Between their adorable paws and belly flops, cats are wonderful animal companions. While generally speaking these furry friends leave only smiles, they can at times be a bit to handle. Specifically when the scratch at the furniture. Any cat owner can attest to the torn-up couch or carpet corner that lays hidden with a decorative pillow or chair.
Enter cat scratching poles. These textured towering adventure zones should be enough to keep cats away from their owner’s precious furniture. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Sometimes, the multi-dimensional, twine covered mini house rests in solitude, forgotten in the corner.
Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate this. Here are eight tips to do just that!
Frisky felines do not want to search for what they will scratch. If they see a tempting chair cushion before their cat scratching pole, then the chair is what they will use. It comes down to their basic behavior.
Cats scratch to mark their territory and to stretch their muscles after one of their many naps.
This means the cat scratching pole needs to be in a predominant and visible place in the home, not in a convenient corner.
Nowadays, these cat play towers can come in a variety of textures. The top three are carpet, corrugated cardboard, and sisal rope. Each cat will have a preferred material.
While you could go through some trial and error in finding the right texture, you could also look to their current behavior. Does your cat prefer to scratch your actual carpet? If so, opt for a carpeted tower. You could also see if they like boxes, ropes, twine, or string to gain an understanding.
Cat scratching towers come with a solid base for support. It is extremely important to choose one with a stable base so that your cat doesn’t feel unsafe playing on it.
Most cat scratching towers work just fine. You should look out for lower quality models, which can be made with flimsy materials. Also, if your cat is a bit larger, you’ll need to consider finding a wider base.
Cats like to fully extend when scratching. This means that the best cat tower for them will be fairly tall.
Specifically, pick a cat scratching pole that has textured material high up. Some can be tall without having scratchable material up high.
In general, you can’t go too tall. Cats like climbing up. So, if you are unsure, go with a taller model. Cats will grow anyway!
This is where a cat’s classic finicky nature comes out. Each cat has a preferred scratching angle. For instance, some cats like to arch their back to get up high, others will jump up and scratch below, and still, others will lay on their side and use their feet.
When getting a cat scratching pole, pay careful attention to the angles of its textured material. Most have a long column up the middle. See if you can get one with other angles included. Your cat will appreciate it!
While you are figuring out all of the above, your cat may fall back on old behaviors. Meaning they may ignore the cat scratching tower, choosing to mess with your furniture instead.
You might get understandably frustrated, but it is important to not negatively reinforce them. Once you have a scratching post in the home, try not to spray water, yell, or otherwise negatively influence their scratching behavior. This does many things to their psyche.
It can make them afraid of you, which will likely lead to them scratching furniture more, i.e. marking territory. It can also make them unwilling to redirect their efforts.
Instead, take those opportunities to help your cat figure out what to do. Carry them to the cat tower. Keep doing this and they will understand what you are getting at.
If your cat is still scratching furniture, try moving the cat scratching post. In fact, the best place you could put it is near your furniture. The logic is similar to why you place lightning rods near homes.
If you don’t like that location, start moving it away slowly. You and your cat will find a happy medium in time.
When all else fails, deck out the scratching post in your cat’s favorite things. Sprinkle some catnip on it or spray it with their favorite calming spray.
Try playing with them on the cat tower using their toys and feathers. Or, incentivize the idea even more with some scrumptious treats!
Lisa Eclesworth is a notable and influential lifestyle writer. She is a mom of two and a successful homemaker. She loves to cook and create beautiful projects with her family. She writes informative and fun articles that her readers love and enjoy. You can directly connect with her on email – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website www.lisaeclesworth.com