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The nature of cats’ scratching: why does your cat need to scratch?

Cat scratched the couch again? Or maybe had some fun with his claws on the carpet? No worries, cats don’t destroy your furniture on a whim. Scratching is one of their basic instincts, and a good quality scratcher – a key element of their world at home. It’s not a coincidence that corrugated cardboard scratchers are, and always have been, the main focus of myKotty! Do you know, however, why your cats scratch, fabCats? Read to the end and maybe you’ll find out something completely new about your furry roommates.

scratcher

Why cats scratch?

Scratching is an instinct rooted deep withing every cat and, even though your house cat may not resemble big and wild cats, you can’t fool their nature. Giving your kitty a space to scratch is not only a way to save your favourite furniture – it’s important for your cat’s health, behaviour and general well-being. According to the famous cat behaviourist, Jackson Galaxy: “what people see as destructive behaviour, for cats it’s an absolute must. For them, it’s neither a luxury nor a deviation. Scratching is how they work their upper muscles, how they work out and relieve stress, and how they naturally hone their nails.”

Cats spend their entire day at home, having not that much to do, which is why scratching is so important for their health and wellness. We discussed about cats’ need to scratch with a behaviourist, Julie Houtmeyers (@cat.coach.julie on Instagram) and, quoting her words “scratching is a normal and instinctive behaviour for a cat. They do it not only to hone their nails, but more importantly it’s a way of scent marking and stress relieving (excitement when the owner comes home, during play, tension form confrontation with another cat, etc.). We cannot forbid a cat to scratch, we can only give plenty of good scratching posts around the house to spare our furniture”.

It’s my territory, but we can share it

As it’s cats nature, they scratch to reduce stress, diffuse energy, hone their nails, stretch and strengthen muscles, but also to mark their territory. If you have other animals in your house (multiple cats included), your cat signalises his presence by scratching and leaving scent marks in most important parts of the territory. Scratch marks are their best proof of ownership – a kitty bargaining card saying “I live here, it’s my space. We can share it, but I have my place here”. Your cat is an only furry child? Hoomas are still using the territory and your cat needs to leave their signature right where you leave your scent!

Scratching is for a cat as important as it is for you to put photos, décor and souvenirs around the house – it is what makes the house feel like home. Scratching the same spots over and over again gives a cat a sense of security. Scratching posts are their signposts and border markers – without them, your kitty might feel foreign at their own house. This is why we have been working on myKotty scratchers for over 8 years now, improving on their structure and quality to match the raw cat energy living within your kitty.

Is scratching enough to file cat’s nails?

We are often asked if myKotty scratchers are good at honing and filing cats’ nails. A simple answer would be: yes, but their effectiveness and, subsequently, the need to trim their nails will depend on your kitty and the availability of scratching posts at your house. Notice if your cat’s nails catch on the sisal rope while scratching or blanket threads when they knead. If they have trouble getting stuck and can’t easily free themselves, scratching may not be enough and your cat will need help trimming the nails. No worries – once you get some practice, trimming cat’s nails is not as bad as it seems. We touched on the topic on our blog previously, so you can go check our previous article out.

How to cut cat’s claws? https://blog.mykotty.pl/en/2019/11/12/how-to-cut-a-cats-claws/

Types of scratchers – how to pick the right one?

Setting up scratching posts in your house shouldn’t be random, just like you can’t randomly choose the material they’re made out of. Your cat may like corrugated cardboard, wood, upholstery, sisal rope (or your carpet 😉 ) – you won’t know until you try everything. We encourage you to check out every option, although, speaking from experience and from what we’ve heard from our fabCats, a combination of vertical sisal rope posts and horizontal corrugated cardboard scratchers works the best for most kitties. All myKotty scratchers are made out of high quality corrugated cardboard which feels like suede to the touch and is especially nice for cat’s paws! If you want to know how long corrugated cardboard scratchers last, you can read more on them by clicking the link below.

The service life of a cardboard scratcher: https://blog.mykotty.pl/en/2019/10/15/the-service-life-of-a-cardboard-scratcher/

Your kitty will have preferences not only for the material of the scratcher, but the form as well. It’s important to give your cat at least one long, vertical scratching post where they can stretch fully standing on their hind legs. They will also need a horizontal scratcher – if your kitty turns his whiskers up and doesn’t seem interested, put the scratcher somewhere else. A cat bed can also turn into a good scratcher! Our MIA cat house with a cardboard mat inside will give your kitty a perfect hideout and a horizontal scratcher at once. This is the type of 2 for 1 offer we love the most!

Kitty Feng Shui – where should scratchers go?

Obviously in places where your cat is most interested in scratching – places with social significance, where your cat wants to be. Give your kitty an alternative for the couch by setting VIGO, LUI or TOBI scratcher by its side, they will surely pick the scratcher over your furniture. Remember to have more than one scratcher in the house – leave them in every room, giving your cat options and variety. Scratching posts, horizontal scratchers, sisal rope, corrugated carboard, upholstery – there’s so many possibilities. You’re worried about aesthetics? The matter of a beautifully decorated interiors lays deep within our hearts, which is why myKotty scratchers are designed with all catification rules in mind – a way that allows them to fit with your interior design and please the eye of the cat as well as the hoomans!

Give me a scratcher or I’ll choose the couch

Scratching is a behavioural and health necessity, but it’s also good fun. Your kitty treats stretching on a scratching post as their at-home gym. It’s good if there at least some variety. Cats in nature scratch trees, marking their territory. Your house cat needs their own “tree”, preferably in more than one form. Without scratchers, your couch, armchair or carpet will be a worthy substitute and we don’t want that, do we? This is why you should get scratchers for your cat! We developed a special way of making our scratchers so that their surface resembles soft suede on all sides – that’s the real luxury for your kitty’s paws. When you sit down on your couch or chair, you live your scent behind. Your cat feels the need to leave a mark that says it’s their territory as well. If you don’t give them any alternatives, their own “trees”, sooner or later your couch will get hurt.

Scratcher Vs Sofa 1/0, So How To Train A Cat Not To Scratch The Furniture - https://blog.mykotty.pl/en/2019/09/09/scratcher-vs-sofa-1-0-so-how-to-train-a-cat-not-to-scratch-the-furniture/

How many scratchers are in your houses, our fabCats? Let us know in the comments section below. And since Black Friday is right around the corner, we invite you check out our fabSales – VIGO, LUI scratchers as well as all myKotty products are up for grabs for a really good price.


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