There are immeasurable benefits to sharing our homes and lives with family pets. However, as all cat owners know, there are also some negatives. Just by doing what comes naturally to them due to their instinctual behavoir, felines can often create messes throughout our homes.
Sadly, this can create bad vibes between our kittens and us or older cats. One of the most common issues is scratching on household objects, carpeting, and our furniture. It drives me insane when my two decide my new living room furniture is perfect for sharpening their claws.
I did some in-depth investigating to find my two the best cat scratching poles on the market. In this article, I am going to share with you what I learned. Are cats really performing this behavior simply to sharpen their razor-sharp nails?
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The bottom line is, cats like to scratch and will continue to scratch as long as you have anything in your home they can reach. They scratch while stretching. They scratch during play time. They even scratch wanting our attention. There are several other reasons felines scratch their front nails.
Why Cats Need to Scratch
The bottom line is, cats like to scratch and will continue to do so as long as you have anything in your home they can reach. They scratch while stretching. They scratch during play time. There are several other reasons feline scratch their front nails.
SO, are cats really doing this just to file nails? That answer is no! Because cat’s claws require frequent sharpening, they will scratch on anything to remove worn out or frayed claw. When this happens, new, sharper ones are exposed.
Cats also need to mark their territory (apparently with all the scratching my two cats do, they own my entire home) and that sends other cats a threatening signal.
Unfortunately, your carpeting, furniture, and drapes are where they love to scratch the most, and, it usually causes much damage. Here are a couple of other reasons you may be unaware of but need to know:
- I did not know that cats have scent glands in their feet (paw). When she scratches, it leaves that message to others that it is her spot and to back off.
- Cats also scratch so they can stretch their bodies, feet, and claws. That releases “ feel-great” hormones that aid in keeping your baby healthy.
- When your cat scratches, it is also due to excitement, to “blow off steam” or to release stress.
Facts about Scratching
Scratching is just a cat’s nature and natural behavoir. Meaning, it is going to happen because it is part of what cats do. It is not to destroy your furniture or because she is angry at you. As I mentioned above, it is to stretch their muscle, mark territory, and remove dead nail husk.
You will notice that are eight weeks old; your kitten will begin to scratch on items. That is the ideal time to start training her to use a scratching pole for nail trims. I, myself, am against declawing and it should not be a routine for prevention of unwanted scratching.
Declawing can lead to an entirely different set of actions and behavior issues that can be much worse than scratches on a couch.
Can Scratching be Dangerous for Your Feline?
Typical human behavior is to keep a nice looking home and have undamaged goods. However, the typical behavior of our cats is to scratch every object possible. That is why the two often clash. When this takes place, cats are often on the receiving end of negative consequence such as these:
- Pet owner choose to declaw their cats. I am going to touch on this topic further in the article. However, this a harrowing ordeal that often changes your cat’s character and behavoir. When a cat goes through the declawing surgery, the procedure amputates the first ten digits to their front joint. More on this to come.
- Some pet owners punish their cats for this behavoir. That strategy causes your feline pain and fear and it also rarely works.
- Owners get fed up and surrender their cat to a shelter where if not adopted promptly, they often get euthanized
- Many cat owners puts the cat out somewhere and leaves it to fend for themselves where they face injuries, diseases, and most cases, early death.
Let’s Talk In-depth about Declawing
Declawing cats is an incredibly emotional hot debate today. Cat owners often make the mistake of believing that if they remove the cat’s fronts claws, it is a “quick fix” harmless procedure to stop the scratching that destroys personal belongings.
What they fail to realize is that when they declaw their cat that makes it less likely to want to use the litter box and will be more inclined to bite. This procedure also often causes physical issues that will be lasting for the cat.
The Humane Society of the United States frowns upon declawing except for when it is medically necessary, which is quite rare. Many other countries ban the procedure altogether. If a cat has cancerous nail beds, declawing is, of course, needed
Those who worry about their cat scratching them, especially individuals with bleeding disorders or immunodeficiencies sometimes feel that declawing their cat will protect their health. However, studies report that infectious disease specialist claims it is not necessary to declaw.
There are noted risk associated with individuals with these medical disorders. These risks are less than what your cat would suffer from cat litter, fleas on them, and bites.
Onychectomy- “onych.” – Means toenail or fingernail and “ectomy” means the removal of something. Therefore, the precise meaning of Onychectomy is the removal of the toenail via surgery. That within itself sounds painful.
Performing the surgery to a feline is amputating their third toe bones attached to the claw. Having the same procedure cats have would equal the removal of a humans fingers at the last knuckle.
What are the Pros and Cons of Declawing
There are pros and cons to consider before you decide to have the declawing surgery on your cat:
- To reduce the trauma and stress of the owners: An individual with the medical issues mentioned above would have less pressure over the chance of traumatic scratching incidences.
- No more scratching furniture: Obviously there would be no more messing up the furniture if the cat was missing its front claws. However, if owners would take the time and do the proper steps to teach a cat while it is a kitten not to scratch the furniture, and to use post, this would not happen. There is a product called soft paws as well as other gel caps that you can put on your cat’s nails to prevent ruining furniture.
- Medical purposes for a cat: If a situation such as severe trauma to her toes (frostbite, attack, injury) or if tumors grow, declawing is the only solution. Large cats that are outside cats typically are the ones that are subject to these scenarios.
- First, it is Excruciating: vets give certain drugs to help with managing the pain during and after the procedure. However, it does not ease the degree of pain that the cat is suffering.
- Surgical Complications: There are always risk involved for surgical complications before and after any surgery. The risk from declawing include infections, excessive bleeding, and nail regrowth. Yes, nail regrowth happens. If there is a portion of bone left behind, possible regrowth of the nail can happen over time. Specific procedures are more apt to leave bone fragments behind, and declawing is one.
- Not Urinating in the Litterbox: This part goes right in with the left behind bone fragments. A certain percentage of larger cats that begin urinating outside the box may be an issue from the bone fragments. The theory to back this up is that left behind pieces are painful and uncomfortable, especially in her litter box.
- Increase Need to Bite: There are cases made where a cat that cannot defend itself without claws if she feels threatened will bite instead. The proof is that instead of having their claws to scratch/swat at the perceived threat, Including her ower, will turn to biting. That usually leads to more pain inflicted and severe wounds on the individual rather than a mere scratch.
- Painful Arthritis: Having the last digits of her toes removed slightly alters how a cat walks. Over time this will lead to painful arthritis development. Arthritis is as painful, thanks to litter, perhaps more, than what we humans feel. The disease is debilitating to some cats and can often lead to a shorter lifespan.
How to Change Your Cat’s Scratching Habits
The best way to deal with your cats scratching is to not stop your cat from doing something she needs but rather teach her what to scratch and where. An effective approach is to give him appropriate, surfaces that are cat attractive, and objects she can use to scratch on, such as scratching post.
The following are steps you can take that will help encourage her to scratch where she is supposed to instead of your curtains and furniture.
- Provide your cat with a variety of scratching post with different surfaces and qualities. You can try post made of upholstery, sisal, wood, carpeting, and cardboard. Some cats prefer a post that are horizontal while others like slanted or vertical.
- Some like raking on a vertical grain, while other like picking on a horizontal grain. By providing her with a variety of post to see just what your cats preference is, place different options in locations to give her opportunities away from your furniture.
- One tip to remember, cats like study places to scratch. They want poles that won’t collapse or shift when used. Most cats want a tall (at least three feet) enough one that they can fully That makes me understand my cats liking my recliner so much.
- If your kitten or older cat is scratching something to file her nails that you do not want him to, like a rug or the arm of the couch (my twos favorite), place a scratching post directly next to the area. For the rug, set a post there as well.
- Place a scratching post in encouraging areas. Your cat may like a post near her favorite sleeping spot being they want to stretch after a good nap. If your cat likes showing off in the living room, try giving her a treat when she does.
- You can add scents to their post such as catnip to help encourage her. You can also hang toys and place her post in places she will be inclined to climb on and investigate.
- Be sure when your cat is scratching that you discourage inappropriate scratching my covering or removing the object she has discovered. An object such as a speaker, for example, turn them facing the wall. You can use sandpaper, double-sided sticky tape, plastic, or a carpet runner upside down on the floor or your furniture where she stands to scratch. All of these are approved alternatives to keep both, you, and your cat happy.
- Clip her nails regularly
- As mentioned above, you can buy clips that fit on the tips of her toenails. If she does scratch on the furniture, there will be no damage. These clips attach with an adhesive and last four to six weeks.
- If by any chance you catch your little feline in the act, try squirting him with a water bottle or clapping your hands to startle her. Do this as a last resort, however, to prevent her to fear you.
Choosing the Best Scratching Post
Choosing the right scratching post can be expensive and frustrating. Before you find one your cat will use you could find yourself on an endless, costly endeavor. She could virtually ignore your choices making you feel hopeless. I know, I am here right now searching for the same.
Our biggest mistake as humans is that we tend to buy what appeals to us instead of thinking about what our kitty may like. Gaining a little knowledge goes a long way. The trick is we must find an option that is just as appealing as our furniture and the best place to buy. However, to do that we have to consider our cat’s point of view.
Top 5 Best Cat Scratching Posts on the Market
|Pioneer Pet SmartCat||-Durable post|
– Material: fibrous, durable sisa
– 32 inches high
– Fast and easy assembly
|TRIXIE Pet Products||– Natural sisal|
– Platinum gray
– Floor area: 15.75″ × 15.75″ ;
– Post: 3.5″
– Height: 24.25″
|Max and Marlow||– 26″ Sisal Post|
– Durable fabric with sisal rope
– Eye-catching toy on top
|PetFusion||– Natural scratching|
– Attractive design
– Neutral colors
– 6 MONTH WARRANTY
|4CLAWS||– Wall mountable|
– Natural sisal
– Neat & very durable
Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post
As mentioned above, cats need a scratching pole that allows them to get a full stretch. This Pioneer Pet SmartCat is precisely the post she needs to get her scratch on. It is 32 inches in height which allows plenty of stretch room. It is perfect for toning muscles and marking purposes.
The Pet SmartCat artistry and material is the best you can get your cat for her scratching needs. The assembly which consists of two screws comes with the product. It has a sturdy base which eliminates wobbling and tipping.
For more details on how you can order the Pioneer Ultimate Scratching Post from Amazon, click the link below. As always, you can trust Amazon as your leading e-commerce seller.
TRIXIE Pet Products Parla Scratching Post
If you are searching for endless opportunities of playtime, scratching, and exploring, the Trixie’s Parla does the job. Your cat will sharpen her claws here instead of your sofa or carpet, providing them with a perfect healthy place to scratch.
The post has a complete wrapping of durable Sisal with a plush base perfect for taking naps and stretching. It is a neutral color for smooth blending of any room. The Trixie’s dimensions are 16 x 16 x 24 inches and weigh seven pounds.
The scratching pole is perfect for kittens as well as larger cats. It comes with a one year warranty. For more information, check here on Amazon. Not many online sellers are reputable e-commerce dealers. That is why I trust Amazon as you can too.
Max and Marlow 26 in. Sisal Scratch Post
The Max and Marlow 26-inch Sisal Scratch Post is the perfect post to keep your cats from scratching your furniture and carpet. There is plenty of playing room thanks to its appealing surface to claw and scratch.
The Sisal material is coarse, and it has a fibrous texture that aids in conditioning cat nails. The covering is on both the top and the base for extra temptation. With the pole comes a hanging bird that offers her hours of extra fun. My cats love those dangling toys. It is 30 inches tall which is plenty of room for stretching and clawing.
You will find this product and extra information here on Amazon.
PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher and Post (Available in Two Sizes)
All cats love this scratch post from PetFusion. The PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher and Post is a scratcher and a play area your feline is sure to make its go-to for her scratching and stretching needs. It is more than just a scratcher; it comes with USA organic catnip to entice her to want to stay active around the post. You cat will be on her way to stress relief, great exercise and healthy claws in no time.
The dimensions are 8 x 10.5 x 16 inches. Its construction is superior cardboard that will provide your cat with long-term use. It comes with a six-month warranty which is just one reason why this product was 2014 Cat Fancy Magazine 2014 Editor’s Choice Award for Best New Product.
For much more information and how to order, click below for Amazons safe and secure e-commerce platform.
FUKUMARU Wall Mounted Scratching Post
The FUKUMARU Wall Mounted Scratching Post is unique in that it mounts to the wall and is sturdy enough for your cat’s weight while she stretches or scratches. It comes with the screws you need to install on any vertical surface. It stands 18 inches tall and allows plenty of room for all scratching positions.
When we have cats, it is our job to protect our home but still offer our fur babies a proper place for them to be cats and do what comes naturally to them. The 3CLAWS does just that. Its design is an anodized aluminum frame with natural sisal making it both neat and durable.
Wrapping Things Up
These five products are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scratching poles made to help our babies, scratch, stretch and play as they are bred to do. I learned a good bit putting this article together, and I hope you did as well.
None of us want our furnishing destroyed. Moreover, we really do not want it to be our cats that can do that much damage. Therefore, we as their owners have to provide them with everything they need to supplement their natural instincts of being a cat.
What about your cat? What do you use and do you have more ideas that we can share with our readers? Please leave me your comments and let’s get a discussion going.
As usual, thank you so much for reading my work. I love bringing educational information to people, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Please share this article as well as the articles on our site. We appreciate it more than you know. Do come back, thanx, Malissa~