You probably don't agree with your cat's ideas for remodeling your living room. However, your cat doesn't claw the couch because they're a bad kitty. While it may not seem like an essential cat accessory at first, you will soon understand why a high-quality cat scratching post can help reduce many of the headaches of cat ownership.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
“Cats scratch for a variety of reasons. It relieves anxiety; it’s a form of exercise; it hones their nails; it strengthens and stretches their muscles; it marks territory,” says Jennifer Conrad, DVM and founder and director of the Paw Project, the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated solely to ending the practice of declawing. Scratching is a vital part of a feline’s everyday life, and one important function is to send signals to other animals. In your home, “Cats scratch furniture because they are marking territory in places where you sit,” explains Dr. Conrad. Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching deposits the cat's scent onto an object and leaves a territorial message for other cats. This cat behavior is useful in the wild because it provides both a visual and scent-based way to mark their territory.
How Scratching Helps Your Cat
While it may seem like a frustrating habit, scratching is actually great for your cat’s health! It actively reduces stress by letting them “blow off steam,” promotes exercise, and keeps their claws in shape. Cats scratch to stretch their claws, feet, and bodies, which releases "feel-good" hormones that help keep them healthy and happy.
For kittens especially, scratching provides vigorous activity while allowing them to attach to something early on in the home- something that isn’t your furniture!
How Cat Scratching Helps Your Home
As most cat owners know, cats love to scratch even if they don’t have a post to do it on. This means that they’ll find something else to claw, often your beloved furniture. Bringing a post into the equation can help divert this scratching. Don’t assume, however, that simply setting up a cat scratching post will keep your cat from scratching your furniture. You have to lure them to scratch the post instead. Sprinkling organic catnip on it, or placing a fun toy at the top could help correct this cat behavior problem.
What’s The Solution?
Fortunately, there are ways that your cat's need to scratch can be satisfied without sacrificing your household items. A great way to do this is by providing high-quality scratching posts, so we’ve put together a list of the best we’ve seen. We’re confident that whichever you choose will last for years and years to come! With some attention to the perfect scratching spot for your feline friend, and some extra understanding and patience, your cat will learn to leave your furniture alone.
The Catswall CatScratching Board is made of pinewood — just the right hardness, and is durable and environmental friendly. The slanted design offers an irresistible scratching surface as well as a comfy place to perch. We’ve seen photos of this product after 6 YEARS of use in a shelter, and it was still in great condition despite clearly being loved by many!
The Arched Scratching post features 4 jute-wrapped posts on a sturdy base, with a hanging rattan ball in the middle. Cats are naturally attracted to the feel of tightly-wrapped rope, and won't be able to resist climbing the posts and attacking the bouncing ball!
Talk about replacement posts
It seems that cats are not so different from us after all! Many people enjoy yoga and stretching. We all leave notes for friends and even ourselves as reminders of important things. It only takes a little extra thought to decode your cat and when you do, it is like seeing a whole new world-through a cat’s eyes!