving both a visual and a scent marker of their territory. Furniture, particularly in high-traffic areas, is an ideal place for such prominent marking.
  • Enjoyment: Simply put, cats enjoy scratching! It’s a self-rewarding activity that they’re likely to engage in for the pure pleasure of it.

With these reasons in mind, it’s clear that scratching is not a behavior to be stopped, but rather redirected. The key to saving your furniture is providing more appealing alternatives for these scratching needs, like scratching posts or mats, and using positive reinforcement to encourage their use.

How To Stop Devon Rex Cat Destroying Furniture

While scratching is an instinctive behavior for cats, that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a home full of shredded furniture. Here are some strategies to redirect their scratching:

  • Provide Scratching Alternatives: The first step is to provide alternative scratching surfaces. This might be a cat tree with built-in scratching posts, standalone scratching posts, or scratching mats. Look for materials that mimic the textures your cat is drawn to scratch on your furniture.
  • Placement of Scratching Posts: Position these alternatives near the furniture that your cat is currently scratching. This makes it more likely they’ll choose the post over the furniture. As your cat gets used to using the post, you can gradually move it to a more convenient location.
  • Encourage Use of Scratching Posts: Encourage your cat to use these alternatives. This might involve sprinkling some catnip on the scratching posts or hanging toys from them to make them more attractive.
  • Use Deterrents: Apply deterrents to the furniture that your cat scratches. This might be a pet-safe anti-scratch spray, sticky tape, or aluminum foil. These materials create a texture or scent that cats don’t like, which discourages scratching.
  • Regular Nail Trimming: Keep your cat’s claws trimmed. This can help lessen the destruction caused by scratching. However, it’s important to approach nail trimming correctly and gently to avoid causing stress or injury. If you’re not comfortable trimming your cat’s claws yourself, a vet or professional groomer can do it for you.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise your cat when they scratch on their post and not the furniture. You could give them a treat or a quick pet. This helps your cat understand that using the post is a behavior that gets rewarded.
  • Interactive Play: Engage your cat in regular interactive play sessions. This can help tire them out and satisfy their instinctual need to hunt and pounce, which may reduce their desire to scratch.
  • Feliway Spray or Diffuser: Consider using a Feliway spray or diffuser. Feliway mimics the feline facial pheromone that cats use to mark their territory as safe and secure. This can discourage scratching.

Remember, it’s not about stopping your cat from scratching – it’s about directing the scratching to more appropriate places.

Ways To Discipline A Devon Rex Cat

When we talk about disciplining a cat, it’s not about punishment – it’s about teaching them appropriate behaviors. Here are some strategies:

  • Positive Reinforcement: When your cat exhibits desirable behavior, reward them immediately. The reward can be a treat, a favorite toy, or simply praise and affection. This reinforces that they’ve done something good and makes them more likely to repeat the behavior.
  • Redirection: If you catch your cat in the act of a behavior you want to discourage, like scratching furniture, gently redirect them to an acceptable alternative, like a scratching post. This way, you’re not punishing the instinctive need to scratch but guiding it in a more appropriate direction.
  • Environment Manipulation: Making certain areas or objects less appealing can discourage undesirable behavior. For instance, if your cat is scratching the furniture, use deterrents like double-sided sticky tape or a pet-friendly anti-scratch spray.
  • Interactive Play: Regular interactive play can help burn off excess energy and reduce destructive behavior. Use toys that satisfy your cat’s instinct to hunt, like feather wands or laser pointers.
  • Ignore Unwanted Behavior: Cats, just like children, sometimes act out to get attention. If your cat is doing something undesirable for attention, ignore them. When they’re calm and behaving well, give them lots of positive attention.
  • Consistency: Whatever rules you set, be consistent. If your cat isn’t allowed on the kitchen counter, make sure that’s the rule all the time, not just when you’re cooking dinner. Consistency helps your cat understand what’s expected of them.
  • Training Sessions: Consider training sessions using clicker training or other positive reinforcement techniques. This can help teach your cat commands or tricks, and also strengthen the bond between you.
  • Patience and Understanding: Changes in behavior take time. Be patient with your cat and try to understand their needs and motivations. With time, patience, and consistency, you can guide your cat towards better behavior.

Remember, patience and consistency are key when teaching your cat new behaviors. It may take time, but with patience and love, your cat can learn.

Are Male Devon Rex Cats More Destructive?

A common question is whether male Devon Rex cats are more destructive than females. In general, there is not enough evidence to suggest that one sex is more destructive than the other. Behavior can vary widely between individual cats and is influenced by many factors, including personality, upbringing, and environment.

That being said, unneutered male cats can be more prone to certain behaviors, such as spraying to mark territory. Neutering can often help reduce these behaviors.

Devon Rex Cat Is Destructive At Night

If your Devon Rex is destructive at night, it’s likely due to their nocturnal nature. Cats are most active during the dawn and dusk hours, which can result in some midnight mischief.

If this becomes problematic, there are some strategies you can try. Firstly, providing interactive play sessions during the evening can help tire out your cat before bedtime. Puzzle feeders can also keep them occupied during the night.

Remember, your cat isn’t being destructive at night to annoy you – it’s just following its natural instincts. Providing outlets for this energy can help reduce nighttime destruction.


In the end, it all comes down to understanding – understanding your Devon Rex’s needs, behaviors, and instincts. While they might be more active and playful than some other breeds, that’s part of their charm. With a little bit of patience, love, and some simple strategies, you can enjoy the company of your Devon Rex without sacrificing your furniture.

So, are Devon Rex cats destructive? Well, they can be. But remember, they’re not doing it out of spite or malice – they’re just being cats. And with a little bit of understanding and guidance, you can help them channel their energy into more appropriate outlets. After all, at the end of the day, our cats enrich our lives in so many ways – a scratched sofa seems a small price to pay for their companionship.

About The Author

Jennifer Terell, a valued author at Allpetsville, is an experienced cat owner and breeder. Her deep understanding of felines, coupled with a passion for writing, contributes to her insightful and engaging articles.

Her expertise in cat behavior, health, and breeding offers readers a comprehensive guide to feline care. Through her writings, Jennifer’s love for cats resonates, making her a reliable resource for cat owners and enthusiasts on their pet parenting journey.