If you’re a cat owner, you’re probably familiar with the pain that comes from watching your cat slowly tear your furniture while scratching. I feel you! But before you shout at them and push them away, let me present to you a solution: a simple scratching post.
Vets have agreed that it’s essential for cat owners to provide their cats with scratching posts in order to maintain their nail-hygiene by constantly scratching a healthy. Moreover, scratching posts have also proven effective in trimming cats’ nails, which is another important factor in keeping your cats’ nails healthy.
Still wondering why all this is necessary? “Why bother spending money on something that seems so trivial?” Well, I’m here, as a fellow cat owner, to explain to you why it’s far from being trivial!
Why Do Cats Scratch
As a cat owner, you must first understand why your cat feels the need to scratch. I assure you it’s not to get on your nerves. In fact, it’s a quite healthy exercise.
One of the reasons your cat scratches is to loosen the outer husk of their claw to reveal an underlying, sharper surface. Scratching also strengthens the forelimb and spine muscles for the cat. Moreover, by leaving signature scratch marks, a cat marks his/her territory. Scratching helps cats release anger as well.
Normally, a cat would scratch trees and such objects found in nature. However, domestic cats have little access to these kinds of objects since they spend most of their time indoors. This is why they’re tempted to scratch certain rough fabrics (such as carpets) and surfaces (such as wooden furniture) at home.
Thus, despite how inconvenient it can be for you, I strongly advise you against preventing your cat from scratching. However, if you’re worried about your furniture and carpets, well, this is mainly what scratching posts are for.[Related Articles: Why Do Cats Like To Roll On Cement]
What Is a Scratching Post
A scratching post is basically a wooden post enfolded by a rough surface that cats are attracted to scratch.
Scratching posts come in many shapes and sizes. Some posts are horizontal cardboard posts that allow cats to stand and stretch their bodies in addition to scratching. There are also scratching posts covered with sisal, which is a cat’s favorite material to scratch. Other posts are covered with carpet material; I’m sure you know how much your cat loves scratching your carpets!
However, I’d recommend the kind of scratching posts that’s called ‘cat trees.’ Cat trees consist of more than one layer above the other. They serve as both a scratching post and a game for cats. Cat trees also prove beneficial if you own multiple cats.
While it might take you time to figure out which type of scratching post your cat prefers, the most important quality to look for in a scratching post is that it must be solid enough to hold your cat’s weight. Otherwise, you’ll risk losing your cat’s interest in it.
What Are The Benefits Of A Scratching Post
Since you’ve learned the importance of scratching for cats, here are some of the benefits of providing your cat with an appropriate scratching post:
It Saves Your Precious Furniture
This is the most obvious benefit for you. We’ve agreed that you shouldn’t stop your cat from scratching. Yet, at the same time, you can’t stand your furniture being torn apart. This makes a scratching post the ultimate solution. By buying a scratching post, neither you nor your cat will have to compromise.
It’s Like a Haven for Kittens
Kittens usually have flowing energy. When you provide them with a scratching post, they find something to let that energy out on. Having a fun activity to keep them busy will make your new kittens less prone to developing such behavioral problems that come with moving to a new place.
Moreover, the scratching post will be their own spot in their new home, especially since they will mark it with characteristic scratch marks as their territory. This will really help in making them grow more attached to the place.
It Brings Your Cats Together
If you have more than one cat, a scratching post would serve as a hanging spot for them. This will help you reduce tensions between them. It’ll also make them more inclined to interact and play with each other, making them feel like a family.
Its Resistance Ensures the Strengthening of Your Cat’s Muscles
As mentioned, scratching functions as a muscle exercise for cats. The fact that the scratching post offers strong resistance forces cats’ muscles to grow stronger. It’s just like when you’re exercising; the heavier the weight, the harder your muscles have to work to lift it.
It Keeps Your Cat’s Nails Healthy
The scratching post removes the outer layers of the nails. This is, as mentioned, important in order to bring out a new layer. There is no healthier way to do this exercise than on a post dedicated just to that.
It’s Like a Punching Bag for Your Cat
It’s no surprise that some cats tend to be too anxious or too energetic. Consequently, you usually end up with some scratches and bites here and there; trust me I know what you’re going through.
It wouldn’t hurt if there was an outlet for them to take that extra energy out on while we try to fix our cats’ behavior, right? A scratching post is just that outlet; it provides a space for your cat to take out their energy healthily, giving your hands and feet a much-needed break.[Related Article: 4 Simple Ways To Keep Cats Off Any Outdoor Furniture]
Does A Scratching Post Trim Cats’ Nails
As a matter of fact, it does.
Trimming your cat’s nails prevents them from getting snagged into fabrics and carpets, which is as annoying for them as it is for you. Trimming a cat’s nails is also necessary as a check-up for injuries and diseases. Not to mention, as your cat’s nails grow longer their playful scratches grow all the more painful to you.
However, as a fellow cat owner, I know how hard of a process nail trimming can be. It requires time to get your cat used to his/her paws getting touched in the first place. Then, there is the struggle to actually get the job done while your cat fights relentlessly. The results are usually painful to both you and your cat.
However, by scratching the post, your cat’s nails will be automatically trimmed. This is the most convenient way to get such an exhausting job done; it leaves your cat happy as well as healthy.
Do I Need To Train My Cat To Use The Scratching Post
You may have to teach your cat to only scratch the scratching post. Your cat might not jump enthusiastically the moment you bring the scratching post and s/he may continue to scratch the furniture instead. However, treats and catnips can always motivate your cat to learn.
If you’re getting fed up with your cat constantly scratching expensive furniture and carpets, I recommend you try out a scratching post. It will trim your cat’s nails, be an object for your cat to take their energy out on, allow your cat’s muscles to grow stronger, make your kitten feel at home, and bring your cats closer. What else would we, cat owners, want for our fluffy beings, right?
In short, a scratching post might just be the answer to all your problems. After all, that’s what the experts recommend!