An expensive leather couch ruined, a torn-up curtain, scratches on the hardwood table… You’ve probably heard these and similar horror stories cat owners faced. So, now that you’ve decided to open up your heart and home to a new kitty, you probably wonder, are there any ways to prevent this sort of destructive behaviour?
Well, cats have an innate need to scratch. In doing so, not only are they sharpening their claws, but they’re also marking their territory and stretching their bodies which helps them be more flexible and stronger. But although you shouldn’t discourage your kitty from scratching, what you can do to prevent it from ruining your possessions is to give it a better target. And cat scratch posts are specifically designed to meet that purpose.
A good scratching post should allow the cat to remove the outer sheath of its nails to keep them sharp. With that being said, it’s important to pick cat scratch posts with a very rough texture. Pet stores sell a variety of cat scratch posts covered in different materials such as sisal, corrugated cardboard, wood or even a carpet-like material. In general, sisal is considered the best choice as it’s durable and very rough which gives the cat a satisfying experience. However, just like people, cats also have different preferences, so you may need to experiment for a while until you find a surface that works.
Overall, it’s recommended to provide your furball with several cat scratch posts at its disposal, all with different sizes, shapes and surfaces to offer variety. By feeling different textures on its paws and getting into different positions, the cat is less likely to grow tired of the posts. But whatever types of posts you choose, make sure that they are tall and sturdy as cats also love climbing on them. So, make sure to pick posts that allow the cat to sit on top of it or lean its full weight without toppling over.
When chosen right, felines can really develop a healthy habit to only scratch the posts. However, don’t think that the cat will immediately start sinking its claws into the posts and ignore the attractive carpet. You first need to lure your kitty to start using the scratch posts. One way to do so is to sprinkle some catnip on the post, or put a treat on top. There are also scratch posts that come with built-in toys which make them more attractive to curious kitties.