Photo by @ssarahs_s
One of the most voiced-out problems of Bengal cat owners is their Bengals scratching on household furniture—I used to do that, too. Weirdly enough, humans prefer their furniture intact and without markings. Although, how they’re able to mark their territory without using claws is beyond me.
My advice to humans facing this issue with their Bengals is to get them their own scratching posts. That worked well for me, so I’m confident it will for your Bengal cats, too. The only thing you need to do is find the right scratching posts for them. This is very important because if your Bengal cats won’t like it, you’ll be back to square one.
Each Bengal cat has their own preference and it’s best that you don’t make the mistake of choosing what appeals to you as a human, but what will appeal to your Bengal cat. In order to do that, you’ll need to think like a Bengal, and what better way to learn how to do that than to get tips from one, right?
Here are what Bengal cats want in a scratching post:
- We want it to be TALL AND STURDY.
One of the main reasons why we scratch is because we want to stretch out our limbs. It’s how we maintain our feline flexibility. To do that comfortably, we will need a tall enough scratching post that will accommodate the length of our bodies so we can stretch in any desired position. We also need it to be sturdy enough to hold our weight. We Bengals will not enjoy wobbly, unstable surfaces. It makes us feel unsafe and we don’t like that. Scratching posts that move around and have tendencies to topple over are very dangerous for us cats. They can easily injure (or even kill) us when they accidently fall over.
- We want it to be made of GOOD SCRATCHING MATERIAL.
Believe it or not, we don’t just go around scratching the first thing we find. We look for scratching places made of good scratching material– something that feels good under our claws.
In the wild, cats mark their territory by leaving long shredding marks. Similarly, we domesticated Bengal cats like surfaces that allow us to leave marks, too. We like materials that are sturdy, but shreds under our claws, like corrugated cardboard. We also love the sound our claws make on those kinds of materials. It’s very satisfying!
- SISAL FABRIC > SISAL ROPE
Sisal rope is usually used on scratching posts—I’ve also seen them wrapped around cat trees. The difference between sisal fabric and sisal rope is that sisal fabric allows us to scratch without feeling bumpy textures under our claws. Scratching posts wrapped with sisal rope don’t provide a very consistent platform, so claws don’t easily glide in one swift scratch.
Sisal fabric, on the other hand, is one of the most ideal scratching materials for us Bengal cats. It’s one of my purrrrsonal favorites! It’s durable and shreds under my claws amazingly. It has a great texture that any Bengal cat would love to sink their claws into, literally.
- We need VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL SCRATCHING SURFACES
You’ve probably seen your Bengals scratching upright; on the door or at the back of the sofa. You may have also seen them scratching on things laying on the floor, like carpets or even welcome mats. This is because we Bengal cats scratch both vertically and horizontally. To successfully stop your Bengal from scratching household items and furniture, you’ll need to meet this Bengal scratching requirement, which means you’ll need to invest in more than one scratching surface.
You will need to provide them with a vertical (tall) scratching post and a horizontal (flat) or angled cat scratcher. The scratching post should be covered in sisal fabric, and the flat or angled scratch pad should be made of sturdy corrugated cardboard.
- Make sure you provide your cat with a variety of scratching surfaces of different textures
- Avoid scratching posts made out of carpet, especially similar to a carpet you have in the home. This may give you a hard time convincing your cat why it’s okay to scratch one carpet but not the other.
- You can use catnip to entice your cat to use the scratching post/pad
- You can give them treats when they scratch the scratching surfaces you provided instead of your furniture