Cat-Scratching-Post

Cat scratching is a necessary part of being a cat. Not only is it great for helping them to maintain their claws but it also allows them to stretch, as well as mark their territory. And although having a cat is always going to invite the occasional mark, bite or bit of mess, when your feline is focused on becoming more and more like Wolverine every day, it’s time to take control.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can stop your cat from digging its claws into your sofa or tearing into your wallpaper.

 

Why do cats scratch?

Cats don’t scratch because they’re intent on ruining your furniture (even though you’ve politely asked them not to) they do it as a form of exercise. Plus it helps to stop their claws from getting too long.

They also do it to mark their territory and remind other cats to stay away. They do this using the scent glands in their paws which humans can’t usually pick up on, but is strong enough to signal to other cats that this is their home.

Finally, scratching also helps cats to keep their paws clean so you might find the more textured fabrics around your house hot spots for a quick, afternoon shred.

 

How to stop my cat from scratching

You won’t be able to stop your cat from scratching but you will be able to redirect its behaviour so it scratches somewhere other than your brown leather Chesterfield.

Firstly, purchase at least one cat scratching post. These come in all shapes and sizes and can be either free-standing, flat or wall mounted. The post should be slightly taller than your cat so they can fully stretch out.

Place the scratchers near to where they have already been scratching, and in comfortable places where cats love to spend time – perhaps somewhere warm, like near the radiator. Place another one where they spend a lot of time – near their cat bed, the sofa or your bed are all great spots.

Remember that cat scratching posts must be rough or course (like this cat post with sisal exterior) and not fluffy. And the scratchier it is, the less inviting your favourite sweater will seem.

Me & My Pets Pro Tip: if your cat has a favourite person in the house, leave a cat scratching post near to where they sit, or place an item of theirs like a tshirt on top of the post. This will help entice your cat to use the post. You can also place their favourite toy on top as another way of encouraging them to start using the posts instead of the wall.

 

How do I train my cat to use a scratching post?

Cat-Paw-Scratching

It’s all very well placing cat scratching posts around the house but it can be another thing to get your cats to actually use them! If you want to make your cat posts more inviting, you can rub them with cat nip or spray catnip oil onto them.

If your cat does use the cat post, reward it with praise or even a little treat.

Getting a cat scratching post that also has a toy on it is great for encouraging cats to use their scratching post. If your cat is not paying attention to the posts you have strategically placed around the house, try moving them to a more enticing spot so that they start to notice them more.

 

Practical steps to deter your cat from scratching

If the scratching posts just aren’t getting the attention they deserve, you can always go for one of our tried and tested methods:

1. Use a spray such as Feliway Classic Spray. Natural alternatives are also available but always use a brand that you trust to ensure it’s safe for your cats.

2. Apply double sided tape to your furniture – cats dislike touching anything sticky.

If you have any concerns about your cat’s behaviour, or you notice a distinct or sudden behaviour change, always consult your vet. Behaviour problems or changes can be a symptom of a deeper problem. Trust your instincts and speak to your vet!

 

Disclaimer: This content in this article is intended for information or entertainment purposes only, it is not intended to replace the advice of a vet or animal health professional. Your use of the information is entirely at your own risk and Me & My Pets assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information found on this site. If you have any questions or concerns over your pet's wellbeing you should consult your vet immediately.