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Scratching is one natural habit of cats. Instead of furniture and carpets at home, you can let your cats use a scratching post. Even though cats can have some fun, others might get bored with scratching. That is why we did some research about how often cats use scratching posts.
Cats will have varying interests with scratching posts. Most cats will use them as soon as they wake up. Some cats will ignore them if the scratching posts are unappealing. Also, if your cats want to communicate with you and other cats, they will scratch more often. The frequency of use will also depend on how active your cat is and the environment.
Your cats can also be picky with their scratch posts. The location and material should vary to meet the needs of your cats. If you want to spare your furniture, you can train your cats to make them use the scratching posts. To learn more about cats and scratching, keep reading below.
Cats And Scratching Posts
Cats scratch because it is a normal and vital feline behavior. If you provide your cats with scratching posts, they will have different responses. Most cats will use them regularly, and some might ignore them.
Listed are some reasons why your cats frequently use scratching posts:
- When your cats wake up from long hours of sleep, they love to stretch their bodies. With the right scratching post height, your cats can keep their limbs and spine in good condition.
- Cats will feel safe and relaxed when they have their own space. By leaving their scent while scratching, your cat signals other cats not to trespass in their territory.
- As part of their instinctive behavior, cats will love to sharpen their claws. Even if you have indoor cats, they could also sense danger or a need to hunt.
- Cats can have frenetic random activity periods (FRAP), and one way to let their excitement out is by scratching.
- If you are at home, your cats will always scratch because they feel safe and less anxious with your presence.
Also, be mindful of the destructive scratching of cats. If excessive scratching is uncontrollable, it is best to ask your vet if you need to change your cat's scratching habits.
Why Won't My Cat Use His Scratching Post?
After buying a highly-rated scratching post online, you notice that your cat ignores it. It could seem a waste of money on your part. There are common reasons why your cats will likely snub scratching posts.
Some cats don't like to use scratching posts because they want to feel the texture and height of a real tree. Cats love to sink their claws deep and fully stretch their bodies. Cheap scratching posts that are short, unstable, and covered with carpet scraps might not please your cats.
Another reason could be the location of the scratching post. Especially if you are introducing the cat to a new scratch post, it's best to place it where your cats usually scratch. You also have to observe the direction of their scratching. Cats might scratch high on walls or below your bed.
It's not impossible to make your cats use their scratching posts. Read further for some tips you can follow.
Ways To Make Your Cats Use The Scratching Post
If your cats continue to scratch on furniture and other places at home, make these unappealing for scratching. You can cover your couch or chairs with some aluminum foil or double-sided tape.
You also have to make your scratching post appealing to your cats. Some ways include sprinkling some catnip, adding toys, or giving treats to cats after they use the scratch post. You can also train your cats. By doing so, your cats can learn how to avoid scratching on furniture.
If you have many cats, it will also help to have multiple scratching posts. Remember that cats are territorial. It will help reduce conflicts if your cats have a designated place for scratching.
How To Get An Older Cat To Use A Scratching Post
Senior cats have lower energy levels, less mobility, and would have difficulty stretching their bodies. Even so, your old cats can still get active with scratching posts. You have to pick a tall post that is at least 2 feet tall. By doing so, your cat will be able to stretch to its full length.
Aside from the height, you also have to consider the following factors:
- Texture - Sisal is the universal choice, but other materials like carpets give an appealing texture for older cats. A floor scratching post made of corrugated cardboard is also a good option for cats who have arthritis.
- Surface - Scratching posts can either be vertical or horizontal. For senior cats with some physical pains, horizontal types would be the better choice.
- Levels - You also have to consider if your cats love heights. There are cat trees with 2 to 3 levels with the same amount of scratching posts. The distance should be enough for your cats to jump because your cats might not be energetic as they were younger.
Why Does My Cat Run To The Scratching Post When I Come Home?
There is nothing to worry about if you see your cats running to their scratching posts when you come home. Your cats might want to communicate with you after several hours that you are not around. They become excited to play or eat food when you arrive.
Listed below are several reasons why your cats want to communicate through scratching.
- Your cat wants to greet or say hello to you.
- Your cat has something to show you.
- Your cat is asking you to do something for them. Cats might demand to close the door, ask for food, or pet them.
- Your cat seeks attention. The scratching could also mean that your cat wants to play with you.
- After a long day of waiting for you to go home, cats would stretch their bodies using the scratching post.
- Your cat cleans its claws before you can cuddle them.
If the scratching means an alarming signal, you can take your cats to the vet.
Do Cats Scratch When They're Happy?
Cats can express their feelings through scratching. Happy cats with harmonious relations with their owners will likely scratch any surface. Scratching could also mean that cats are confident of their marked territories.
If you have indoor cats, they would feel they are in a secure and comfortable environment. Cats' frequent scratching could be a message they want to play because of a previous positive experience.
Also, cats would scratch to relieve their anxieties. If you relocate into a new home, bring in a new cat, or buy new furniture, your cats can get stressed. It's best to help reduce stress by providing your cats with scratching posts.
Read further to learn what cats like in their scratching posts.
What Scratching Post Do Cats Like?
Based on research, cats have some preferences with scratching posts. The ideal scratching post should at least have the following specifications:
- Rope substrate
- Upright vertical position
- Measures at least 3 feet or higher
- With two or more levels
- Base width between 1 to 3 feet
In terms of age, cats who are 9 years old and below like scratching posts on cat trees with more than two levels. Older cats prefer a vertical pole. For the type of material, senior cats like carpet posts rather than a rope substrate. Always try to choose the scratching posts based on your cats' perspective.
Choose from the 12 types of scratching posts and scratchers you can buy for your cats.
Scratching is normal behavior to all cats, but they will have different responses to scratching posts. If you noticed that your cats don't use the scratchers, you could try positive reinforcement to train them.
To find a suitable scratch post, you always have to consider your cats' needs.
Scratching posts can also help your older cats to stretch and be active. Leaving your cat at home will make them run to the posts to ask for attention. Aside from longing for affection, cats also scratch because they feel happy and loved. You can keep your cats entertained with a suitable scratching post.
Check out other articles about cat care and behavior from these previous posts: