Have your sofas, beds, and other furniture fallen prey to your kitty’s sharp claws? Does your kitty get tempted by any and every piece of furniture in your house and tear it apart? If the answer is yes, then you need to redirect your cat’s energy to different surfaces. A cat scratcher serves its best purpose here. Cat scratchers fulfill two functions: help your cat satisfy its innate need to scratch and preserve your prized possessions at home. Do not become your cat’s enemy by trying to stop her from this instinctual need of scratching which can actually have some serious repercussions on their health.
Before diving into a wide range of cat scratchers available in the market, let’s throw some light on understanding cat scratching.
Cats are intelligent pets and each of their behavior serves a motive. Your cat is scratching your precious furniture not because she is plotting to get back at you for the last time you scolded her. Scratching is an instinctual and healthy way that a cat indulges in which have the following functions:
- Healthy nails: Scratching helps in shedding the outer sheath of cats’ nails keeping them healthy. If they do not scratch their sharp nails can pierce their paw pads which can lead to bleeding, pain, and infection.
- Territory marking:It is also a way to mark their territory by leaving marks and a scent that is present in the scent glands of their paws.
- Stress buster: It is also believed that scratching releases their stress and anxiety and can help cats to have good emotional health.
- Muscle development:A mechanism that helps cats develop body muscles and keep them sharp, agile, and physically fit.
Types of cat scratchers
There are various types of cat scratchers available in the market but before buying them you should recognize the size and preferability of your cat; the types of places she likes to scratch.
Recognize the angle: Is your cat a vertical scratcher or a horizontal scratcher?
If you are a new cat parent and have already gotten your hands on a cat scratcher but your cat seems to throw “cattitude” around using it then you need to analyze your kitty a bit more. Cats are extremely intelligent animals and they do what they do for a reason. Your cat is actually giving you signs that she is a certain type of scratcher and you should recognize it in time. So, if your cat is always on a mission to destroy your sofa cushions and chair tops, then your little friend is a horizontal scratcher and any scratching post will not woo her. On the other hand, the cats that scratch the hell out of doors, sofa, and table legs are vertical scratchers.
Scratching pads & mats
Your cat needs a rough, durable, and something into which she can immerse her claws. Buy a scratching pad or mat if your cat is a horizontal scratcher as these lie flat on the ground. You can choose from a range of options in this type of scratcher. The scratching pads and mats come in low-cost and biodegradable corrugated cardboard and sisal. Cardboard scratchers would not last as much as the ones made up of sisal. You can place it anywhere in the house, preferably the area where your cat likes to scratch the most.
If your cat likes to scratch your sofa, then place the scratching pad or mat near the sofa. The scratcher should be of the appropriate size for your cat. She might not use the new scratcher immediately, so, entice her by scenting it with catnip, placing her favorite toys or treat on it, and appreciating her when she uses it instead of the sofa.
Important tip: A scratcher should be of good material but it should not be so hard that your kitty is not even able to scratch it properly.
These are vertical scratching posts for the crafty needs of your kitty. These come in the form of scratchers that can be hung on the wall, tall posts, and towers. These cater to an important purpose of your cat’s stretching needs while scratching. The ones that can be hung on the wall are generally made up of recyclable and biodegradable cardboard. You can buy more than one as these are affordable but are not very long-lasting because of the cardboard material.
You can buy tall posts and towers made up of sisal. Towers are sturdy and serve multipurpose that can be used for both vertical and horizontal scratching needs and to lounge as well.
Important tip: The base of the scratching post or tower should be sturdy enough for it to keep standing when your cat uses it.
Buy a good scratcher and let your kitty go nuts!
This scratcher gives a different angle to the many preferences of cats to scratch. It comes in both corrugated cardboard and sisal fabric and helps cats stretch their muscles while having fun. Make it more interesting by hiding these scratchers in some places like under the bed or sofa and letting your cat find them.
Important tip: Buy extra cardboards for the scratcher made up of corrugated cardboard that can be replaced once the old one is worn out.
When choosing a scratcher for your cat, you will have many options to choose from but do not think that you will lay your hands on the “purrfect” one in the first attempt. It depends on your cat’s specific needs and liking. Analyze your cat’s behavior as she will be guiding you to exactly what she needs. Buy one type of scratcher and test it with your cat and if she happens to like it then buy more such scratchers and place it around your house. A scratcher should be entertaining enough while satisfying the instinctual urge of your beautiful pet.
Just like a sword needs a whetstone to keep its edge, your kitty’s sharp claws need a good scratcher.