Cats scratching around the home is one of the most common problems for cat owners. Yet, this is a natural behaviour and cats need to do it. It may help to understand this behaviour and how to encourage your cat to use the appropriate scratchers.
Where does your cat scratch?
So, your cat likes to scratch. What does your cat scratch? Your furniture? Your sofa? Your carpets or curtains? More importantly, ask where does your cat like to scratch? Is it in the corner of the room or, more likely, in a prominent position like the edge of your sofa?
Types of scratching post
The best scratching post is one that your cat enjoys using. You may need to experiment with several types until you find your cats favourite or your may find that having different types is more stimulating for your cat.
Here are the main types:
Tree trunk: While this might be the real deal, often it is a little inconvenient to bring a tree trunk into your home. If you have a cat enclosure, however, this might be a good option. Beware of bringing in all the bugs too!
Carpet: Carpet is often wrapped around a central trunk and also used as a sleeping spot for your cat.
Sissal: Rope may be wound around a central post
Cardboard: Often recycled cardboard is enjoyed by cats due to its shreddable nature which can be messy.
(Note by Dr Jo: This is the type my cats love!)
Why and where cats scratch
Although most of us think that cats scratch to sharpen their claws, this is not the only reason. Cats tend to scratch where there scent will linger. Scratching deposits scent from the scent glands on their paws onto objects that have other scents. So objects near doorways or corridors or where your guests sit. This is where you need to place your scratching post.
If it is inconvenient to have the scratching post in the entrance to your lounge room or in your hallway, you can look at placing a smaller version here or gradually move the scratching post to your preferred location, little by little. Your cat, however, may continue to scratch in the position that they wish to.
Scratching with style
Cheap scratching posts may be effective for your cat. Buy several, place them in areas of your home that your cat likes to scratch. Be prepared to replace them often.
Stylish scratching posts may be so elegant, that they become a statement piece in your home!
Read: Scratching – a stylish occupation.
Encourage your cat
Cats often scratch when they first wake up or become active, so ensure your cat is near a scratching post at these times. Reward your cat with praise when they do scratch.
Remember to cover items of furniture that you would rather your cat did not scratch!