How to encourage your cat to use a scratching post
Whether you’re looking to curb a problem behaviour or just find something new for your feline friend to enjoy, a cat scratching post is a great source of enrichment. They might be bored of their little jingle toys or you don’t have time to pick up their favourite wand for a game but with the right scratching post, you can fulfill multiple needs at once.
A good scratching post will be sturdy and able to withstand your cat’s scratching but the best scratching posts will offer a little something extra for your moggy to enjoy.
What are cat scratching posts?
Cat scratching posts are an addition that many pet parents may not view as a necessity to begin with but can quickly become an essential of everyday life. They are posts that are usually wrapped in fabric or sisal rope that encourage your cats to use them whenever they feel like scratching. Some are quite simple for cats who only require some extra scratching space while others can get very intricate with various places to play and rest built in as well.
A 2018 study found that 83.0% of cats scratched inappropriate items like chair legs or carpets when not given something appropriate to use. A scratching post can be as simple or as intricate as you need, so you can find one to fit just about any space and match any personality!
Why should I get my cat a scratching post?
Cat tree scratching posts are perfect for allowing your feline friend to perform very natural behaviours. They are especially good for any indoor cats who can’t get out and about to find trees to scratch. Scratching is a behaviour cats perform for a number of reasons. It keeps their claws nice and sharp as well as clean any debris or loose nails.
A scratching post is like a manicure for them. Scratching is also something they do to express themselves, they might be agitated or even excited but giving them somewhere they’re allowed to do this is going to save your furniture. Scratching is great for their health, it’s a form of exercise and it can also help multi-cat households develop bonds and give them something productive to do together. They also scratch to scent mark so if you move home or introduce a new cat you may find they scratch quite a lot. By scent marking their home, it makes them feel safe and comfortable.
It’s a behaviour your feline friend is likely to do anyway so getting them something they are allowed to scratch will save them from ruining any of your furniture.
The best cat scratching posts
The best scratching post for your cat really depends on their preference and what kind of cat tree or scratcher you can accommodate. If you don’t have anywhere to set up something large and extravagant, a few different scratchers placed throughout the house are ideal and gives your moggy lots of choices. If your cat doesn’t enjoy climbing up high to snooze, a bigger tree might go to waste so it’s all down to preference.
Rufus & Rosie Cactus Cat Scratcher
Cat scratchers don’t have to be just a single post attached to a base, you can get creative with them and find the perfect one to match your preferred structure with fun designs. The Rufus & Rosie Cactus Cat Scratcher is a bright and funky design that will not only grab your fluffy family member’s attention but will likely get some comments from visitors too. Not only is the design interesting for your cat to explore but it provides different textures for your cat to get their claws into.
The sisal rope is hardy for getting their claws nice and clean while the fluffy texture is fun and something a little different they will enjoy trying out. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring so if you’re looking for a basic scratcher but want it to look fresh and modern, this is perfect for you and your feline friend.
Rufus & Rosie Burley Cat Scratcher
The Rufus & Rosie Burley Cat Scratcher is the ultimate kitty playground that offers plenty of fun for your cat. It’s a great scratcher for kittens especially as it’s not too tall, but will quickly teach them what fun they can have with scratching posts. The post itself has a dual texture with both fabric and sisal rope to try their paws at. The Burley scratcher will build their confidence while teaching them to explore new things.
They can scratch the post from the ground or jump up onto the platform to reach the sisal rope that is higher up the post. They can also have a nice nap after they’re done if they choose to. The scratcher comes with a built-in toy attached to the base where they can poke their paws through a hole and bat around a fun jigle ball. It’s great for cats who want to practice their hunting and climbing skills while indoors.
Rufus & Rosie Hillam Cat Tree
The Rufus & Rosie Hillam Cat Tree will have all the neighbourhood cats jealous at a towering 133cm tall. It’s not just a scratching post but a luxury play place for your feline friend that also offers top tier napping areas. Cats generally love to be high up so this scratcher comes with all the basics along with an added cosy cat bed right at the very top. For cats who like to take their naps in privacy, there’s a sheltered cubby to sleep and play in or even a third option. If you want to give your cat a taste of luxury or you need a cat scratcher suitable for multiple cats, this is an ideal choice. Multiple cats can use the scratching post or be napping at once without getting in each other’s way.
Your cat will be in heaven and your furniture will be in better shape than it ever has been with this extravagant cat scratcher.
How to encourage your cat to use a scratching post
Cats will naturally scratch whatever feels good to them so you could buy a scratching post and still find they favour your furniture. The best way to encourage them to use the designated scratching posts is by making them as interesting as they can possibly be. You can draw their attention to it by using a pheromone spray like Beaphar Cat Comfort Calming Pheromone Spray or you can sprinkle some World of Pet Catnip Leaves over it. Both will draw your cat’s attention to encourage them over to investigate.
Positive reward training is also vital for encouraging the behaviour you want. Initially, every time your cat interacts with their new posts and scratches it, you should reward them with a treat or give them lots of praise. They will associate this new toy with good things and eventually just enjoy using it even when you aren’t around to praise them. Instead of punishing them for scratching your furniture, try to limit their ability to access it while you’re not around to prevent the undesirable behaviour.
Before long, your moggy will have a new favourite place to scratch and you can actually get that new three piece suite you’ve been eyeing up! For everything you need to keep your feline family member content with plenty to do, visit us in store and online.