If you've ever had cats, you know how much they love to scratch anything they can get their claws into. They seem to find joy in shredding furniture, bedposts, and more. Unfortunately, furniture-scratching behavior has landed many a kitty in a shelter.
But kitties shouldn’t be punished for following their instincts and nature. Instead, it is essential to provide them with an appropriate alternative so that they are able to satisfy their need to scratch without damaging your home. Cat scratchers are designed with just this purpose in mind.
Scratchers come in many forms. They can be posts or boards covered with carpeting or sisal roping. Some are made from cardboard and sit horizontally on the floor while others are incorporated as part of larger tree house structures.
Providing your feline friends with scratchers will surely make them happy and keep them feeling great. Here are some of the benefits of having a scratcher for both you and your feline friends.
Scratchers prevent furniture damage
One obvious advantage of scratchers is to prevent furniture damage. When kitties have no other options for scratching, your furniture will pay the price. How do you redirect cats away from furniture and to a cat scratcher? Although it might take some time and patience, putting scratchers in every room of the house and rubbing them with catnip are great ways to start.
Scratchers help kittens adjust to a new home
If you are adopting a kitten, scratchers are essential. Kittens are notorious for their cuteness, boundless enthusiasm, and for getting into mischief. Scratchers provide kittens with an outlet for all of that built-up energy. They help kittens from shelters adjust to a new home and prevent them from forming the habit of inappropriate scratching in the first place.
Scratchers benefit indoor kitties and multiple pet households
Because indoor kitties don’t have access to trees for scratching, scratchers provide them with a substitute for the experiences of scratching outdoors. Scratchers in multiple pet households provide places for kitties to play together. Providing a scratcher for each feline friend can help to ease the introduction of a new kitty into a multiple pet household.
Scratching helps kitties maintain their nails
Scratchers keep kitties' nails in great shape. Scratching helps them shed the outer coating of their nails to reveal newly formed claws that are sharp, healthy, and ready for action. Scratching also helps keep their nails clean and prevents claws from growing into their paw pads, which can be very painful.
Scratching is good exercise
Scratching is a great way for kitties to get exercise and stay in shape. When they scratch on a tall scratcher, they stretch all of the muscles of their body. This increases blood flow, flexibility, and range of motion. Standing on their hind legs, pulling back their back and shoulder muscles, and stretching out their paws helps them stay active and agile.
Scratching keeps kitties entertained
Have you ever seen your kitties walking around the house looking for something to do? Providing them with toys to play with, climb on, and scratch helps to prevent boredom from setting in. Having access to toys and cat scratchers provides endless fun, entertainment, and distraction for a bored cat.
Scratching reduces stress
Just like people, many kitties experience stress and anxiety. This is especially true for a newly adopted kitty from a shelter or for kitties experiencing loss, a move, a new addition to the family, or other major changes. In times of stress, scratching can be very comforting. There is something very satisfying about scratching. It has a calming effect and helps keep your feline friends emotionally healthy and happy.
Kitties scratch to mark their territory
Have you noticed your kitties kneading on your lap or blankets? When they knead, they release their smell into the objects that they knead from scent glands in their paws. Similarly, kitties use scratching as a way to mark their territory. When they scratch, they also leave a visual mark to let other animals know they were there.
Scratching makes kitties happy
Last but not least, scratching is pleasurable to kitties. It feels good to them and is important for their mental well-being.