The answer is yes, cats need to scratch, and the best thing you can do about it if your cat is always inside, is to provide them with scratchers, like a scratch post. Aside from being important for your cat, having scratchers can also save your furniture, walls, and other household items from being scratched instead.
One thing that is important to understand is that you can’t train your cat, not to scratch. This is because it’s in their nature. Scratching is a form of exercise for them, as they get to stretch their body and retract and extend their nails. They love it.
Secondly, the scratch marks they leave on different places are considered by them as visual and olfactory markers. These markers are the sign that they have been in this area. A sign that it's their home, and a signal for other cats that one of their own has been here.
Lastly, the habit of scratching is healthy for their nails. The longer their nails are, the more scratching they need. Therefore, as they scratch, they also remove their outer nail sheaths, which must be removed regularly.
Now that we understand the importance of why cats scratch, it is clear that providing them with a preferred place to scratch is a good idea for all involved. The question now is, how do you choose the right scratch post? Here are some differences that can be taken into account.
It helps to identify what texture your cat likes. Specifically, what her or his claws dig into. Some of the surfaces you can choose from include sisal, corrugated cardboard, fibrous rope, or soft carpet. Different cats prefer a different texture.
Scratch posts have different designs and heights. We recommend that you consider choosing a scratch post that’s taller than your cat so that they can stretch their body as they dig in their claws.
As you observe your cat move, stretch, and scratch, you can see that they choose a specific angle to do these things. Think of this when buying a cat post tool.
If your cat is standing on her hind legs to scratch, then she’d love a stand-up or wall mounted post. If your cat likes to scratch the carpet, then a floor scratchpad is what your cat may need.
Always make sure that the post or pad you choose is stable. Standing posts should be durable enough to be able to hold your pet’s weight while it’s in an upright position.
You should place the new post near an object where your cat has already scratched. Cats often scratch at a particular place for a reason we do not understand. Placing a scratch post in a similar position can encourage your cat to choose the post as its favourite scratching place. You can also lure your pet to it by applying a catnip spray or something similar on the post.
Once your cat is already acquainted with the post, you can now move it to an accessible location. However, don’t move it too far away because they’ll still want to stay close to their favourite scratching area of the home.
Now that you know what your cat needs, either a pad or a post, then get one for them now, check out some great cat scratchers options here.