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Friday, 18 March 2011

Why a Good Scratching Post is an Essential Tool for Your Cat

The most natural thing to your cat to do is for her to sharpen her claws.  Scratching serves as a way for her to get exercise and keep her muscles fit, while at the same time marking her territory and making her feel good.  Scratching is one of the ways a cat expresses happiness.

One of the first things to purchase is a scratching post that your cat easily access.  Preferably, you need to find a high, or even upright or slanted scratching post that has natural wood and is covered with rough material such as sisal.  For safety, the scratching post should be supported by a wide base to prevent tipping and scaring her away from using her scratching post. 

The best time to train your cat is when she is a kitten.  To prevent your cat from using your rugs or sofa as her own personal scratching post, you may need to supervise her introduction to rooms with rugs and upholstered furniture.  Let her examine each piece of furniture or rug but never allow her to claw them.  Remember to trim her claws so that she does not get stuck on the scratching post and become frightened enough not to use it again. 

To get your cat to use the post, refrain from putting her paws on the post.  Your cat is curious and will check out the post in her own time.  Use a teaser toy, suspended from a cord on top of the post and play with her.  As she starts to play with the toy on the post, she will soon discover what the toy is for and begin using her scratching post.  You can also rub a bit of catnip on the post’s material post or even feed or play with her by her post to help her become familiar with her new post. 

Remember to give her frequent praise for using her scratching post and to help her reinforce her newfound habit. 

Related Articles:

Scratching the Surface - Claw Training Basics 
Clipping Your Cat's Claws

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