To scratch or not to scratch... Is that a question?
“Does my cat really need a cat scratching post?” you ask. The answer is a resounding, yes. Cats use a scratching post to mark their territory with scent glands on the bottom of their feet. Cats also use a scratching post as an outlet for their urge to scratch. Getting a suitable post will save your furniture, draperies, and carpeting. Allowing Fluffy a safe and nondestructive way to stretch and exercise is vital to your cat’s health and well-being. Additionally, cats use scratching posts to sharpen their claws and to get rid of the claw’s outer layer. This doesn’t mean you can stop trimming your cat’s nails though, so don’t get too excited. A scratching post is used in addition to nail trimming. If your cat's claws are not trimmed on a regular basis, you run the risk of their claws curling into the pads on their feet, causing your cat intense pain….so trim and get a post.
Placing the scratching post in the family’s shared space is key to getting your cat to use it. If you place a scratching post in a remote corner of your house, your cat may not use it. The best location for a scratching post is in the family’s communal area or perhaps near a window. Some cats want to be where you are, maybe just not in your lap. Having a post nearby allows Fluffy to be with her family and have her own personal space too. When new to your family, it also allows Fluffy to get used to you in a non-threatening manner. Watching birds is fun too!
If you recently got a second cat, buying another scratching post is an excellent idea. It gives both cats their own place to lay without having to bother the other. Additionally, should one of the cats be more frightened, an additional post gives that cat extra high spaces to hang out and watch the other cat. This makes for a smoother overall integration of the two cats.
If you are wondering how tall the post should be, there are a few tips to follow. The important thing is for your cat to be able to scratch in any preferred position. Choosing a post that is taller than 31 inches will make your cat happy and save your furniture. If you have a kitten, know that your precious bundle of joy will eventually get bigger. People often make the mistake of getting a very small post because they have a kitten. A larger post with a lower level and multiple other levels will serve you over the long run. The kitten will enjoy the lowest rung, and as kitty ages it will happily explore the higher levels.
Cats love the sisal rope portion of the scratching post. I suggest finding a post that has multiple types of materials: sisal rope and wood for scratching and carpet for lounging comfort.
Whatever you get, the safety of your cat and small children should be paramount. After a lot of use, sisal or carpet may fray. Be sure to trim those pieces off and throw them away so Fluffy doesn’t digest them. If you like to DIY, be careful. Be sure that any post you create is sturdy, stable, and all your materials, stains, and paints are pet and children friendly.
The information contained on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate, as it is solely based on the author's experiences. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of PBJ Pet Care Service or Pets Bring Joy animal rescue.