Let’s face it: our cats are not just fluffy, adorable and harmless creatures. They are also ferocious predators, beautiful and strong felines related to the lion, the tiger and the leopard. Even if during history cats became our friends and companions, they didn’t lose their innate instincts.
Scratching is an important instinct necessary for the cat’s survival. First of all, it keeps the cat’s claws in good shape, sharpening and cleaning them. At the same time, scratching is a way of marking a cat’s territory and a good form of stretching and exercise. No matter how hard you try, you’ll not be able to convince, teach or force your cat to stop scratching.
If you don’t want to move to the countryside (so your cat will be able to scratch trees) and you can’t watch anymore how your furniture is being destroyed, I suggest making a compromise. Buy a cat scratching post and allow your kitty to scratch as much as she wants!
By teaching your cat how to use a cat scratching post, you’ll protect your curtains, your furniture, your clothes and your nerves from being shredded. But the most important thing is the fact that your kitty will be satisfied and calm, being allowed to manifest a normal feline behavior.
You can find many different models of cat scratching posts on the online market: simple standard posts that consist of a single wooden pole wrapped in sisal or more complex cat furniture: cat trees, cat condos, even cat gyms! Depending on your available budget, the size of your apartment and the age of your cat, choose the one that you consider more suitable.
A good cat scratching post should allow your cat to perform a quality scratch, at the same time stretching and exercising her muscles. Make sure that you choose a long and sturdy post, otherwise your kitty will not enjoy scratching it. A short post that will collapse when the cat is trying to stretch on it will soon be forgotten, and Kitty will start scratching your solid couch!
Cats appreciate respect, not only love and affection. If you treat your cat with consideration and respect her natural needs, she will see you as a true friend and your relationship will considerably improve. There is a huge difference between cats and dogs. While dogs can easily be trained, cats are more independent and stubborn. Don’t force your cat to do something (scratch the new post, for example) and don’t punish her when she refuses to do as you say. She will not understand you and her behavior will become even worse!
Instead, concentrate on praising her positive behavior. Give her a tasty treat when she scratches the post, play with her near the post, attach her favorite toys to the post! A creative friendly approach will solve the problem much easier and faster than all the amount of criticism. At the same time, cover with sticky tape the surfaces that you want to protect – this will redirect the scratching towards other available areas – the scratching post.
The cat scratching post is the ideal compromise between you, your kitty, your furniture, your kitty’s natural instincts and your peace of mind!