Sharpening claws is a natural need of cats. It is useless to punish a hooligan for spoiled furniture, because when there is no place created for such needs, the cat will find an available way to maintain its manicure in perfect condition. To protect the furniture, the owner is likely to buy a scratching post for their cat. There is a variety of designs, from simple to complex structures available in pet stores nowadays. All you need is to find one that your pet likes.
Type of construction
Floor scratching posts are usually mats or planks put on the floor. Such a cat scratcher is designed for cats who prefer sharpening their claws in a horizontal position.
Vertical scratchers are bars, plates or mats attached to the wall or standing on a pedestal. Corner scratching posts fit perfectly into the inner corner of the room without taking up space in a small apartment. They suit for cats who sharpen the claws, standing on their hind legs.
Handmade cat scratcher can be created quickly and without expenses: take some plywood or particle board, upholstery, wood screws and a little imagination. Another option: buy a rope made of natural fibers, cardboard cylinder (available for free pick up at any store that sells carpets) and a board for making the base.
Inclined scratching posts, such as arc- or wave-formed, of cylinder or other geometric shape are especially attractive scratchers for most of the cats, as they allow sharpening claws in different positions.
Choosing the upholstery it is important to watch the habits of the pet. Some cats sharpen their claws only against sofas, while others prefer hard surfaces, such as walls or wooden parts of furniture.
Carpeted scratching posts usually have attractive price and a variety of colors. Spending some time searching, you can find a scratching post, which would perfectly match with the color and texture of your upholstered furniture. However, the material isn’t very resistant, although many cats like it.
Wooden scratching post for cats is a polished timber board made of hardwood. In natural habitat cats sharpen their claws against trees, so many of them prefer this type of scratchers. It is important that the wood was of high quality, otherwise the cat can be injured by a splinter.
Cat scratcher covered with a rope winding made of sisal, hemp, jute or flax. It is an eco-friendly material, which is durable enough: thick rope can be used for many years, even if the cat is very attentive to its manicure.
Where to put a scratching post?
It is advisable to have several scratching posts around the apartment. The biggest one is installed near the place where the cat usually sleeps. Waking up, the pet will gladly sharpen its claws or rub with its cheek against the rough surface kneading the muscles. It is a ritual that has enormous importance not only while waking up, but also it is connected with marking the territory. Several small floor mats or corner cat scratchers may be placed where the cat eats, plays or has a rest sometimes.
Handmade cat scratching post can save your money and provide you with the opportunity to choose the shape and materials that match the room design.
It is important that the cat scratching post was stable, because a suddenly fallen one can scare the cat and it will never dare to sharpen claws on a wobbly surface anymore.
How to train your cat to use a scratching post?
Training a cat to sharpen its claws at the right place is not that difficult. The main thing is not to scare the pet: remember, training should be connected with positive emotions and associations. No need to force the cat, pushing on its paws, making it to release the claws. No need to scream and punish the cat, pulling it to the scratching post after it was caught during furniture spoiling. Here are several ways of how to train your cat to the scratching post:
- A pair of dry mint leaves or catnip hidden under upholstery will certainly make the cat interested;
- A toy on a string attached to the scratcher will attract a whiskered hunter;
- Active games near the construction will add positive emotions;
- A special pheromone liquid sprayed on the scratching post will help to train even the most stubborn cat;
- – Treat your pet with a piece of something delicious after you notice it sharpening the claws in the right place, it creates a positive reflex.