Cats often damage homes by scratching furnishings and walls. Learn why cats scratch and find out how to manage this instinct with a cat scratching post.
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It can be a nightmare if your cat begins to scratch the furniture, carpets, doors and wallpaper in your home. All are expensive to repair or replace and often your cat will just damage them again in the future. However, it is possible to control your cat’s scratching if you understand the reasons why they do it in the first place and use a cat scratching post to accommodate these instincts.
Why do cats scratch?
There are a number of reasons why cats will scratch. Cats have scent glands in their paws so scratching leaves their scent mark on that area. This can be for territorial reasons, or sometimes the scent can be left to let other cats know that they are in search of a mate. Even if you do not have other cats in your home it is in their instinct to attempt to send these signals, which is why a cat will continue to scratch the same area; it is hoping to replace its scent when it begins to wear off. If a cat is anxious or stressed you may find that it scratches more or in new places: its scent is often a comfort to itself as well as a message to other cats. Another reason why cats scratch is to condition their claws, but leaving their scent is the most common reason. It is important to understand that you cannot prevent a cat’s need to condition their claws or its animal instinct, but aim to control the scratching instead with a cat scratch post.
How to stop my cat destroying my home
Some people attempt to prevent a cat from scratching by using a water pistol or by shouting at it. This does little to prevent a cat from scratching because, as mentioned, scared cats tend to scratch for comfort. If your cat is less timid and is scratching to gain attention, it is likely that it is going to feel rewarded by you giving it extra attention. Instead you should prevent your home furnishings from getting scratched by encouraging your cat to use a cat scratching post.
What to look for in a cat scratching post
Before cats were domesticated they liked to climb trees – a trait which they have kept to this day. Good cat scratching posts are designed as cat trees, with platform tiers and a wooden trunk. Comfortable hammock-like levels encourage your cat to relax there and use the cat scratching post more. It is important to choose a cat scratch post which is as attractive as possible to your cat so it chooses to scratch it rather than elsewhere. Ensure that your cat scratch post is made from animal-friendly natural materials, wood will appeal to your cat’s instinct to climb trees and sisal rope is a hardwearing scratching material. A good cat scratching post will even be available in different colours to match your decor. Therefore cat trees are an effective way to manage cat scratching in the home – benefitting animals and humans alike.