All about cat scratching posts.

May 04, 2018 4 min read

All about cat scratching posts.

How do I get my cats to stop scratching my furniture?
Today, we’re digging our claws into the topic of cat scratching.

Why do my cats scratch my belongings?
Cats aren’t scratching to get on your nerves, because they’re jealous of your attention, or to punish you for some perceived misdeed. Feline brains don’t work that way.

Instead, scratching is an important part of cat health, safety, and communication. It helps cats shed old nail sheaths, strengthen their back muscles, and relieve stress. Since cats have scent glands on their paws, scratching also lets them mark their territory.
Appropriate scratching is key to keeping our cats healthy and happy.

How can I take care of my cats nails?
Ideally, you’ll want to start caring for your cat’s nails when your pet is still a kitten. Start when your cat is in a comfortable, relaxed state. Hold her paw and gently squeeze until the nail pops out. Release the paw. Give your cat a treat. Do this with no more than two nails a day until your cat is comfortable with the process.

Then, show her the clippers. Let her sniff them. Maybe even put a treat on top of them for her to enjoy. You can try clipping a piece of uncooked spaghetti in her presence so she hears the sound the clippers make. When your cat seems to feel at ease, try clipping one toenail. Be careful to avoid the pink line, which is the quick. It’s not necessary to clip more than one or two nails a day. Try to get all ten nails done in a 14-day period. Congratulations! You’ve given a cat a pedicure.

What do scratching posts do for cats?
Cats scratch stuff. The only question is what stuff they’ll scratch. If it’s not a post, it will be your sofa, curtains, or wallhangings. Destructive scratching is one of the most common reasons that over 3.4 million cats enter an animal shelter every year. If you don’t want that to happen to your pet, consider your options.

About 25% of American cats get declawed. But declawing is an extreme surgical procedure illegal in 22 countries and reported to cause significant behavior problems.  

A better solution? Buy your cat a tall, sturdy scratching post he will appreciate and use.

How do I get my cat to use a scratching post?
Put your scratching post in place before you bring your cat home. Choose a high-traffic area where the cat will see the post when she feels the urge to scratch. An out-of-sight post gets ignored.

Engage your kitty’s attention by sprinkling loose leaf catnip around the top and bottom of the post. If you are working with a kitten or if your cat turns up her nose at the good stuff, consider rewarding her with a treat when she interacts with the post. Some cat parents find that playing games with the post will get the cat started using it. Whatever you do, don’t force your cat’s paws onto the scratching post.

If possible, add several scratching posts to your home, preferably a mix of vertical posts and horizontal ones. The more posts you have, the greater the probability your cat will find one that works for her.

What are scratching posts made of?
Most posts are constructed with a stiff interior like cardboard or wood and a rough exterior such as sissal or carpet. Some cats enjoy scratching corrugated cardboard, raw wood, or rope. Rough textures feel better to cat claws than soft and boring sofa upholstery does. You may have to test a few types of scratching posts to discover what your cat fancies.

What are the best scratching posts for older cats, plus-size cats, and cats with disabilities?
Like adult cats, senior cats need a post tall enough for them to stretch to their full height. Part of the joy of scratching comes from stretching, which is only possible with a tall or long post. For a large cat, consider buying a wall-mounted scratcher or a scratchable lounge large enough to accommodate your kitty’s bulk.

Blind or deaf cats will enjoy an ordinary scratching post as much as any other cats. A cat with mobility issues or arthritis, however, may not scratch frequently. You can try a horizontal scratcher with these guys. Also, don’t forget to trim their nails if they aren’t scratching enough to remove the dead sheath.

I’m a major DIYer. What are some good ideas for building a scratching post on my own?
To make a cat scratching post, you can decide among building plans that use wood and a drillones that use cardboard and a hot glue gun, and those that use a combination of cardboard and wood. Creating a cat scratching post can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

Scratching is important to a cat’s health and happiness. Keep your pet from destroying your furnishings by giving him access to a suitable post. Remember that the best scratching post for your cat is the one he will use.🐈

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