Tips for Directing Where Your Cat Scratches

Tips for Directing Where Your Cat Scratches
By Emily Hoppmann, DVM

We all love our feline friends, but they can be very destructive with their scratching so we wanted to help provide some useful tips to help prevent this. The name of the game is to pick an appropriate scratching post to satisfy your cat’s itch to scratch and avoid them picking a place that doesn’t work for you!

1. Pick the right material for the post. First think about the places your cat scratches now so you can figure out what his/her preferred material to scratch is. There are tons of options of scratching posts with different materials, so scout out posts and coverings that mimic his/her favorite scratching surfaces. These surface types can range from sisal to cardboard to carpet-covered posts (and some cats even prefer wood or leather).

2. The structure of the post matters. Pay attention to whether your kitty craves vertical scratching surfaces or horizontal ones. Some cats will enjoy a mix of both, and if that is the case you will want to provide multiple types of posts.

3. What height does your cat like to scratch at? Do you have a cat that likes to stretch high and far above his/her head or one that likes to use surfaces lower to the ground? If your kitty likes to stretch out before scratching, then he/she might prefer a higher post – just be sure the post is sturdy so it won’t wobble or fall while your cat is soothing his/her scratching urge. There are also posts that lay flat on the ground and others that form an “S” shape providing different levels to scratch.

4. Location, location, location! As they say in real estate, location matters! You want to place the scratching posts at places where your cat is already scratching. Cats tend to crave attention, so it is best to post his/her post in highly trafficked areas – such as where the family spends time together. This way the kitty “furniture” is on the scene, close to you and the action!