Why do Cats Scratch Posts? Teach A Cat To Use A Scratching Posts
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Many people ask: "How to prevent a cat from scratching the furniture? The first thing to consider to be able to answer this question is to train cats to use scratching posts properly. Then comes the question, "why do cats scratch posts?"
First of all, it is of the utmost importance to know how to choose the scratching post that will be best suited to your feline. Indeed, it will be much easier to convince your kitty to use it if you first take the time to ensure that it will naturally correspond to his needs.
Why do cats scratch posts?
Scratching is a very natural behavior for cats. They sometimes scratch to leave their scent to go visual cues. So sharpening their claws is an instinct for them. It is also an excellent way to remove dead parts from your nails.
Now you know why cats scratch posts. Once you have made your choice, follow these tips to train your feline to use his scratching post so that he stops attacking your carpet or your furniture.
Understand your cat's behavior
This is a crucial step that will allow you to ensure that the scratching posts are installed in strategic places in your interior. You can determine these places by analyzing the behavior of your cat or kitten.
The trap is to rely on our preferences regarding the ergonomics of our interior and to want to place the scratching posts in places that do not bother us, namely in the corners of rooms or areas out of sight.
However, felines don't see it that way. Trying to put yourself in the shoes of a cat, it's easy to see why. Here are two things to keep in mind:
Cats don't scratch each other for no reason: Cats scratch objects to let others know where their territory is. The claw marks are accompanied by odors deposited by the glands in the paws of cats, which the other cats understand perfectly. Cats scratch their claws to stretch. It is important to remember this because if you want to train your cat to use a scratching post, you will need to ensure that it is stable enough and of a substantial size to stretch to its entire length. Here, the answer to the question "why do cats scratch posts" is essential.
Understanding the “why” helps to make more informed decisions about the “how”. Once you've chosen the appropriate scratching post and decided on the best place to put your scratching post, read on.
Don't worry too much if your cat doesn't seem interested in their new scratching post.
Indeed, sometimes you have to coax cats a little, so they realize that the new accessory that arrives in their environment is the scratching surface they have always dreamed of.
Here are a few tips that will allow you to introduce the scratching post to your kitty and facilitate his education:
- Use catnip: While it won't work with kittens and some adult cats, many felines are crazy about catnip. If this is the case with yours, sprinkle a little at the base and the top of the scratching post. Usually, if your kitty starts licking the catnip, he will also begin to "knead" the spot with his paws. The contact will allow him to realize that it is a perfectly suitable surface for scratching, which he will not forget.
- Play with your cat: You can help your cat realize that his new scratching post is something fantastic by playing with him near it. Multi-colored game dusters are a great accessory to accomplish this. By waving one at the top of the scratching post, you will make your feline want to put its paws on it and try to climb it to grab the feather duster. Alternatively, you can also place your kitty's favorite toy on top of the scratching post.
- Put the scratching post on the ground: When a cat has never used a scratching post in its life, such an accessory can seem imposing and intimidating. So it may be a good idea to start by putting it on the ground. Then use the two previous tips to encourage him to get in touch. Finally, you can straighten it upright when it's been a few days since your kitty got used to the scratching post in the lying position.
- Take advantage of your other cats: If you are lucky enough to have several cats in your home, try to get them to play together nearby (throwing a ball, etc.). It will only take one of your cats to sink their claws into it for the others to want to do the same.
- Offer treats: Many cats love treats. Try to have a few on hand when setting up your scratching post. Start by offering him one if he comes to take a closer look and sniff it. Offer more if your kitty puts his paws on them. It should not be overused, but it is a great way to associate quality scratching posts with pleasure.
One of the things that you absolutely must NOT do is to grab your cat's paws to force them down on the scratching post. It is well known that cats do not like to have their hand forced and want to feel like they are in charge of their actions. An exception may, however, be possible in very young kittens who do not have adult cats around them to show them how things work.
Best Scratch Posts for Your Cat
Beware of negative education
Let's talk briefly about "negative" methods of education.
Some pet training methods involve associating lousy behavior with harmful consequences to stop the bad behavior.
Methods used include spraying cats with water, suddenly making loud noises, using mouse traps, yelling at cats, and hitting them. Unfortunately, these harmful methods usually do not work on cats and can even harm them physically and mentally.
In the best-case scenario, many cats will feel stressed and behave in unacceptable ways (such as urinating absolutely where they want).
In the worst cases, it can force them to withdraw into themselves, refuse to eat, and constantly try to hide, whether to educate a cat or a human being. Rewarding good behavior is always better than systematically punishing undesirable behavior.
Understanding why do cats scratch posts and these tips should make your life much easier. However, if you have followed them all and your cat still does not seem interested in his new scratching post, do not give up and start by trying to install it in another place in your house.
Openings to the outside (windows, bay windows, etc.) are often excellent places to place a scratching post. Cats get incredibly excited when they see birds or other animal life, which often makes them want to scratch.
To sum up, take your time, encourage your cat and reward it. You will make many happy in the process: your cat, yourself, furniture, and carpet.
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