Scratching surfaces is a normal and healthy activity for cats. Scratching helps keep the claws and feet in good condition, but can cause problems if your kitty chooses your furniture or carpet to exercise his claws.
Scratching posts are a great way to redirect problematic scratching, but it’s important to choose a surface that your cat will actually use. Check out these four points to consider.
Pick the material. What does your cat like to scratch around the house? Find a post that has the same or a similar scratching surface. Options include cardboard, sisal, carpet and many others.
Horizontal or vertical? Observe your cat’s preferred scratching surface. Does he like carpet, in which case he would prefer a flatter scratching post, or does he like your couch, in which case he might like an actual post. Some posts have a combination of these two options.
Height. Does your cat like to stretch to his full length when he scratches? Consider a tall post, but make sure it’s sturdy. A cat won’t use a wobbly structure and can be injured by one that tips over.
Location. You might be tempted to hide your cat’s scratching post away in an unused corner of the house. Instead, put it where your cat spends a lot of his time. He’ll be more likely to notice it and use it. If your cat is being destructive, put the post near the area he is using to encourage him to use the post instead of your couch or your carpet.
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