Let’s face it, cats like to scratch and that’s just the way it is! But when your furniture and rugs
start to look tattered, or in some cases completely demolished, it becomes more than you can
Why do cats like to scratch so much? Well, it’s a cats natural instinct to scratch, as it conditions
their nails, stretches their body and muscles, and allows them to mark their territory. Plus, it’s
just plain fun!
As a frustrated pet parent, you may be tempted to declaw. Declawing may sound like a good
solution, but it really is not. You see, declawing is not about just removing claws. What really
happens is the veterinarian cuts off the last knuckle of the cats paw, cutting through bone,
tendon, skin and nerves. It’s basically an amputation that is extremely painful and comes with
many risks, such as infection and permanent pain.
When cats are missing their claws, it makes it harder for them to defend themselves, plus it can
create behavior issues. Behavioral issues can include biting and not using the litter box. As a
consequence, many of these cats end up at the shelter, where, unfortunately, some are
So, what’s a pet parent to do? There are many alternatives to declawing, such as vinyl nail
caps, trimming the nails, or double-sided sticky tape placed on the furniture. But, of course, our
favorite is the scratching post!
Scratching posts come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. As a general guideline, scratching
posts should be between 28″-36″ high and be sturdy and durable. The taller the post, the more
the cat will be able to stretch.
The outer covering should be a rough and durable material such as sisal fabric or rope.
Placement of the scratching post is also important, as it should be placed where the cat typically
likes to scratch. As extra encouragement, sprinkle or rub a little catnip on the post. (Shameless
plug alert: all our posts are made with natural sisal and have catnip built in!)
If you’d like more information about declawing, or why not to do it, The Paw Project is an
excellent resource. You can find them at http://www.pawproject.org.