What Are Cat Scratching Posts For?

Cat Scratching Posts

A cat scratching post may not seem like the most exciting addition to your feline’s home, but this seemingly innocuous bit of equipment can save your furniture from a quick and brutal death by claws. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats that helps them shed loose layers of skin, exercise and stretch their muscles, and mark their territory. Despite this primal behavior, many pet parents are struggling to cohabitate with their cats as they rip their furniture and carpets to shreds. This is where a well-designed and placed scratching post can come into play.

Scratching posts are made from a variety of materials and have differing designs, but the most common type is an upright wooden post covered in rough material or sisal. The surface of the scratcher may also be adorned with various toy accessories, which encourages cats to interact with it and may increase its durability, but these are not always necessary. For example, some owners find that using a piece of hard wearing carpet recommended for heavy traffic areas on a base of wood works well. This can be a cheap option that is easy to make yourself and is very durable, but it will likely be less attractive for some cats than a more visually appealing scratching surface.

Other popular cat scratching post are designed to be free-standing or fixed to a wall and often include platforms, beds, hiding boxes and even dangling toys for the more energetic. These are much more complex, but they can offer more options to keep your cat entertained and engaged. It is important to note, however, that these types of posts are more likely to be damaged by your cat’s claws if they have more than one surface to scratch on.

What Are Cat Scratching Posts For?

When choosing a scratcher, consider the size and age of your cat. Younger cats and kittens will probably prefer a smaller model, but older pets may want something bigger or more spacious with more features to explore and engage with. It is also important to choose a scratcher that is stable enough not to tip over, as this can be dangerous for your cat and cause damage.

Having more than one scratcher in the house is also helpful, and it’s good to place them near places your cat frequents, such as their bed or litter tray, and where they sleep. This will help to direct their scratching away from your furniture and carpets and toward the new scratching surface.

You should also try to incorporate the scratching post into your cat’s daily routine and encourage them to use it by praising them when they do so and rewarding them with treats or toys when they scratch on it. This can help to strengthen the link between their claws and the scratcher and ensure that it will remain their primary scratching spot. It may take a few weeks for your cat to fully adopt the scratching post, but once they have, it should be their new favorite spot!

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