Cat Scratching Posts
Cats love to scratch. Besides the sheer joy of scratching, cats use scratching posts for exercise, to stretch out to their full length, to clean away dead scales from their nails, and to mark their territory, both visually and with their scent. In fact, even cats who have unfortunately been subjected to declawing will often be seen using scratchers, just for the purpose of marking them. This is known as “pressing the flesh” and is a way for the cat to leave his scent from his paws on the cat scratching post.
If you don’t already have one, shop for cat scratching posts ASAP right away to help your cat learn early that this is the place to scratch, and not the furniture.
A good scratching post should be tall enough to let your cat stretch out to full length , a minimum of 30 inches and have a sturdy base so it won’t topple over every time he attacks it.
There are now cat scratching toys that hang on a doorknob and serve much the same purpose as the traditional cat scratching posts. You can make one yourself with some wood and sisal rope if you’re handy, or buy one from a pet store or from your neighborhood Super Center.
Help your cat learn to use the scratching post as soon as possible. Encourage him to try the post by playing with him near around the cat scratching post often. Try rubbing some catnip on it. You can also place it near his cat bed since most cats like to stretch when they wake up. He’ll get the idea pretty soon.
When you’ve supplied your feline with all the good and acceptable places to scratch and he still persists in scratching, there are still some things you can do to discourage the bad behavior.
You may want to consider (if you already haven't) getting a cat tree or cat condo, which incorporate scratching surfaces with places to climb, perch and generally observe the world from a safe vantage point. Such cat furniture is one of the best thing syou can buy for your cat and for your own peace of mind!
Learn about different kinds of Cat Furniture here.
Pet stores now sell no-scratch strips which can be applied to the furniture to discourage scratching. These have a slightly tacky feeling that cats dislike, and when it’s no fun, they usually stop.
There are also herbal deterrents, which will create a smell which is not strong or bad to us, but that cats don’t want to be near, and therefore tend not to want to scratch. This kind of product will also discourage him from climbing where he shouldn’t go, and is a valuable training tool. These sprays do need to be refreshed fairly often though, to maintain their effectiveness.
There are so many wonderful cat scratching posts and toys available now that with just a little trial and error you should be able to find something to satisfy your cat’s urge to scratch without sacrificing your furniture or spending a fortune.
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