When cats scratch on their posts or your furniture, you may think that they do it to sharpen their claws. There are many more important reasons they do this. In my interview with Pam Johnson-Bennett, (podcast episode 3) one of our countries leading certified cat behavior consultants, we spoke about how living with felines is much easier if we make sure we meet their primary needs. Scratching is one of them, but of course you want them to do it appropriately. Here is your need-to-know information about the subject. (Source material from Pam's book, Cat Wise)
Actually, scratching serves many purposes.
It’s a territorial marking behavior. The vertical marks left, are a visual sign for other animals passing by. Doesn’t matter if your cat lives indoors. This is hardwired behavior. An odor is also left on the object scratched from scent glands in the cat’s paw pads.
It relieves tension. Scratching is an emotional release or displacement behavior so when your cat is happy, excited, stressed or frustrated, she can release some of the built-up emotion by doing this.
The kind of scratching posts that best meet your cat’s needs are:
The right texture. A rough texture is most effective. The material, sisal is the preferred one. Wood or corrugated cardboard can work as well if your cat likes it.
Sturdy and the right height. If the post is wobbly or feels unstable, your cat will not use it. The post must also be tall enough so that the cat can fully stretch up when scratching. Make sure the base is a good wide one, so the post is stable.
Placed In the correct spot. Please don’t hide the post in a corner of a room you and your cat do not use. Pick a spot where your cat normally tends to want to scratch. If trying to change your cat’s habit of using the couch, place the post by the furniture.
During our conversation in episode 3 of Raising Your Paws, Pam Johnson-Bennett, names the top three truths about cats and what this means to you if you have them. The first truth you’ll hear in this episode just might surprise you. You’ll hear the second and third truths in upcoming episodes so please subscribe to the podcast so you get all the goodies.
Resources for Episode 3. Top 3 Things To Know About Cats & Why Dogs May Repeat Certain Behaviors.
Order Pam Johnson-Bennett’s book Cat Wise, Americas Favorite Cat Expert Answers Your Cat Behavior Questions
Heres the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline Phone number I talked about – 888-426-4435.
I'll tell you another story about when I had to call this number in episode 1 as well as sharing more information to know about the hotline. Check it out.
Hey, you could win 6-months of free NutriSource pet food by subscribing, rating and reviewing one of the first five episodes of Raising Your Paws during our launch celebration. Click the box above at the top of the page to enter our drawing.