Please Help Pets by Donating One Dollar
The Cat Scratching Post
Sooner or later everyone who has a pet cat runs into
the scratching problem. Cats instinctively scratch
their claws on rough surfaces. Scratching sharpens and
trims the claws, which are essential food-gathering
tools for wild cats. Domestic cats still have the
instinct even though they seldom have the need.
You may have heard of declawing, but please, please
don't consider it for your cats. Declawing is the
equivalent of cutting off your fingers up to the
knuckle and can cause the cat long-term pain! Instead,
teach your cat to use a scratching post.
If your furniture or skin is particularly fragile, you
can combine the scratching post offering with clipping
the claws on a schedule and even applying little glue-
on claw tips available from many pet stores.
Getting your Cat to use its Scratching Post
Some cat experts recommend that when you first get a
scratching post you go and get your cat and move its
paws up and down on the post so it can see what the
post is for. Others warn that doing this may make your
cat hate the post. Which you should do probably depends
on the personality of your cat as well as how much it
trusts you. You will have to be the judge of that.
But if you are in doubt, just try putting the post near
where your cat likes to sleep, putting treats on the
top of the post, rubbing catnip on the post, teasing
the cat around the post with one of its toys or a
string, or the like. The cat may then figure out what
the post is for on its own.
Another consideration is the surface of the post. Some
are sisal rope round around an upright pole; some are
covered with woven sisal. Some are carpeted and some
are simply rough wood. Different cats like and dislike
different surfaces, so you may have to experiment to
see what your cat prefers.
Also, although most cats prefer to scratch a vertical
surface, some will only scratch horizontally. If your
cat prefers to scratch horizontally you can buy a
cardboard cat-scratching box or make your own from
plywood covered with carpeting.
If your cat has already become attached to scratching
your wooden furniture, once you have set up a new
scratching post and introduced it to your cat, polish
your wooden furniture with a strong-smelling polish to
discourage the cat from returning to its old habits.
For upholstered furniture, cover the popular scratching
spots with heavy plastic or aluminum foil. You might
try also spraying a cloth with one of the commercial
cat-repellants or citrus scented spray and pinning it
to the scratched furniture area, or covering the
scratched area with the loop side of Velcro strips.
Whatever type of cat claw scratching area you provide
your pets, be sure that it is tightly secured. If a
post or strip falls when the cat uses it the cat will
be frightened at the least, and one of the large "cat
tree" types of kitty furniture could seriously injure
your cat or you if it fell as the cat climbed on it.
Just remember, scratching is a strong instinct in cats.
Don't ever punish your cat when it scratches the wrong
thing. Simply pick it up and take it to the scratching
post. Your kitty should get the idea fairly quickly.
See our Article on: How to Choose a Cat Scratching Post