Cats sure have a way of using their claws, be it on your furniture, clothes, and other things. It’s time to look into getting a cat scratching post to redirect that behavior to an object of such purpose.
Scratching posts keep your cat’s claws at a good length and it also serves to entertain them or relieves their stress. Cats also release pheromones when scratching on a post to mark their territory.
Another cat behavior makes you curious why they’re doing it. We will explore more questions in this article and provide the answers you’re looking for.
Are Scratching Posts Good for Cats?
Here’s a summarized list that scratching posts do for your cats:
- Keeps your cat’s claws from getting too long.
- Saves your furniture from damage.
- Keeps your cat entertained.
- Serves as a territory marker.
It helps with maintaining your cat’s claws and from getting too long and you don’t have to do it yourself too. Domestic cats aren’t as free within a home to scratch things to keep their nails at a shorter length, unlike their feral counterparts that can do so freely in the wild.
Nobody likes their furniture being shredded but you can’t stop the cat from expressing natural behavior either so there should be a compromise. Scratching posts keep your cat entertained when they’re bored, and you don’t have to replace the post either after an intense scratching session.
Cats have scent glands on their paws called interdigital glands that produce pheromones as a way of marking their territory. It’s one of the many ways a cat leaves a message to other cats that this is their domain.
Do Cats Sharpen Their Claws on a Scratching Post?
When a cat scratches its claws against a material, it files against the keratinized dead cells it is made of. This trims and sharpens the edge of your cat’s claws.
Wild cats like lions scratch their big claws against tree barks and a domesticated cat doesn’t have access to these natural things inside the house. Your cat will find a way to mimic this behavior either on your furniture or something you dare not want to be touched but a scratching post offers this
Why Do Cats Need a Scratching Post?
Cats will still express wild traits despite how domesticated they become, and scratching their claws against a scratching post keeps their claws sharp and also serves a purpose in marking their territory.
When this urge is suppressed by the owner, your cat will find a way to do it, usually on your furniture, wallpaper, curtains, and carpet. A scratching post will save you from experiencing these damages again if you’ve experienced them.
How to Choose the Right Cat Scratching Post?
Owners complain of buying scratch posts only for it to end up in the basement for lack of use. Make sure that the one you buy is worthy of your cat’s glorious claws:
- Make sure it is rigid and heavy so that your cat can lean all its weight on it and be tall enough for a full body stretch.
- Choose the material your cat loves to shred. You can choose among sisal, cardboard, and wood. Avoid carpet-covered posts as these can cause damage to your cat’s claws and encourage this behavior on your carpet.
- The material should be challenging enough for shredding but not too hard that it causes pain or discomfort to your cat.
- It should be available for vertical or horizontal scratching.
Where is the Best Place to Put a Cat Scratching Post?
Place it on areas next to the furniture, the table, wallpaper, or even on the carpet where your cat most likely shredded some materials in your house. Put it close to where she loves to stay for hours so your cat is encouraged to redirect its behavior towards the post and not elsewhere.
The things we do for our beloved cats. Make sure not to place the post in areas where there’s foot traffic or dark corners. Outside of the house even if it’s accessible to your cats is also not an ideal place for it.
How Do Cats Know to Scratch the Scratching Posts?
So you’ve bought a scratching post and are disappointed that they continue with this behavior on anythingelse but the post. Cats know to scratch the posts when taught and trained.
In areas where your cat has left long stretches of marks on table legs and furniture, spray it with alcohol to mask the pheromones they have left. Place the scratching post near these areas where your cat frequents and reward them with treats to get them to approach and scratch the post.
You can also use catnip and rub a few amounts on the surface of the scratching post and see if it works. Switch to cat toys and have them stretch on their hind legs and use the scratching post to reach the toy.
How Many Scratch Posts Should a Cat Have?
Ideally, each cat should have a scratching post as cats are territorial by nature and the scent marked on their post is unique to them. When affordable, two scratching posts placed in different areas in the house will keep your little shredder machine happy.
You don’t even have to spend over $50 if you’re good with your hands. You can make a simple scratching post with an old shirt, wooden base, log, rope, hot glue gun, and a few more materials.
In this video tutorial, jump to 0:53 for the assembly of materials.
How Long Should a Cat Scratching Post Last?
Depending on how constantly your cat likes to have fun with the post, a cat scratching post can last up to a few months to three years. As long as the material doesn’t pull and tug on your cat’s claws and some pieces aren’t coming apart.
Another sign it’s time to replace the post is when your cat loses interest in it and starts finding other materials to shred. There are quality cat posts you can buy based on budget, material (cardboard), structure (tower), variety, and age (for kittens and older cats).
Why Do Cats Ignore Scratching Posts?
Unfortunately, even at your best attempts, your cat can still choose to ignore the scratching post you saved up for. Cats don’t like it if the post shows one or more of the following issues
- It topples or wobbles when it is leaned on.
- It’s too short for a full stretch.
- It doesn’t offer a horizontal surface for scratching.
- The material is too easy to shred or too hard on the claws.
Scratching posts do good wonders for you and your cats. It saves you from shredded furniture and wallpaper and satisfies your cat’s urges to mark their territory with pheromones through their paws. It also serves as a nail trimmer and sharpens their claws so they can have a better grip on their cat toys and the hem of your pajama.