HAPPY CATS - SCRATCH OFF
Hello my fellow Cat Guardians! Today’s topic is on scratch thingies (that’s a technical term) and kitty tree houses to help our kitties be a Happy Cat! Most Cat Owners know that our little furry companions like to scratch on things. They do this for a variety of reasons. A couple of reasons include grooming (maintaining their claws) and marking their territory. Believe it or not, cats have different scent glands to help them mark their territory, including on their paws. Even their wild cat relatives like Lions, Tigers, Bobcats, etc. have these “features.” It’s how they tell other animals (especially fellow felines) “This is MINE.”
What do they like to scratch? Well, for the most part, anything they like. I’ve found that the preference varies from kitty to kitty. However, there are a few options that seem to be the “Go To” for most cats. (I say MOST because, like people, there’s ALWAYS an exception). Some of those include:
- Most Rugs
- Most Materials that our human things are made from most any kind of fabric, leather (oh they seem to LOVE this one – comes in handy when it’s on a nice large and cushy scratching post…. We humans call it furniture.)
- Homework/Books (Or at least Paper)
How many of you have seen the glee (or in the more reserved kitty – a look of approval or contentment) in their eyes when they walk around the home and see ALL the wonderful items that we have provided… just for them…. in the home? Now it IS possible that said things were not things you had initially intended to have for their, eh… uh…. Intended purposes…. (Like our furniture and items we value for use that does NOT include being played with, marked, or used by our kitty companions). However, don’t take their misunderstandings (or even assumptions) as a negative. Typically, their contentment of said surroundings and using said items in the manner they are programed (by nature) to do is a HUGE compliment. I know. I know. In human language, them tearing apart the furniture doesn’t feel like a positive compliment. If you don’t view what their doing as a positive thing or a compliment, then know you are NOT alone.
Grant it, in some situations and circumstances, (once a kitty understands that we humans don’t LIKE them using OUR stuff “Territory” to do use as their toys, scratching, marking, etc. rituals with or on) there are some kitties that WILL use it to do what they want. Why? Well, they are trying to communicate with you. To learn more about understanding how our pets communicate (or at least TRY to communicate) with us, then check out my other BLOGS on “ANIMALS SAY WHAT?”
For now, let’s focus on what kinds of things we can offer our cats to not only satisfy their need to scratch on, but save our things from being destroyed.
OPTIONS. One thing we’ve learned from being an Animal Guardians is finding what options will best work with our pets. This can be a daunting task. However, it can be very rewarding. Not just to your pets, but to you and your over home environment. Think of it this way. You have (or desire) certain things that you believe will make your home life more relaxing, enjoyable, easier, etc. – right? Well, your pets would like that too. Many people understand this when it comes to a fellow human’s needs (like their children. However, they dismiss or disregard that our pets need things too. Then there are other people who just don’t care. To those people I say, you shouldn’t own a pet then. They are not there for YOUR pleasure ONLY. They are living beings who deserve a good quality of life. It’s the LEAST you can do for making them stay with you and doing the things that bring you pleasure. Like us, they have different kinds of “needs” and wants.
OK, Back on the topic of providing options for scratching thingies for our cats. What will work best for your cat(s) and/or situation will depend on a variety of factors. Some of them are:
- What does your cat want/like?
- WHERE would they like to have this scratching thingy?
- What can you afford?
- What will fit in your given space?
- What can you live with to help your cat be happier
Keep in mind that it may take time to properly identify what your cat(s) need AND to transition them OFF of your furniture (and other objects they are using for their scratching activities). Just be patient and don’t take what they are doing as a personal attack against you. MOST cats – MOST of the time aren’t aware that what they are doing is causing you problems.
Alrighty – let’s look at some options that we’ve used and our cats liked. Keep in mind, there are a LARGE variety of options available today, especially when you include online options. The following are ones that we have purchased and used (and still use) that seem to satisfy our eclectic collection of cat members. These are ones found on Amazon, However you can find similar ones from other locations. To Learn MORE details about EACH product, click on their associated links:
- Boxes: Our cats LOVE cardboard boxes. The good thing about this is that they are VERY easy to come by, especially if you order anything online and they ship you stuff. However, IF your cat(s) LOVE to use them as their scratching toy then you will have a mess to constantly clean up AND the life span of said box(es) is not very long. This, of course, depends upon your cat(s). Another potential problem with cardboard boxes is that some cats only use it as a bed or place to hide and ambush someone. They don’t really use it to scratch on. So, YAY on them using it, but it doesn’t solve (some cats’) their scratching needs.
Other Cardboard/Corrugated Cat Scratchers
Here are a variety of Scratch Posts. From the simple designs to some more elaborate. Remember to BE flexible. Just because you bought it doesn’t mean they will use it. Like us, Cats have their preferences and since there’s a language barrier, it may take a few tries to find the right one. ALSO – the lifespan of ANYTHING that you buy/use will depend upon how well it’s made, how well it stands up to your cat(s), and how well you maintain it. If you just put it in the room and nothing more, then don’t be surprised if it doesn’t last long. Some of our cats get very enthusiastic with their toys that it can sometimes look like they had a wild party. Plus, fur has a tendency to stick to many of these posts (and other toys/furniture for cats), so regular cleaning is needed to help keep it nice looking and last longer.
Note: Some assembly may be required. Many provide all the materials and instructions you need to do so.
Cat Tree/Scratching Post Combos Options
Like the scratch posts, there may be some assembly required.