Do Cat Scratching Posts Work?

Cat Scratching Posts Work

Scratching is a cat’s natural behaviour and although it can result in scuffed carpets, sofas and wallpaper it’s essential for your cat’s health. Scratching helps to keep claws in shape, releases a feel-good hormone and marks territory.

But if your cat’s scratching habit is causing damage to your home, you can help them learn to use the right surface by providing a good quality cat scratching post. The best scratching posts are made of durable materials such as sisal rope, corrugated cardboard or carpet. They are sturdy and able to stand up to lots of scratching and may also have additional features like places to lounge, climbing surfaces or dangling toys.

A variety of sizes are available to suit the space you have and the needs of your cat. A good scratching post will be tall enough for your cat to stretch up into, giving them a full body stretch when they use it. It should be covered in a material that cats enjoy, such as rough sisal or corrugated cardboard.

Do Cat Scratching Posts Work?

Many cat owners find that a simple piece of cardboard attached to a vertical wooden post is more suitable for their cats than more elaborate and expensive options. A post covered in carpet is another popular choice but it can be difficult for cats to use because the looped surface can trap their claws or become tangled as they try to scratch it. Some cats dislike it because of the texture and smell and will not use it.

Some cat scratching posts and pads are covered in an attractive catnip-scented fabric to encourage the cats to use them. This can be sprayed or sprinkled on the base and on the posts to attract cats and to keep them using them. Catnip is one of the most effective natural attractants for cats. It’s important to remember that you will need to keep the scratching post or pad clean and fresh to maintain its appeal. If it becomes worn or shredded you will need to replace it.

If you want to discourage your cat from scratching other surfaces in your home you can make them less appealing by covering them with something they dislike – for example, aluminum foil or double-sided tape. You can also scold or spray the object that your cat is scratching inappropriately, but this will only make them fearful of you and may not teach them to scratch elsewhere. It’s better to use positive reinforcement and entice them to the scratching post or pad that you have provided.