Is clearly irritated by and cancels (9)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'cancels' is the definition.
The definition and answer can be both related to communication as well as being plural nouns.
Perhaps they are linked in a way I don't understand?
'is clearly irritated by' is the wordplay.
I cannot really see how this works, but
'by' could be 'at' and 'at' is found within the answer.
This may be the basis of clue (or it may be nonsense).
'and' is the link.
(Other definitions for scratches that I've seen before include "Abrasions", "Abraded areas of the skin", "opponents having no handicaps" and "Withdraws".)