December 12, 2016
You can't keep your cat from scratching in
If you are an experienced cat owner, you probably already know that it is impossible to make cats stop doing anything they like, or simply don’t want to give up. Scratching is not an exception. Cats go on with this habit even when their claws are cut and your furniture looks disastrous. It’s not a part of some evil kitty’s plan. Cats are simply ruled by a natural need to sharp their claws and remove the old outer claw to a new one underneath. There is even a word that describes this process – “stropping”.
A word about punishment - Don't do it!
The thing is that you can’t fight and win over nature. No matter how hard you want your cat to stop scratching things you value, don’t take it down to the physical punishment. Cats simply wouldn’t get what they are being punished for. They can’t link sharpening their claws with a beating. Just like you wouldn’t presume that you can be punished for morning exercise, would you? It’s more likely that the lesson cats will learn will be about unpredictable attitude of human beings. It makes your felines feel insecure and break trust which is a basis for your cat’s relationship with you. Kitties have an excellent memory, and won’t forget or forgive soon.
So why do cats need to scratch?
1. Marking their territory
Don’t blame your feline for scratching furniture around the house. He does it for a purpose. It is a remain of a territorial instinct. By doing this, cats mark their place and establish their turf. Even though you can see only visible and usually not the best part of this attitude, the biggest part remains unseen for a human’s eye. Cat’s paws have scent glands that leave their special scent on their territory. That’s why the damage is done to the most exposed parts of your house. Your cat explains to you that he feels like home here. It’s your kitties way of self-expression!
2. Cats are scratching for exercising
Have you ever seen how dedicated cats are when scratching furniture around the house? In fact, this is a homemade gym for a kitty. Whilst scratching cats stretch and develop muscles. A very special way to combine indoor fitness exercise and Yoga class!
3. Cats are scratching for sharing pleasure
So now you know that it is impossible to make cats stop scratching, but there is a chance you can re-channel their desires to a different object which has no value for you, but is a great piece of fun for them.
Provide your cat with an appropriate scratching post
How to teach your cat to use a scratching post instead of the furniture? Seems like the answer is simple: buy a cool-looking scratching post and present it to your friend. But…one of the things we love about our kitties is their ability to act independently and often unpredictably. Don’t get upset if your cat ignores the post, and give up the thought to force him to use it. Some owners believe that if to grab cat’s paws and press them against the post to imitate scratching, their kitty will understand what a wonderful thing it is and how lucky they are to live with such a loving and caring human like you. Not so fast. This kind of attitude can offend a cat and make him even more ignorant. Finally, who is the Scratching Master to teach here? Cats just like to do what they like and when they like it. Give them time to get used to a new thing in the house and they will use it and love it without your help.
Remember, we said appropriate.
To please a cat, think like one. Your furry friend will more likely go crazy about the rough and tall post to dig deeply his claws into and fully stretch his back (cat play towers). The bigger your cat is, the taller his post should be. It must also be secure, especially if you own a Maine Coone or a larger cat (large cat towers). The base must be wide enough and really, really stable. If a post falls on the cat, he will count it as a potential danger and may never touch it again.
One of the best options is sisal scratching posts. It is a natural material your cat will love to shred into little pieces. According to studies, cats usually mark their territory with long vertical scratches, and sisal post will fully satisfy these urges. An excellent example of the natural tough sisal rope is Tigga Tower scratching posts. They are stable and safe, so your cat will be able to scratch, climb and even sleep on it.
How to get your cat to love the post?
Thinking of how to get your cat used to a post? Bear in mind that the main point of scratching is marking the territory. So place the post in the most visible part of the room, where everybody could recognize who owns the spot. Once the cat gets used to it, you can move the post wherever you like, but do it gradually.
Also, you can define places your cat enjoys to scratch the most and put a post near the sofa, chair or whatever the kitty decides to own. Praise your cat for scratching a post, it can’t stand against a tasty treat. Using a catnip spray or a favorite toy is also a good way to attract the cat’s attention.
If the post has a sleeping area, like Tigga Tower basket, you can wash it, so the cat will treat it like a part of the “home”. Keep in mind that cats like to stretch after their sleep. Try to put a post near their sleeping place encouraging them for some morning exercises.
The tricky thing is that even if your kitty finally falls in love with the post, it might not give up the previous habits and will still scratch old familiar places. It happens because those spots still have a scent your kitty left. Good news is that you can remove it by using odor remover that can be found in almost every vet store. Cats have a strong dislike for a citrus odor. For safety measures, be sure to use only cat recommended products.
Start them young
Just like humans, cats are the best at learning and establishing habits when they are young. Consider yourself lucky if you start with a kitten. It is much easier to develop pattern habits than to correct undesirable ones. From the very beginning, show your kitten the appropriate place to scratch. Use the described methods above, play around the post with him. Sooner or later the kitty will try to scratch the post. When the cat gets how good it feels, he will never give up this habit. If your kitten tries to sharpen its claws at some inappropriate object, immediately take him to the post and stroke. Some cats knead when petted, so they will dig their claws into the post and realize how good it is for scratching.
And remember, cats are creatures of habits. Try to develop good ones before the bad ones appear.
Tigga Towers team is always happy to help you with advice on suitable Cat Scratching Tower out of your cat’s breed, size, likes and dislikes.There is a fair choice of scratching posts on the market. Tigga Towers is on the luxury side, but we stick to the statement that you get what you pay for. Once bought, our towers will accompany your cat for many years. Of course, if you happen to have one detail replaced, it can be done without changing the whole tower.