Many, if not all, cat owners will tell you that cats are wonderful pets to have until they start damaging the furniture and accessories at home with their endless scratching. Many of these pet owners resort to various ways of trying to keep the items at home free from scratches from their furry pets. One of which is to buy cat scratching pads and poles for the pets. But just what are cat scratchers for? Why do cats have to scratch all the time as much as they love licking themselves clean?
Whether you have a kitten or a senior cat, this resource helps you quickly identify potential problems, take proper steps in emergency situations, better understand diagnoses and treatment options, and communicate more effectively with your veterinarian.
Many pet owners often spend a lot of time worrying about how they can maintain their furniture and accessories at home while keeping their cats around. Some, unfortunately, make the mistake of giving their cats punishments in different forms. What many people do not realize is that cats have to scratch for medical or health reasons.
Contrary to popular belief, cats do not scratch because they are bored or are plainly in need of attention. In fact, scratching is a natural behavior for cats because of several reasons. Here are some of them.
A Territorial Animal
It is a common knowledge that dogs are territorial. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that cats are the same. They scratch because they want to leave their marks as they want to create some sign using their claws that a particular area is their territory. In an outdoor setting, these signs or markers are essential because it shows other cats that that particular space is the current residence of another cat. This marking serves as an early warning system to reduce the risk of physical confrontations among the kitties.
Aside from the visual marking, cats scratch surfaces to claim territory and also to warn others not to take over one’s space. These scratches result in olfactory marks as the scent glands in the paws of the cats release a certain scent. Thus, the approaching cat would have insight on which particular cat scratched the area.
Beneficial for the Claws
Scratching has health benefits for the cats as the activity helps in removing the outer dead sheath of the cat’s nails. Thus, scratching supports in the new growth of the nail. Plus, scratching helps any kitty sharpen its claws. In other words, scratching is one of the ways for these pets to keep their claws healthy.
Stretching While Scratching
If you have been observing your cats closely when they scratch, then you will notice that the feline has several positions when scratching. They do it while their bodies are fully stretched or in other positions that look uncomfortable. What many humans do not realize is that scratching is an excellent exercise for cats as it allows them to stretch both their shoulder muscles and back. Notice how the cats like sleeping in a tight ball-like position. If you have noticed this, then you would understand why the cats need to stretch out by scratching.
Humans are not the only living things that feel stress and anxiety. Animals like cats also get stressed, and scratching is a way for cats to release their emotions. Cats scratch when they feel frustrated, excited, anxious or happy. Look at how cats would scratch after you play with them! They do this activity because it helps release their happiness or the excitement they felt during your playtime.
Coping With Cat’s Scratching
It is understandable when cat owners find ways to minimize the scratching of their pets. After all, furnishings, fixtures, and other house accessories are of value and are essential for you. However, given the need and benefits of scratching for cats, then one simply has to find ways to minimize the damage at home from the cat’s love and need for scratching.
Many people who did not take time to research about the behaviors of cats result to going for the declawing of their pets. This is unfortunate because declawing hurts the cat and can cause lifetime damage.
If you love your cats, then show them how much by refusing to have their claws cut. Declawing is like torture to these kitties and is, in fact, equivalent to amputation. Keep in mind that their claws are used to mark their territories and are needed for their overall health and development. Their quality of life might decrease with declawing.
Fortunately, for the cat owners at least, there are other ways to minimize damage to your stuff at home. What are cat scratchers for if you will go for declawing the cats, anyway?
What Are Cat Scratchers For? Showing Love to the Kitties!
Perhaps you have been to some vet who mentioned getting cat scratchers rather than having them declawed. Cat scratchers are the most loving way of dealing with your pet’s love for scratching.
Keep in mind that a scratching post is where you would want the kitties to do the scratching. It will be a substitute for your furnishing and home accessories as cats would scratch the posts or pads instead of your home items.
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And just like anything else, there are several considerations when getting a cat scratching post or pad. First of which is the dimension of the product. Keep in mind that scratching allows the kitties to exercise and stretch themselves. As such, you would want to get one with a big height so that the cat can stretch its body all the way when scratching. A short pad or pole will hinder the cat from fully stretching out. Hence, it is essential to buy one with sufficient height to match the size of the cat.
Also, remember that these kitties are territorial pets as mentioned above. Therefore, if you have more than one cat at home, then you need to buy separate scratching pads or poles for each. There is no such thing as peaceful sharing of scratchers for cats. Remember, cats scratch to mark their territories, that is why a cat owner must have separate scratchers for each kitty.
Location is important, too. Place the scratching pad or pole in the area where the cat usually spends his or her time. After all, these pets scratch the nearby items from their location.