Whether you have an outside cat, inside cat, or a cat that spends time outside and inside, you’ll notice the need to scratch.
You’ll notice scratches on your wooden fences and bark around the base of your trees. You’ll notice scratches on your dresser, cabinets, and all other furniture pieces inside your home.
Surprisingly, your cat isn’t just sharpening his nails.
- Removing old nail sheaths from the claws
- Exercising and toning muscles
- Relieving stress, frustration, and boredom
- “Warming-up” for a vigorous play session
- Marking territory
It’s important that you don’t discourage scratching. You just want to discourage your cat from scratching on your things. This is why it’s very important to have scratching posts throughout the home. You want at least 2-3 places in the home.
Encourage scratching by using dangle toys and cat nip.
For older cats that have the habit of scratching your favorite book shelf, place thick plastic on the scratched area in attempts to make the furniture less appealing, and place a scratching post next to the area.
You may need to leave scratch posts in these places, as cats prefer to scratch at permanent fixtures and furniture within the home (perhaps this goes back to territory marking). Placing a scratch post in a dark corner of the home just won’t be as appealing as a post placed in a common area of the home.