Can the iPad screen be scratched by a cat?

My research tells me that the iPad screen could be scratched by a cat. It is almost impossible to find solid information on the subject. It is relevant because there are lots of apps for the iPad that have been created to amuse cats. They all result in the cat jabbing and pawing at the iPad screen but does the cat leave a scratch? You might have a cast iron answer and if so please tell me in a comment.

It is not even clear that the iPad glass is gorilla glass. I am not sure it is and even if it was that does not guarantee that a cat can’t scratch it. My research tells me that the type of glass is a secret. If an iPad screen is real glass, or as hard as real glass, it won’t scratch because a cat’s claws are made of keratin which is softer than glass.

If I apply some common sense, I have to decide that the glass can be scratched. It must be tough and very scratch resistant but it can be scratched.

So, returning to the question: can a cat’s claws scratch the screen when playing a game on the iPad? Yes, possibly but I am guessing when I say that in normal use by a cat the screen won’t be scratched. I don’t even think one of those “geniuses” on the Apple Store genius bar could answer the question with certainty.

The video shows a cat with what seems like claws playing on an iPad. You can hear the clatter of the claws against the glass. The owner said there were no scratches afterward.

There are protectors for all kinds of screens. They would prevent the screen being scratched but a lot of people don’t like them as they spoil the product.

Big Notice: Don’t declaw your cat for whatever reason. And please don’t leave a comment saying, “Oh my iPad is fine because my cat is declawed” or something like that.


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Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


Can the iPad screen be scratched by a cat? — 8 Comments

  1. Does anyone know of a kind of protector screen you buy that fits over the ipad screen so the cat and still play but isn’t constantly closing the videos.

    • Hi Christina. I don’t know of a screen. Anyway, I don’t think it would stop the apps being operated. I think what is required is some way to lock the screen so that the app works but is not touch sensitive to being closed. I don’t think that exists. It may be that as the iPad was not designed to be used by cats there may not be a solution to your problem. Thanks for visiting.

  2. By the way I bought my cats a tablet and they love it. They wouldn’t even let me charge it because they were all over it. Gigi comes for pad time when it’s bedtime and she loves that thing and plays alot with it. Both her and Lilly go at it as hard as they can and it hasn’t gotten scratched so far but it’s only been a couple weeks. We will see. Its a Samsung android tablet – I can’t stand apple phones or pads. Lilly is very extreme in her playing and she really goes at and ends up flipping it over or she manages to go onlne or open some other app – she’s a very enthusiastic player. If it scratches then so be it. It is the most expensive cat toy I have bought to date. I have video’s of them playing with it – I could send one over if you want.

    • You are the first person I know who has provided a clear answer to the question of whether cats can scratch a iPad or any tablet screen. Many thanks. Also, I have read elsewhere that cats do find the cat games on tablet computers stimulating. What I am saying is that I think that tablet games for cats are probably more interesting to the cat than the convention games like laser pointers. I am guessing but there is resistance to letting a cat use a tablet computer for the reason I state in the post: scratched screen. You are very generous to your cats.

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