Why cats scratch furniture
Cats naturally need to mark their territory by scratching things. This leaves both a visual and scent mark to say it belongs to them. It also sharpens their claws and gives them great pleasure.
A cat scratching post can help
To spare your furniture, a scratching post (or two) is highly recommended for your cat.
During scratching, cats like to stretch their body out and really dig their claws in – both vertically and sometimes horizontally. Therefore, the best scratching posts are tall with real carpet lining and sometimes even sisal rope wrapped around vertical and horizontal platforms. Your cat will also enjoy the many levels and vantage points offered by a tall and robust scratching post.
There are now many places you can purchase good quality scratching posts, including several rescue organisations.
Where to place your cat’s scratching post
If you can afford to, it is better to purchase more than one scratching post to place in different parts of its territory. You cat will aim to scratch the post to signal its territory and presence.
Sample positions include the following:
- Near a window, preferably behind a couch
- Near a front door, especially if there is some open space and windows nearby
- Close to its bed, so it can get up and have a good stretch and scratch
- Near its litter tray, best for the more cost-effective, easy-to-clean scratching posts
Please note that the final decision of preferred location lies with your cat! If it has not used the post for several days, in spite of your encouragement, you will need to try a new position.
Ways to encourage your cat to use the scratching post
- Dangle hanging toys from the scratching post
- Feed your cat on the scratching post. Dry food is best
- Use cat attractants, such as Feliway spray or cat nip on/around the scratching post