There are a lot of things that you need to consider and to think about after you have your first cat, quite possibly you already have your list handy on what particular things you need to purchase for your cat. Cat food, litter box, litter, cat shampoo, grooming brushes, nail clippers, cat cushion, and you might even consider buying a cat tree or a cat house for her. Sometimes, cat owners tends to forget about purchasing a scratching posts, which is one of the biggest mistakes they’ll ever do, ending up having their cat clawing on their precious things such as leather sofas, furnished walls, lacquered furniture and even their expensive bags.
Why They Love To Scratch?..
Cats scratch these things for a number of reasons.
Scratching is a good form of exercise for them. They get to stretch out their bodies and extend and retract their nails. When they scratch, the movements help remove the dead outer layer of their claws, making sure that their nails won’t grow beyond their sheath of their claws. Claws that are longer than usual tends to break easily, sometimes causing injuries to them and may develop infections on their paws. It is also a way for cats to leave visual and olfactory (scent) markers.
Their interdigital glands, which are located between the pads of their paws, leave odors behind so that other cats know that the it is already marked as the property of your cat (if your cat rub its sides on your legs, it is also a way of marking you and declaring to other cats that you are her property). When cats scratch objects, they also leave small scratch marks, which are visual signals to other cats that there is a cat in the area.
Shopping for a scratching post at your local pet supply store like activefelinesolutions can be overwhelming, especially when choosing the best size, shape and materials. When choosing this important accessory, learning to think like a cat can make things a little easier, for one of the mistakes people make is that they choose posts that captivates them, instead of thinking about what appeals to their cat. The main reason that you want to have a scratching post is that to provide a substitute that your cat will love to scratch on to more than your fancy furniture, and that compels you to choose one from your cat’s point of view.
First of all, you need to keep in mind that the scratching post you’ll buy needs to be tall enough to allow your cat to stretch and fully extend its body while scratching. It’s a cat’s habit to stretch its body out fully and pull out those back and shoulder muscles, which helps them maintain flexibility and agility.
Small scratching posts or ones with inadequate height may be uncomfortable for them to use and there is a tendency that they have to crouch down to scratch. Remember, scratching posts are not there just for your cat’s claws, but also something sturdy enough for them to hold on to and stretch their body. It is also important that your cat needs to be able to scratch in any preferred position.
Sturdiness and durability of the scratching post is of crucial importance for a lot of reasons. If the post wobbles or have an unsecured fit to its base, your cat will definitely not find it appealing to use. The main reason your cat loves to scratch on your walls or the wooden legs of your tables is that they are very stable.
Originally, wild cats prefer trees as their scratching post, so you can understand why cats would be looking for an unmovable object to scratch on to. A wobbly post is an unsafe post on your cat’s point of view. Your cat indistinctly knows that an unstable post may topple down and fall on her, and would never try to use it.
Taller posts needs to be as sturdy as possible (preferably secured to the floor) to carry the entire weight of your cat.
Cats tends to climb on to large scratching posts and some of them gets injured or killed when it falls over them. If you don’t want to nail or screw down the post to the floor and wants to move the post freely around the house, pick ones with heavy bases (most of them have weights placed inside of the base), for thin-based posts are mostly meant to be static (nailed down or screwed down to the floor) and is always needed to be secured.
The kind and feel of the material used is also a key factor in determining if your cat would like to use it or not. Don’t be fooled by the visual characteristics of some cat scratching posts, for some are purposefully designed that way to entice humans to buy it, but at the end of the day, your cat will still choose the best one for her. You don’t want your expensive and intricate scratching post to just sit there in one corner unused right?
Many of the cheap posts you find in your local pet supply store are covered in carpet. Pretty to look at, soft to touch, but totally ineffective when it comes to scratching. Cats go for a sturdy material that shaves of under its claws.
As you can see in the wild, cats usually mark their territory with long shredding marks, and your cat’s instincts still dictate this preference. Shredding things is fun for them, like that time you see your cat shreds and unrolls a toilet paper? it may be extremely annoying to you, but it is excessively enjoyable and delightful for them.
Also avoid cat scratching post with surfaces having similar texture and feel to them to that of the things you don’t want them to scratch into, like carpets and couches. There might be a possibility that your cat can’t tell the difference between those two and will still continue to scratch on both surfaces. It is also advisable to rub catnip on their scratching post to make it more irresistable for them to use it.
Some materials, such as sisal fabric, are preferable when choosing the best surface for your scratching Sisal fabric is very durable, feels great on the paws of your cats and its ability to shred under their claws is very pleasing to them. There are some cats who have other preferences. If your cat doesn’t like sisal you can try other rough materials. Some cats even prefer to scratch on bare wood.
Aside from sisal fabric, another great material for scratching is heavy corrugated cardboard. Just like the sisal fabric, it also has a pleasing feel to it, and also makes a satisfying noise when your cat scratches it. Usually, cardboard is often found in flat and angled scratchers. It is also easy to make one if you have lots of corrugated cardboard lying around your house.
Simply cut the cardboard into 20 strips (I prefer to cut them in 4” wide and 18” long strips) using a box cutter. After that, apply glue on top of each strips and start placing them one on top of another until you form a board and place something heavy (some bricks will do the trick) on top of the strips until the glue completely dries. You can sprinkle catnip on its surface to make it more interesting for your cat, and in no time, your cat will learn how to use it. If you don’t have available cardboard to use or is just too busy to build one, you can check some of the quality scratching boards products available on online stores (activefelinesolutions).
Also one thing to keep in mind is that there are products that are oriented either horizontally or vertically. Most cats like to stretch up vertically, such as on table legs and the sides of an open door, while some like to scratch horizontally on carpets or rough wooden floors. It is a good idea to have both options on one product, such as those heavy-duty scratching post with a wide, textured base similar to the post, which can accommodate different scratching positions your cat desires.
Purchasing a cat condo (Cat Scratching Tree Post Sisal Pole Condo House Furniture Multi level Blue 260cm-Amazon), which provides a multi-function scratching surface and also have a platform on top from which your cat can look over her realm is a good idea. Just like in nature, cats like to stay on top of trees not just to get away from potential predators but also to serve as a vantage point to that they can see possible predators and prey from a safe spot. You can also get a good one at pet stores or online shops like at activefelinesolutions all for the perfect condo, cat tree, or cat lounge for your cat.
One thing to keep in mind: cats (and pretty much all other pets too) gets bored to on just about anything. As the owner, you need to make sure that they have a plethora to things to keep them busy and interested. You don’t want your pet cat to experience boredom too, right?
Always keep in mind that your cat is interested in experiencing a good scratch and of course, having fun. Having different kinds of posts and toys with varying materials will keep your cat occupied and happy, also it reduces the risk of them having the urge to go outdoors. Try to visit Your Cat’s Scratching Nature article, as it might help you understand more your cats scratching behavior.
Placement of the scratching post in a home plays a role in a cat’s acceptance of the post. Pay attention to your cat’s scratching habits so you’ll know where to locate the post. Some cats like to scratch after a nap or after a meal.
Others scratch when in a tense situation or as a way to displace anxiety. Locate the post where you think your cat would appreciate it most. Cat who are used to go outdoors frequently have notable markers around their territory, leaving both olfactory and visual (usually showing deep, long scratches) warnings to deter other feline trespassers. It also goes with indoor cats, placing scratch marks on furniture such as door corners or table legs to tell others who enters the room that this is her territory.
One good spot to place your cat’s scratching post with a horizontal platform or a scratching board is in front of the window, this will allow your cat to scratch in any direction she chooses to, sit down, take a nap and look at anything interesting outside. This is also the best spot because if ever you are busy or not around, your cat will just simply sit there and gets entertained by the things that she can see outside. If you have multiple windows with a great view of the outside world, it is a good idea to put individual scratching mats or scratching boards on each window so that your cat have the option where to perch in and hang around.
And lastly, when a cat likes her scratching post and she is the only one using it, it will eventually start to look frayed and worn out. Since the scratching post is probably not one of the more attractive pieces of cat equipment you have in your house, you might be opted to throw it out once it gets ragged and might purchase a new one.
You need first to consider that your cat is still happy to use it despite its look and might not use the replacement scratching post that you’ll gonna buy, and make sure it really is no longer functional for your cat. Just because it has a few shreds on it may mean it’s not as appealing from a human’s perspective but may still be the ideal post for your cat.
So that’s it, those are the main things you need to consider if purchasing a scratching post for your cat. Always bear in mind that it all comes to your cat’s preference in choosing the right post for her and not the ones who are attractive to your eyes. What’s more, at the end of the day, it is your cat who will use it and not you, right?