Scratching in an inappropriate manner is a common cat complaint. From the owner’s standpoint, this is inappropriate, since the cat is just doing what comes naturally to them. Fortunately, studies will tell us which scratching post is best for a cat.
Cats itch for several reasons.
Scratching marks the territories of cats. It emits a visual signal as well as a smell from glands in their paws, which other cats can detect. Scratching can also assist them in maintaining their claws by removing old claw sheaths. Scratching causes cats to extend their paws and front legs.
Cats tend to scratch the same spot over and over, which isn’t good for your furniture.
What are the best scratching posts for cats?
Cats will use scratching posts if they are accessible, according to previous studies, but it did not look into the types of posts cats prefer. According to the new research, both scratching post styles and positive reinforcement are essential factors in preventing cats from scratching your furniture.
To help avoid unwanted scratching, the best scratching post to suggest to a cat owner is one with rope as a substrate, is upright vertical, 3 ft or higher, has two or three tiers, and a base width of between 1 and 3 ft.
The most frequently given posts were not the same as the posts linked to lower levels of inappropriate scratching, implying that many cat owners are not having the right type of post for their cat.
More than one scratching post was given by 83 percent of respondents, and 89 percent of respondents said their cats used it at least once a day. Indoor cats were more likely to scratch unnecessarily than cats allowed outside.
A carpet scratching post was provided by 61% of owners, while 58 percent provided rope (sisal), 42 percent provided cardboard, 15% provided wood, and 4% provided something else (the numbers do not add up to 100 percent because many people provided more than one type of post).
Cats like to scratch on a rope scratching post, according to owners. Older cats (10 years or more) were recorded to prefer carpet.
A simple vertical post and a cat tree with two or three levels were stated to be equally appealing to cats. Again, there was an age gap, with cats 9 years and younger preferring a cat tree with two or three tiers, followed by a vertical post, while cats 10 years and older preferred a vertical post. This may be due to differences in mobility or fitness between people of different ages.
Just over half of the owners (52%) said their cats scratched them in an unacceptable manner. Many of these people said that a scratching post was placed near (within 5 feet of) the inconvenient scratching location.
Which scratching post is the most effective for cats? Sisal posts, such as the one used by this black-and-white cat, are a popular option. Continue reading.
What would you do to stop your cat from scratching you in the wrong places?
When comparing the posts provided in homes where cats did not scratch in an unacceptable manner to those provided in homes where they did, the findings are very surprising. Scratching was least common among those who had a rope scratching post. Cat trees with one or more levels were also linked to a lower incidence of scratching problems. This is also a good way to provide enrichment for your cat because cats like high up spaces.
Cats that had a three-foot-high post were also less likely to scratch inappropriately. This is important to know because many pet store posts are shorter than this, preventing the cat from completely stretching out.
Since it is 41″ tall, I prefer the Forte scratching post. This sisal scratching pad, which comes in three sizes, is a good option for cats who prefer to scratch horizontally. There are cat trees for any cat, budget, and design, ranging from a simple cat tree to more modern cat trees with washable covers or caves, such as this one from Refined Feline.
Scratching posts that hang from or are affixed to the wall have been linked to excessive scratching, implying that many cats dislike them.
Cats should have several scratching posts so they can choose which one they prefer. If you have multiple cats, each of them needs their own scratching post, as one of the five foundations of a safe environment for cats is providing multiple and different tools.
Do not chastise your cat for scratching your furniture.
The majority of people who saw their cat scratching in an unacceptable manner reprimanded it, removed it, or diverted it, but none of these methods had any impact on scratching conduct.
People were also less likely to have a problem with inappropriate scratching if they rewarded their cat for using the scratching post. Food/treats, petting, and affirmation were among the incentives included in this analysis.
“Most cat owners aren’t giving their cats the right kind of message.”
According to these findings, there are two things you can do if your cat is scratching inappropriately. First and foremost, strengthen their scratching posts. Having a tall rope (sisal) scratching post as well as a cat tree with various levels on it seems like a smart idea, despite cats’ individual preferences. Many cats like to scratch on a horizontal surface, and there are plenty of cheap cardboard scratching posts available. Second, reward your cat with a cat treat or wet food when they scratch the post.
Since so many people took part, this study is particularly useful. It’d be fascinating to see if it was followed up with some experimental work that gave cats new scratching posts.
Read more: Why Cats Need A Scratching Post
Declawing cats has a number of drawbacks.
Unfortunately, since their cat was declawed, a number of people who took part in the study were unable to be analyzed. In certain nations, onychectomy (also known as declawing) is against the law. It’s a traumatic, permanent operation that can trigger cats to experience phantom pain, which can lead to behavioral issues. Please don’t declaw your cat; instead, contact a certified feline behavior expert if you’re having issues.
Declawing is no longer legal in many places (including British Columbia, where this blog is based) due to the damage it can cause cats.
The best scratching post and the value of rewards are discussed in this article.
Scratching is a normal cat behavior that requires a “clean” outlet. This research is extremely useful because it informs us about the types of scratching posts we can have – and how we can reward our cats for using them.