To occupy your cat, or simply to please him, you have certainly offered him a scratching post. Unfortunately, your furball is completely indifferent to it and prefers to scratch the soft leather of your armchairs or your curtains. At this stage, it is important to know how to get cat use to scratching posts. To better understand your little feline and encourage him to use his cat scratching post, you must, above all, know why he adopts this behavior.
The importance for a cat to make its claws
Your cat does not scratch your furniture just to annoy you, there are very specific reasons for this behavior. You have to understand that this is one of his only means of defense when he feels in danger.
Your cat wants to mark his territory with scratching. For this, he must leave signs visible to everyone. He wants you to understand that you are in his home. For its congeners and other animals, you should know that cats have pheromones between the pads. When he scratches objects or places, he is warning others that it is his property and that they have no interest in lingering there.
Then there's also the fact that they love it. We notice that, in some cats, when they receive caresses, the claws come out when they stretch and take advantage of these moments of tenderness. It is not an aggressive act, on the contrary, it marks its human companion as its property, demonstrating that it has adopted it.
Why doesn't a cat use its scratching post?
Before understanding how to get cat use to scratching posts, even if you understand the reasons that lead your cat to scratch your furniture, you cannot find the reason why he is abandoning the cat scratching post you gave him. As with most behavioral issues in felines, there can be a variety of reasons for it attacking your doors, upholstery, or sofas.
The scratching post may be placed in a place that is not visible enough for your feline. As noted above, he loves to show he's on his territory. The scratching posts must also meet certain criteria. For example, they must be strong to support his weight when he stretches out.
It is better to opt for a quality scratching post. They come in different shapes and sizes, some are integrated into cat trees to encourage the animal to use them. Another reason your furry friend doesn't use his scratching post is that he doesn't understand its purpose, or at least doesn't think it's an object for his well-being.
How To Get Cat Use To Scratching Posts?
There are several solutions to make your cat understand that the scratching post has been placed in the house for him. First of all, when he scratches your sofas or your belongings, it is strongly advised to ignore him completely. It's normal to be a little nervous about the damage done, but know that the more attention you show him, the more he will continue his little work of art on your furniture. Indeed, what he wants is that you notice the scratches, pretending that nothing has happened, he will turn to another place.
To encourage him to go to his cat scratching post, use treats. They are tasty and your little ball of fur will not fail to lick their lips while smelling these delicious smells.
Another solution is to place the scratching posts prominently in the house, so he can mark his territory and make sure it is in plain sight.
On the other hand, do not forget to praise him when he uses this object of well-being. Thus, your little feline will associate its behavior with a reward and will start again with a good heart to have others.
Choosing the right scratching post for your cat
There is a wide choice of scratching posts for your cat. You will notice that some have multiple features. For example, they have spaces for your furry ball to hide, curl up and sleep.
There are several forms, like towers and mats. High scratching posts, such as towers or trunks, can attract them more easily because felines love observation posts to monitor what is happening around them.
You should know that some models contain catnip. The latter will attract your little feline every time. With this type of scratching post, you are almost sure that your pet will leave your curtains or your sofas. They can be ideal if you notice that your four-legged friend is reluctant to use their scratching post.
A cat is a territorial animal and you can't stop it from scratching. The fact of not using your scratching post can come from different causes. However, if you notice any abnormal behavior regarding these scratches, it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian. He will be able to offer you valuable advice on how to get cat use scratching posts, and additional tips so that you can make your cat understand that he must use his scratching post.
Best Scratching Posts For Your Cat
Which Product To Use To Wash Your Cat
Even though one of the favorite activities of cats is to groom themselves, it is sometimes necessary to bathe them. This is particularly the case for hairless breeds, such as Sphynxes, Donskois, or Peterbalds, whose skin can become very oily because of the sebum it secretes. There are also other situations where a cat must be bathed: old animal no longer managing to groom itself properly, a cat suffering from a skin disease or being infested with fleas, a long-haired breed that gets dirty when going to litter, backpacker fell into a puddle of mud, a cat that has rolled in a dangerous product that it must not lick, etc.
What products to use? What is the essential equipment? Discover our tips for a successful wash.
You will find two types of shampoo for cats: dry shampoos and liquid shampoos. You should never use your shampoo or soap to clean your pet's coat. The pH of the skin of the feline is different from ours and an unsuitable product could cause them itching or other reactions in their body.
The dry shampoo
The main advantage of dry shampoo is that it does not require water, it is easy and quick to use. No need to struggle with your cat trying to run away from the bath as soon as you turn on the tap to get it wet. Thanks to this product, your cleansing session will go smoothly. This product is perfectly suited for washing the cat.
Dry shampoos absorb excess sebum, they eliminate dirt, but also bad odors. They are ideal for cats with a full coat, but also hairless cats. There are different kinds of dry shampoos, it's up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Sprays or aerosols are used to clean and deodorize the coat. This type of product is sometimes difficult to apply because it can scare your cat or kitten because of the noise it makes. Foams remove dirt and grime stuck in the bristles. It is applied against the direction of hair growth and should be dried with a towel.
Powdered dry shampoos are the most popular, especially with owners attending competitions and shows, as they make the coat look bulky. The advantage is that they are easy to apply. You just need to distribute it directly on the coat to remove the dirt. You can also sprinkle it on a towel and rub your cat with it. The only drawback is that you will then have to brush your pet thoroughly to remove the excess powder which tends to whiten the hair.
The liquid shampoo
If your cat needs a deeper clean, opt for a liquid shampoo. Choose a product that matches their hair type and needs.
For cats with long hair, you can opt for a detangling shampoo to facilitate your daily brushing. There are even organic shampoos! If your animal suffers from a skin problem or is attacked by parasites, ask your veterinarian for advice, who will recommend a suitable product, an antibacterial shampoo for example.
Warning: Even if you use a product specially designed for animals, rinse the shampoo well because residues could cause itching or other skin problems. Do not use it on your cat's head, it could leak into their ears or eyes.
A washcloth soaked in lukewarm water can be enough for a quick wash. This solution is particularly useful for the maintenance of a bare-skinned cat, such as the Sphynx.
The grooming kit
Before washing your cat, brushing is essential, especially if he has long hair. Once wet, the knots get tighter and can become impossible to untangle.
Ideally, a short-haired cat should be brushed once a week. Use a double-sided brush. The part with the pins allows you to remove dirt and the part with the soft bristles allows you to remove dead hair.
A semi-long-haired cat, Sacred Birman, Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, etc. should be brushed every other day. Choose a bristle brush to remove surface knots and dust. For deeper knots, opt for a wide-toothed comb.