There are a lot of things that people don’t understand about cats. Scratching is one of them. If you have interacted with cats at any point of time in your life, you will know that cats tend to stretch out and scratch random objects in their vicinity. This is a rather repetitive behavior and it can be quite distressing to the owner because of the damage it causes. Luckily for cat owners everywhere, the use of a scratching post can help to a great extent!
WHY DO CATS SCRATCH?
Many people believe that cats scratch furniture and other items just because they want to be destructive. That however couldn’t be further from the truth. There are three main reasons why cats scratch.
1. Cats like to scratch!
The act of scratching gives the cat a pleasant sensation as it removes the frayed outer part of the claws. When cats scratch they sharpen their claws and expose the inner claw. The inner claw is sharper and more effective. It is something similar to how we file our nails.
2. A cat will scratch to mark its territory!
Scratching helps to act as a marker for a cat’s territory. This marker is both visual as well as olfactory. By olfactory we mean scent!
3. Cats scratch to relieve stress!
Cats tend to scratch objects when they are stressed or really happy/excited. Many people notice that their cats scratch after an encounter with a new environment or with a new person/animal. This is their way of dealing with change and stress.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A CAT THAT WANTS TO SCRATCH?
The trick to deterring a cat from scratching lies in figuring out what he/she likes to scratch. Most cats have their own choice of material that they like to scratch on. Another interesting fact is that some cats like to scratch on horizontal surfaces while others prefer vertical surfaces.
These two points are important when you consider giving your cat a replacement scratching post.
Introducing the cat to the scratching post will take a bit of work. Ensure that you pick up the cat mid-scratch and place it with its claws extended on the scratching post. The cat will proceed to scratch on the post. This process needs to be repeated over and over again till the cat learns.
THE SCRATCHING POST
The scratching post is the miraculous piece of furniture that helps save a variety of objects in a cat owner’s house. Depending on your cat’s scratching preferences, you can get yourself a scratching post that is either horizontal or vertical. Remember that the scratching post needs to be long enough for the cat to stretch and use its claws on.
According to Wikipedia, a scratching post is usually a wooden post that is covered with an old fabric. Today, scratching posts however have taken on a much more modular look. A scratching post can be easily dissembled and reassembled so that transport becomes a breeze.
HORIZONTAL SCRATCHING POSTS
There are a variety of different types of scratching posts that are available for cats. Luckily a vast majority of them are available in India. Some of the simpler ones can be placed flat on the ground.
The Catit Style Scratcher which is displayed to your right is one example. An added advantage in this product is the catnip that is used. It is said that catnip encourages the cat to use the scratching post!
While there are only a few flat scratching posts available on the market, the variety ranges from simple to complex. Take a look at the Trixie Scratching Cardboard. An image of the product is displayed on your right. This scratching post is meant to be placed flat on the ground.
A more complicated horizontal scratching post has been developed by a company called Generic. This scratching post acts as both a toy and a scratching post. This helps develop interest and attracts the cat towards the post.
The hollow inner portion of the scratching post houses three balls which move when the cat taps them. Since the cat cannot get the balls out of the scratching post, the time that can be spent playing with it is virtually endless!
Another scratching post with a unique design is the BNG – Modern Cat Sisal Post Wall & Cage mounted scratching post. This product is designed for cats that have access to higher reaches of the house. The picture below will give you an idea of what it looks like.
LEANING SCRATCH POSTS
I’ve come across only one leaning scratching post, namely the ‘Lean-it Scratching post’ which is manufactured by Omgea Paw. This product has been designed such that the cat owner can lean it against any wall without it tumbling down.
VERTICAL SCRATCHING POSTS
Vertical scratching posts are the more popular kind of scratching posts. That is probably the reason why there are a larger variety of vertical scratching posts when compared to horizontal scratching posts.
The company named Trixie has a few simple vertical scratching posts. Take a look at the below at the Trixie Scratching post Red.
Another similar design provided by Trixie is the Trixie Mendi Scratching post.
Some people consider scratching posts to be an eyesore. Don’t worry, there is one scratching post that even you guys will find intriguing. This scratching post is called the ‘Ultimate Cat Scratching post’. The interesting part about this scratching post is the fact that it can be fitted under the table. Worried about the height of your table? Don’t worry, the device is adjustable! Take a look at the picture below to see what it looks like!
THE FANCIER DESIGNS
Horizontal, vertical, leaning, wall mounted… The list goes on. Scratching posts however have evolved. They are now incorporated in a variety of products that range from cat beds to cat trees and cat condos. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
The Milliard Cozy Kitty home is designed to provide the cat with a place to scratch. The scratching area is confined to a toy tree scratching post that stands as a part of the products allure. In addition to this, the Milliard Cozy Kitty home also has a comfortable house like structure for the cat to sleep in.
The proximity that the sleeping area has with scratching area is alluring because cats tend to scratch as soon as the get up from their nap.
The Trixie Badalona Scratching post follows the same principle. The main difference between the two products is the fact that the Tixie Badalona Scratching post has two scratching posts while the Cozy Kitty home just has one.
The Trixie Inca wave on a post is another interesting design. It has multiple areas that can be used for scratching. It is especially useful for those cat owners who don’t know what kind of surface their cat prefers.
And then there is one that is designed for a kitten. It comes with its own bed and dual scratching areas. It also comes with a dangling toy that is designed to get the kittens attention. This ensures that the cat is trained to scratch on the post from a very young age.
The cat condos are also popularly called cat trees. These cat trees extend vertical and have multiple levels for the cat to jump and play. What makes these cat condos a part of this article is the presence of scratching posts that are incorporated into their design.
The Ollieroo A Cat tree condo is one of simplest condos out in the market. It is relatively cheap as far as condos are concerned. It also has a dedicated scratching area for your cat.
Another simple cat condo is the Deluxe Cat Tree condo. It comes with more levels when compared to the Ollieroo A Cat tree condo. So as can be expected, the size of this condo is much bigger. A bigger size means a bigger price. It also means more scratching posts.
The Deluxe Cat Tree condo has two scratching posts. That is one more than the Ollieroo A Cat Tree condo.
The condos just seem to get more and more complicated as you browse. Take a look at the multilevel condo that is designed by Aleko.
The fancier design that e-secure provides is also worth glancing through! It has multiple scratching posts that are incorporated in its design and is perfect for a multiple cat household.
Even though I have talked about one scratching post after another, I find that I have not even scratched the surface of the topic. The topic started out as educational content for new cat owners and first time adopters but I think I am the one who has been enlightened. Suffice to say, I will be writing more about these scratching posts. Do get in touch and let me know if you have used any of them. I appreciate all kinds of feedback.