Why I like to scratch on things …
In a purrfect world, I could go outside and get all my scratching done in permitted areas, and then come inside and snooze peacefully, leaving your leather couch alone. But, it isn’t always safe for a cat to go outside, and even outside cats will scratch on the furniture when they are allowed in the house. The fact is – scratching is a natural instinct for cats and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Cats actually have reasonable explanations for scratching on things. Some of mine are …
- “I need to scratch to sharpen my claws.”
- “I’m scratching to show Fat Cat over there that I’m better than him.”
- “I’m releasing my own scent to mark my territory – so Fat Cat won’t dare come over here.”
- “I’m just so frustrated with the way things have been going around here.”
- “Scratching keep me buff because it pulls, stretches, and works the muscles in my front quarter.”
- “I need to file down my nails and remove the external layer.”
- I just feel like stretching the muscles and ligaments in my toes and feet.”
Cats don’t understand physical punishment, so hitting me when you catch me scratching on your leather couch is not going to help. Cats like rough surfaces that they can shred to pieces – well, you probably already knew that. The solution is to provide “legal” scratching toys and play with your cats on them so they understand it is “ok” to scratch there.
Put your scratching posts and toys in the main areas of traffic flow, where you hang out a lot of the time. Most cats won’t make it to the back bedroom when they feel the urge to scratch. Pretend that you’re scratching the surface, attack the surface, and encourage your cat to play with you. It’s been proven – you can actually train your cat to scratch in appropriate places. Get a City Kitty Climber and watch your kitty have a scratchin’ good time.