Which is more important – a cat or a sofa? It is a rhetorical question, obviously, but we know a way to not even wonder about it. Read on and find out why cats scratch, how to choose a cat scratcher and how to stop a cat from scratching the furniture!
Probably each of you met directly or indirectly with a problem of scratching furniture or wallpapers. Cat has every right to scratch, but when you know where does it come from you can redirect cat’s claws from sofa to scratchers.
Why do cats scratch?
Colloquially, we say cats scratch because they sharpen claws, right? In fact that’s not right! If we surprised you, like a cat jumping out from behind the couch, explanation is around the corner. The main reasons that cats scratch are the need to mark the area and claw hygiene – by scratching they exfoliate old claw sheaths to replace them with new ones. So correctly we should say that cats shed, not sharpen claws. And this is a bit more pleasant view :).
How should I choose the right scratcher for my cat?
Choice of cat scratcher should be like a cat’s character – very individual. Which means that you should know your cat’s preferences and make a decision based on them. Sounds difficult? That’s why we want to help you. Here are some helpful tips:
- The more natural is scratcher, the more willingly the cat will use it. They say the tiger cannot change its stripes and it’s very true also for domestic cats. That is why it is worth creating a substitute for natural conditions at home. In addition, scratchers that use e.g. cardboard, cotton or certified glue are safer for cats,
- Scratcher should be stable and safe – regardless the type. Concerning high cat tree scratchers, it is quite obvious, but believe us – cats can knock over even low-level scratchers,
- Observe what surfaces and textures your cat likes to scratch, and then choose a scratcher that suits his preferences. You know, there are tough guys and deliCATe ones – for the former, even sandpaper would be ok, and for the second, for example, sisal may not be very pleasant. Cardboard is always a safe choice.
How to train a cat not to scratch the furniture?
When arranging a home, it’s easy to forget about cat’s needs. It often happens that we hide cat’s furniture away from our eyes. We do not want to display them especially when their look does not suit our aesthetics. However, cats perceive the world differently than we do, and to put it mildly – they don’t care about interior design trends. So it’s worth buying a cat scratcher that will fit into the style of your home – both in size, appearance and color. What else can you do to make the scratchers more attractive? Here are some examples:
- Scratchers should be placed near the most frequented household routes, e.g. in the corridor or open passages between rooms,
- You can rub the scratcher with catnip, valerian or use pheromones to encourage the cat to be active on it,
- Do not place scratchers in places hard to reach (or unreachable!) for a cat,
- At first, you can reward your cat with a healthy snack whenever he chooses a scratcher instead of a sofa.
The time in which a cat learns to use the scratcher is individual and requires patience from you. During the transition stage, you can secure the couch with double-sided tape, slippery bedspread or plastic mat, until your cat uses only the scratchers.
What else do you need to remember when training cat how to use a scratcher?
Now you know why cats scratch, how to choose a scratcher and how to teach cats to use them. We hope that you will use this knowledge in practice and soon it will bring harmony in your home and between you and your housemate. Last but not least, it’s important to remember, especially during more difficult moments of training, that cats don’t scratch furniture to damage them intentionally. One that live with these wonderful friends should respect their nature and meet their basic needs, and one of them is scratching.