Avert Household Scratching Disasters: Channel Your Cat’s Natural Behavior

Scratching is an instinctive feline trait. Cats scratch for a variety of reasons: to sharpen their claws, mark their territory, reduce stress and exercise. Further, they usually target your favorite things because they’re attracted to them by your scent.

By providing legitimate scratching zones throughout your home and teaching your cat how to use them it is very easy to control where your cat scratches.

The first thing you need to do is determine whether your feline prefers to exercise her scratching rights horizontally or vertically. Once this is determined, you should purchase several scratching pads and posts to match her preference.

Next, it’s all about location, location, location!

Upon waking from snooze mode, the standard feline’s modus operandi is to stre-e-e-tch and scratch, scratch, scraaatch. So start by placing scratchers as close as possible to her most popular snooze zones as well as close to items of furniture that she is likely to target.

Scratchers come in all shapes and sizes: flat, angled and the all-time favorite, vertical. Attaching a vertical scratcher to a doorknob will also allow your cat to put a bit of swing into the action.

My favorite materials for vertical scratching posts are sisal, jute and sea grass. These all-natural sustainable plants can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Make sure to always go for the tallest vertical post you can find because apart from being a great feline nail file, the stretch also helps keep your cat’s front leg and paw muscles toned and healthy.

When it comes to horizontal scratchers, cats love recycled corrugated cardboard — it’s the closest thing to natural bark under the claws! The larger the flat surface the better!

The best way to introduce your cat to a new scratching post is to place a little catnip on it, which will automatically attract her. Alternatively, bring your fur kid over and start scratching at it yourself. You will be surprised how quickly she gets the message and takes over! You can continue to rub dried catnip leaves into the scratcher or use a catnip spray on a regular basis to keep her focused on the legitimate scratching zones you have provided.

-Photo Credit: From flickr by Chatblanc1

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Print
  • email