If you are a new mother or father of a cat, a cat owner, a cat lover or a person who is just curious and wonder, “Why do cats scratch everything?” They scratch your carpet floors, to the furniture and up your curtains; everything they can get their claws on. Some owners feel forced to take an action like declawing them or finding them a new home –BUT—we don’t want that, now do we? So let's learn a little more about why they scratch?
There are a many reason why cats scratch:
- Cats scratch to mark their territory with their scent. Cats’ paws have special glands in between their toes where they leave a residual scent (pheromone) every time they scratch something. We don’t smell the scent but for cats it is a powerful way of communication.
- Cats scratch to remove the dead outer layer of their claws. A cat removes this outer layer of its claws so new ones can grow out. Stronger and newer claws. This means the highest chance of survival outside or a great day of adventure with no broken claws that can hurt your cats.
- Cats scratch to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws like we do with in Yoga. We all need to exercise and a stretch once in awhile to live longer, healthier and more active lives. It’s the same with cats. Scratching is a form of exercise and they need exercise for their health.
Knowing the reasons “why” cats scratch gives us a better understanding that we can’t discourage this behavior or get mad / scold our cats just because they’re being cats. So what do we need to do?
We give them a NEW place to scratch.
Scratching posts, scratching furniture in an area where they can scratch freely will allow your cat to experience scratching in a whole new way.
Now there's a reason for them to forget about your furniture.
But always remember, that your cat won’t know what a scratching post is so we shouldn't expect them to magically stop scratching on furniture right away and prefer to scratch the newly bought scratching post – NOPE! Be patient and just like anything with our pets, we train them. Give them a little treat every time they use their scratching post so they get the message that that’s where they’re supposed to do their thing or every time you see them going to the furniture gently put them on the post so they’ll continue their scratching there. Step by step and progressive, not immediate. You won’t notice right away, but soon they’ll get bored with the furniture and are now happy with their new scratching post or lounge!