If you’re a cat owner, you will know the importance of a cat scratcher for their natural scratching behaviour. Providing an appropriate scratching surface will prevent them from scratching your furniture, carpet, or other household items. Cats scratch to stretch their muscles, relieve stress, maintain healthy nails, and mark their territory. That’s where a cat scratcher comes in handy. But with so many options, how do you choose the best cat scratcher?
As different types of cat scratchers available in the market, checking out the types will help.
- Vertical Scratcher: These scratchers are tall and upright, resembling a cat scratching post. They are perfect for cats to stretch their bodies and reaching up high. Vertical scratchers provide an excellent outlet for cats to indulge in their natural scratching behaviour and are suitable for cats who prefer to scratch vertically.
- Horizontal Scratcher: These lie flat on the ground and are ideal for cats who like to scratch horizontally. They are made of cardboard or sisal material to provide a good surface for cats to scratch and lounge on.
- Scratching Pad: These are made of corrugated cardboard and provide a textured surface for cats to scratch on. They are lightweight and moved around the house.
There are several factors to consider to buy the best cat scratcher. Few of them are
- They are made of cardboard, sisal, carpet, and wood. Consider your cat’s preferences and habits to determine the best material for them. If your cat likes to lounge on their scratcher, a cardboard or wood scratcher with a flat surface is ideal.
- Consider the size and stability of the cat scratcher. It should be tall enough for your cat to stretch fully or wide enough for them to scratch comfortably. It should be stable and not wobble or tip over during use.
- Cat scratchers come in various designs and styles, ranging from simple to elaborate. Consider your home decor and cat’s preferences. Opt for a modern and sleek design or a more traditional one, depending on your cat’s personality and your home aesthetics.
- Cats are quite rough with their scratching, so choose a durable cat scratcher that withstand your cat’s claws. Look for scratchers made from high-quality materials designed to withstand frequent use without falling apart quickly.
- Cats have different preferences when it comes to scratching surfaces. Some may prefer a rough texture like sisal or a softer surface like carpet or cardboard. Consider getting one with multiple scratching surfaces to provide your cat with options and cater to its scratching preferences.
- Cat scratchers come in a wide range of prices, so consider your budget. A higher-quality and more durable cat scratcher will save money by lasting longer and preventing damage to your furniture.
Tips for Introducing Your Cat to a New Cat Scratcher
After choosing the perfect cat scratcher, introducing them properly to explore is the next step. Here are some tips:
- Location: Place it where your cat spends a lot of time, such as near their favorite napping spot or by a window. Cats are likely to use a scratcher that is easily accessible and located in a spot they frequent.
- Positive Reinforcement: Encourage your cat to use it by rewarding them with treats, toys, or praise when they use it. This will help reinforce the positive association with the scratcher and encourage them to use it more frequently.
- Deterrents: If your cat continues to scratch your furniture despite having a scratcher, consider using double-sided tape, citrus spray, or aluminum foil on the furniture to discourage them from scratching there and redirect them to the scratcher.
- Patience: Cats take time to adjust to the new scratcher, so be patient and give them time to explore. Avoid scolding or punishing your cat if they don’t immediately use the scratcher, as this can create a negative association and deter them from using it in the future.
Introduce the scratcher to your cat using positive reinforcement and patience. Provide them with a safe and appropriate outlet for their natural scratching behavior.