Cat trees and scratchers are not just toys or accessories for your cats. They serve a greater purpose and save your furniture! Read on to find out how.
Have you ever seen community (stray) cats digging their claws into trees and scratching it? Or your cat scratching your sofa while you are not looking? Many are convinced that this behaviour is part of a cat having fun. Well, think again.
Why do cats scratch?
Scratching is a marking behaviour important to cats. It helps to sharpen their claws and mark territories in the wild. When a cat scratches, it deposits scent from special glands on the cat's paws. Scratching also helps to reduce stress for your kitty. Your cat may be anxious, happy, excited, or frustrated, and is releasing some built-up emotion.
How to stop cats from scratching?
It is hard to stop a cat from scratching because it is an innate behaviour. However, you can teach your cats to scratch on appropriate objects like a cat tree or cat scratching post.
Here are a few things to note before buying a scratching post for your cat:
Some cats prefer scratching horizontally, some prefer vertically. For vertical scratchers, the height of the scratching post is important. Make sure to buy a scratching post that enables your cat to get a full stretch! If the post is too small, your kitty will look for a better option, which is likely going to be your sofa! It is also important that the scratching post is stable to prevent it from toppling over. For horizontal scratchers, make sure the cat scratchers do not move easily when your cat is using it.
Some common materials used for cat trees, scratching posts, and scratchers are - carpet, sisal, and cardboard. What you buy depends on your cat's preference. Some designs, such as Downward Cat Scratcher, is slightly inclined, for cats who are in-betweeners for vertical and horizontal scratching.
Where do you place the cat furniture?
Now that you have the product sorted out, location is key. Even the best cat tree or scratching post will gather dust if you chuck it in a corner your cat hardly goes to. Ideally, it should be placed where your cat likes to spend time at. If your kitty likes lounging on the sofa, place the cat furniture beside it. Encourage your cat to use it by rewarding him/her with treats or praises.
In time to come, your cats will stop bothering your sofa. Say bye to clawed furniture!