Why Do Cats Like Scratching Posts?
Cats are really cool creatures. Contrary to what many people think, they are actually quite social and they love to play. There is, after all, a reason why they are one of the most popular house pets in the world. No matter what the breed of cat is, a nice house cat can always make for a really good friend, a companion, and more. Those are just a few of the facts that you should know about scratching posts.
However, as is the case with all pets, there are certain problems that you have to deal with and things that you have to do for your pets. When it comes to cats, one of the things you need to be wary of is their claws. No, we don’t mean you should be scared of an impending attack, but you do need to be aware that cats like to scratch. We are not a fan of de-clawing cats, so we are not even going to talk about that.
Nonetheless, if you don’t take the proper steps, you will end up with a house that is shredded and scratched apart, which is why scratching posts for cats exist. You probably knew that cats like to scratch, but what is the actual point of it? Why do cats like scratching posts is the question we are here to answer today.
Marking Their Territory
One of the main reasons why cats like to scratch, especially things like scratching posts, is because they like to mark their territory. Your house cat has small scent glands in its paws which create secretions which stick to things like scratching posts, trees, wood, and other things. This is very strong and other cats can smell it.
Marking territory is a natural instinct that many animals have including pretty much every feline out there. Cats, especially larger felines like lions and tigers, but also normal house cats, tend to be quite territorial. This is like when you put up a fence around your home to let the neighbors know that this land is your land.
Most cats are not known as pack or group animals, except for a certain few wild species, so they do their best to let other cats know to stay away. This in part has to do with finding mates and food. It is a cat telling other cats that the food and the potential mating partners in this area are off limits.
This is how cats let other cats know who is the boss around these parts, who is in charge, and who this land belongs to. Sure, the house and the scratching post might have been purchased by you, but once that cat has scratched in and marked it with its scent glands, it is essentially “owned” by the cat.
Cleaning and Maintaining Claws
Another reason why cats like to scratch things, things such as scratching posts, is because it is a way for them to get rid of excess material on their claws. A cat’s claws never stop growing; for as long as a cat is alive, its claws will keep growing and getting longer. This is problematic in some cases, especially when it comes to house cats.
Claws that never stop growing can become ingrown, painful, and get infected, even leading to death in rare cases. This is why people clip their cat’s claws on a regular basis. Sure, it does have to do with saving the furniture and saving arms and legs from scratch marks, but it is also necessary for the well-being of the cat itself, not just for the people and the furniture in the home.
A scratching post is rough, it is tough, and it is specifically designed just for this job. Cats need a way to control the growth of their nails and the length of them, which for a house cat, especially an indoor one, can be quite the challenge. However scratching posts are designed to meet these needs. They are made of special materials which help to file down a cat’s claws while being totally safe for it. On a side note, scratching posts are also good for removing excess dirt and other materials from the paws and around the nails. Check this page to look at options for the best cat scratching post to file nails for your cat.
Play and Boredom
The other reasons why cats like scratching this is because they are bored. This is why scratching posts make for a good toy of sorts. Just like us humans, cats get bored. They like to have fun, they like to cause trouble, and they like to play. Scratching on a scratching post for a cat is not unlike chasing a ball of yarn, a toy mouse, or playing with any other toy. It’s just a fun way for cats to keep occupied.
This is especially true for house cats – indoor house cats that spend all day locked inside of a home. They need something to do, they need it now, and they need it all the time. The reason why cats might be scratching up your curtains, sofas, chairs, and other furniture is because they have nothing better to do. It’s like when you are binge watching the latest show and get bored and start eating. You aren’t eating because you are hungry, but because you are bored and need something to do, this is just like cats. The bigger and more complex the scratching post is, the more fun they will have. Some scratching posts are incorporated into decks, levels and sleeping areas – quite elaborate ones at that – which give the cat a sense of ownership and areas to play if you have more than one cat.
Conclusion To The Facts That You Should Know About Scratching Posts
We know how annoying it can be when you come home to find that your precious little kitty has mangled your new reclining sofa chair. These things look nice, they cost money, and cats can really do a number on them. However, as you can see, cats don’t do this because they are mean or malicious. It is simply a part of their nature and a part of their instincts. Cats want to scratch, they need to scratch, and they are naturally predisposed to it, so get your cat one of the best cat scratching posts.