Scratching Posts

 

                                                                                                                            Scratching Posts

 

Choosing a cat for your pet is something special. The addition of a new family member is something to look forward to, and just as the cat should enjoy being in your home, it’s equally important that you are able to relax and enjoy your experiences. Cats are usually considered easy to take care of, but they still demand your time and energy. In addition to requiring daily care your cat has to learn what it may and may not do in your home.

Now that your furry friend is home, you naturally do not want it to scratch your carpet, furniture, and wall paper so to avoid damage you will need to buy a scratch post. Scratching is a natural behavior for a cat. They do this to sharpen their claws and to mark their territory while getting a good stretch. In the wild this behavior causes no problem, but indoors it’s a totally different matter, it is damaging.

Scratching posts are available in a variety of shapes and sizes at pet stores and online. As soon as my cat Mittens started to scratch my carpet and furniture I would take her to her scratching post and hook her claws in the material and watch her reaction. She would fervently scratch away, such a joy to watch.  A good scratching post must be stable so that it won’t topple over, and it should be a few inches taller than the cat. The cat should be able to stand and stretch upright against the scratch post, which should be covered with rough material that has a vertical texture. Placing the post in a corner of the room where the cat likes and sprinkling some catnip on will be even more attractive to the cat. Cats go crazy when they smell catnip. Another and even better location would be to place the scratching post where the cat originally started scratching your carpet or furnishing. Correcting the bad behavior with your voice by saying naughty kitty will be understood. You have to be consistent however and patient, and continue to take the cat to the scratching post.

In the beginning you will have to keep an eye on what your cat is doing and catch her before she digs her claws in your furniture or carpet. Your cat will soon understand what you expect of her. Reward good behavior with a cat treat.

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