Taking care of animals can be very rewarding, as it can offer you lots of satisfaction, and it can make life much more pleasant for you. Having a furry friend waiting for you at home after a hard day of work can be very uplifting, especially if you are the type of person who needs constant company and someone to cheer you up.
Furthermore, cats are known for their ability to create a peaceful and relaxed ambiance, so enjoying the company of these graceful felines can help anyone eliminate stress and enter a great mood.
Therefore, giving all the love that they are willing to offer you, you must return the favor by taking good care of your fuzzy friend, and by showing all your appreciation for its unconditional loyalty. The best way to do that is to create special environment where your kitty can play, take naps, and more important, scratch.
Why do cats feel the need to scratch
Cats have the instinctive need to scratch and to climb atop tall objects. Giving that they like to stay clean and well groomed, one of the reasons why cats like to scratch is because they try to remove the dead outer layer that forms on their claws. Furthermore, this specific action helps them to keep their claws sharp, which is essential when it comes to being prepared for using them in case of any danger.
Another reason why your fluffy friend likes to scratch is because it needs to stretch its body in order to stay active throughout the day. So, if you want to protect your sofa and curtains from its powerful claws, we suggest you to search for a solution that will allow your pet to carry on with its daily routine without causing any damages to your furniture. We recommend you to opt for a cat playground that would offer your kitty everything that it needs to stay happy.
It is important to realize that cats do not damage carpet and furniture by scratching in an effort to sharpen claws or as a form of vindictive behavior. Scratching objects is more a way for the cat to groom itself than it is anything else. Sheaths of a cat’s claws are constantly renewed and replaced and scratching is the way they remove the old sheaths from front claws. The sheaths of the back claws are removed by mouth.
The scent glands contained in the cat’s paw pads emit the cat’s scent on the surface scratched which enables them to mark territory. The scent is undetectable by humans but other animals smell it. Claw marks also provide a visual indication of a cat’s territory to be understood by other cats.
Feandrea Multi-Level Cat Playground with Sisal-Covered Scratching Posts by SONGMICS
- Specially designed for sharpening cat claws, lying around, playing, and hiding.
- Natural sisal rope is highly resilient yet strong enough to withstand constant scratches.
- Featuring high density construction and superior durability, ensures overall stability for cats.
- Made of compressed and glued cardboard, the high density supporting tubes can hold the platforms firmly without wobbling.
Scratching is also an emotional response of cats. It can be a form of stress relief as it often will increase when territorial conflicts or other stressors arise. Anxiety, tension and frustration will also result in increased scratching.
Cats often focus on a limited number of obvious environmental objects for scratching such as sofas, fence posts or trees. Once they have singled out a particular object, they will repeatedly use them for scratching. This can be evidenced by the presence of a particularly scarred tree in the neighbor’s yard or an exposed portion of a couch. The visible damage is a communication to other cats as well.
The scent left on an item by the cat’s scratching is another strong form of communication to other cats. The ability to mark an area or item with the scent from the paw pads is the reason even declawed cats will continually scratch certain objects. Although the visible evidence is not there, the cat can still mark its territory.
The damage a cat can inflict on the pet owner’s household possessions can be a great source of frustration and often lead to the cat losing its home. It is much easier to prevent this problem than it is to rectify it.
Once a cat has an established favorite scratching area, it can be very difficult to persuade it to focus on a more appropriate one for the pet owner’s benefit. It is best to begin training the cat to use a scratching post or other acceptable scratching area as early as possible.
The advantages to buying a fun cat playground
A cat playground represents a great solution for helping your pet to keep its claws well groomed without destroying your furniture. Moreover, we all know how cats like to jump on counters and tables, so if you want to save all your house decorations, we advise you to search for a playground that would satisfy your pet’s need for climbing.
Opting for a special cat furniture that features tall elements will keep your cat off your bookshelf, because once your fluffy friend will understand that it has its own private place, it will no longer be interested in other elements from the room.
The Ultimate Scratching Post by SmartCat
- Encourages mental and physical stimulation of cats.
- Durable post allows cats to get a full stretch vertically and tone muscles.
- Fibrous woven sisal fiber is extremely durable and encourages scratching.
- Sturdy construction with 16” x 16” wide base reduces tipping and wobbling.
- The finest materials and workmanship guarantee the scratching post will remain attractive and useful for years.
What to look for in a cat playground?
Cats need their own space where they can retreat when they want to be left alone, or when they want to feel safe. Therefore, we guarantee you that a playground that comes with practical spaces will meet all your pet’s expectations, and it will turn into its favorite place of the house. So, we advise you to search for a product that comes with the following elements:
Tall poles with landings
Cloth-covered poles come in all sizes and shapes, so you have to consider your cat’s dimensions before opting for a certain model.
The best scratching surfaces are wrapped in sisal rope for a better resistance, but burlap and carpet-covered areas are also considered excellent for scratching.
Cats need a place where they can relax and pour after getting tired of playing, so you must ensure that your kitty has a special place where it can curl up.
Giving that felines feel the need to enter narrow places, they will love a playground that they can explore and use for hiding.
Cats like to paw and play with toys of all sizes, so offering them a playground with punching bags, or any other types of toys will definitely capture their attention.
Types of cat furniture
There are many types of cat furniture and toys. Starting from basic shapes to complex structures and sophisticated constructions, you can choose between pieces that can serve as an addition to an existing playground, or you can opt for buying an entire dream house for cats. Here are the most common products that you can find on the market:
This type of product represents a nondestructive surface where your pet can exercise its claws and stay active throughout the day. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between a simple scratching board, or you can select a scratcher shaped as a bed for comfortable naps. Furthermore, if you want your cat’s scratcher to match your contemporary house design, you can opt between a wide range of modern shapes.
Cat boxy structures
These products come with random holes that allow your pet to move throughout the inside of the boxes by going from one perforated area to another.
Cat posts can feature a simple shape, or they can be integrated in circular and rectangular structures. Furthermore, depending on their design, they can include cat teasers and toys, or they can serve just for stretching.
Cat trees provide endless options for cats to stay active and play, but also to relax and purr in a comfortable environment. The most practical cat trees include platforms, scratching surfaces, ladders, special bedrooms, high posts, toys and spaces for hiding.
Since, they constantly express their passion for perching, cat experts implemented the idea of offering your pet a shelf of its own. So, you can opt for a Cat Shelf where your fluffy friend can climb and analyze what is going on in the room from a comforting height.
Perch and hideaway furniture
One of the best acquisitions that you can make for your kitty is a piece of furniture that your pet can consider its very own. Most models integrate all the elements that a cat needs to consume its energy and spend a wonderful time. The best advantage that you can get by purchasing such a product is that it can serve as an addition for your interior design, so you can be confident that you can place it anywhere you want without ruining your house decor.
Jumbo Cat Scratcher Lounge for Scratch, Stretch, Perch, Interactive Play by PetFusion
- These scratchers are glued together piece by piece, making them much more durable than the cheaper pre-glued versions.
- More than just a typical scratcher stimulating your cat’s natural instincts and curiosity.
- Save money and reclaim your couch (carpet, drapes, you get the point).
- Modern and durable cat furniture that protect your furniture.
Tips on Choosing the Perfect Cat Scratching Post
Once a pet owner has decided a scratching post is needed to stop the cat from ruining the furniture, it is important to remember to consider the cat’s individual taste and preferences. Without taking these things into account, the cat may continue to prefer the sofa to the scratching post no matter how expensive it is.
It is not uncommon to have to experiment with a few different scratching posts before the cat finds one it likes. Attempting to demonstrate the use of the scratching post to the cat is a big mistake. It offends the cat and effectively marks the post as the demonstrator’s territory, not the cat’s. A significant factor in the cat liking a post is the location of it.
What to keep in mind when placing the new scratching post:
Stability – A cat will often put its entire weight into the effort of scratching. For this reason, the post needs to be solidly stationary. It should not be able to be toppled by the cats climbing it or jumping onto it.
Size – A cat will usually indulge in a stretch of the entire body while scratching. The scratching post needs to be approximately 28 to 30 inches in length for the cat to accomplish this. Although some cats may be smaller, it is better to have too much space rather than too little.
Horizontal or Vertical – Although experimentation may be the only way to determine which orientation of the post the cat prefers, it is a good idea to engage in some observation before shopping for the post. When the cat is scratching the sofa or whatever item it should not be, observe whether it is standing on its hind legs and reaching up or if it is lying down and scratching. That will show which orientation the cat prefers.
Texture – Scratching posts are best covered by a rough material that will act as a surface similar to a nail file. Surfaces that appear to already be scratched will act as visible cues letting the cat know it is permissible to scratch it. The surface of the ideal scratching item will also be a factor that can be different for each cat. Carpet, rope and sisal are popular choices. Some cats particularly like the feel of rough fabrics or cardboard.
Scratching posts made with sisal are ideal because it has the perfect grain and texture for shredding, an activity cats enjoy. Recent studies indicate that cats vertical shred marks as a territory markings and sisal allows the cat to make those type of marks. Although it can look used up when the cat has shredded it, sisal should not be hastily thrown away because the cat has probably just gotten the material to a point where it feels comfortable and familiar.
Location – Poor placement of the new scratching post can result in the cat never using it no matter how carefully it has been chosen. The pet owner should observe the times the cat exhibits the scratching behavior such as after sleeping or upon the owner’s entrance into the house. The locations of these instances should dictate where the new scratching post is placed.
Using a Scratching Post
It’s a fact that cats love to scratch and they should be encouraged to scratch because it helps not only to clean and sharpen their claws, but also to exercise the muscles from the claws through the legs, shoulders and back. If you find your cat scratching furniture indoors, consider providing the right kind of scratching post.
The fluffy posts that are covered with carpet are not ideal – first of all, how is the cat to know the difference between the carpet on the post and the carpet on your floor?
Secondly, the post needs to be covered with something rough, not smooth, like carpet. If you do already have a post that is covered in carpet, you could try taking the carpet off and re-attaching it with the rough carpet backing on the outside, this will be much more appealing to your cat.
The ideal type of post is one that’s made of sisal and these are easily available in most pet stores. Just make sure that the post is large enough and stable enough for your cat to use. If it’s too small it may fall over or your cat may not be able to get a good grip.
How to encourage your cat to use the scratching post
For example, when you arrive home, rather than immediately petting your cat, you can go to the scratching post and scratch it a little bit yourself with your nails until the cat comes, at which point your cat will probably join in, then you can stroke your cat while he or she scratches the post. This way they associate the post with pleasure – you arriving home and stroking them at the same time.
You can also encourage your cat to use the post just before feeding time. Once again, your cat will associate the post with something pleasurable – food.
It’s unfortunate that many people have their cats declawed because they’ve been scratching the furniture or the carpet when can simply buying the right scratching post and encouraging them to use it would stop the furniture scratching. Cats need to sharpen their claws. If you provide the right tools for them to do it then you needn’t worry about your furniture.