As soon as your kitten learns how to walk and crawl, he’ll be ready to use his claws. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. They scratch in order to mark their territory and maintain healthy nails. If your cat didn’t scratch, the old nails would curl under and grow into his pad, causing extreme pain. As you can see, scratching is a high priority on the feline agenda. The challenge is to teach your pet to use his cat scratching posts, instead of the couch or stereo. Unfortunately, simply buying cat scratching posts or cat scratching furniture and setting it out is not enough. Depending on the age and experience level of your kitten, you may have to teach them how to use a cat scratching post.
Making Your Cat Scratching Posts Appealing to Your Pet
Cats will only use cat scratching posts if they like the feel of it. Since every cat is different, there is no way to tell an individual cat’s preference without doing some testing. Cats are extremely tactile and have strong preferences for different textures. Here are a few materials your cat may prefer on his cat scratching posts:
- Carpet. Some cats prefer the soft yet coarse feeling of carpet. If this is your cat’s preference, look for cat scratching posts that are carpeted. If you’re on a budget, or need a quick-fix while you are looking to purchase professionally-made cat scratching posts, try wrapping a carpet remnant around a log or board. This may entice your pet temporarily.
- Leather. Finding cat scratching posts that are graced with leather can be expensive. But if this is your cat’s preference, you really don’t have a choice!
- Wood. Some cats like the toughest material available to them, such as a piece of wood. If this is your cat’s preference, you may have noticed that he can’t stop clawing your entertainment center or dining room set. Giving your cat a piece of wood or log to scratch is a great remedy for this issue.
Once you have your cat scratching posts in place, you need to help your cat understand that this is where he is supposed to scratch from now on. There are several ways to do this. Whenever your cat starts clawing in an inappropriate area, pick him up and take him over to his cat scratching posts. Rub his paws along the cat scratching post to get the message across. Another helpful tip is to place your cat scratching posts in the right location. For example, if your cat likes to scratch as soon as he finishes dinner, place his cat scratching post next to his food bowls. You can also spray a little bit of catnip on the cat scratching posts to make it more enticing for your feline. Many cats find the smell of catnip irresistible, so this may be a good trick.
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