If there are cats in the house, then it is full of warmth, love, comfort, fun. But when a fluffy pet appears in the apartment, problems also appear. One of them has to do with the cat's need to regularly sharpen its claws. To satisfy her whim, she uses the carpet, sofa, walls. To save pieces of furniture from its sharp claws, you can install a scratching post in the house.
What it is?
The need for a cat to sharpen its claws is associated with the need to remove the old stratum corneum . In fact, this is the same manicure procedure that every woman does regularly. Another reason for this behavior is marking your own territory . For example, in nature, a wild cat sharpens its claws on the bark of a tree, thereby showing other predators that this is its domain. Also, the need of cats for sharpening is associated with the boredom of the pet: if he is brought up by the only animal, then, having taken the owners to work, he feels melancholy and begins to tear furniture out of boredom.
Many owners radically solve the problem and take the cat to the veterinary clinic for an operation to remove claws. This is an inhumane procedure for many reasons, most clinics refuse it, sparing animals, in some countries the operation is completely prohibited. You can solve the problem by trimming your cat's claws every week, but this procedure is often not effective, and besides, not all pets like this process.
A scratching post is the simplest, most economical, humane and effective solution to the problem. You can buy the product at any pet store or even in a regular supermarket. Manufacturers offer scratching posts of various shapes and sizes, among which you can choose the products that most harmoniously fit into the interior of the apartment. In general, the design is a product, the surface of which, in the cat's sense, is conducive to a comfortable "manicure".
All cats have different preferences: some of them like carpet more, and some like leatherette. Also, the stores offer products impregnated with a special, attractive smell for cats, for quick training of a pet to a scratching post.
Sometimes the owners have to try several options before the pet decides on a scratching post that is more suitable for him.
Since there are quite a few types of scratching posts, it is worth considering in more detail each of them. Most people imagine a scratching post only as a vertical structure in the form of a column , while in fact it can be completely different.
It is a plank that is installed in the form of an angle between two walls. Most often chosen by tenants of small apartments to save space. For a cat, this option is good because it offers a choice of a place for sharpening - on one of two walls. Quite compact and economical product.
Some owners create a whole play corner for the pet, equipping the scratching post with couches, hammocks, playgrounds.
It looks like a floor base with a post installed in the center. Some models are equipped with a ball tied to a rope so that the pet is attracted by the toy and at the same time sharpens its claws. The posts come in different sizes.
A very economical option, but practice shows that most often it turns out to be good only for kittens . If an adult cat has not previously been accustomed to sharpening claws in a special place, then he is unlikely to be interested in a post with a suspended ball.
This option is very common for several reasons. This is the cheapest product , it is easily attached to the wall, does not take up absolutely any space, usually cats quickly get used to this design. The only drawback is the fragility of the product.
Often, stores offer wall-mounted scratching posts made of cheap materials, which wear out quickly under the constant influence of cat's claws, after which the owner needs to buy a new device.
This option should be of interest to owners of large apartments . It is a model of different types of scratching posts. In addition, there is a house, a couch, there are toys, there may even be multi-level structures with hammocks and stairs.
Such a complex is relevant for the owners of several animals. All components of the product are covered with soft fabric that will not leave the cat indifferent. This option is also good for its versatility.
However, there are also downsides. First of all, this is the high price of the complex . On the other hand, a good owner will already provide the pet with everything you need: a house, a couch, toys, a spacious pipe for climbing, that is, you will still spend money on these items. Therefore, in general, the issue of economy is controversial.
Another nuance: according to some zoopsychologists, the house for the cat and the place for sharpening the claws should not be located nearby, since, following the instinct of self-preservation, the animal will not leave marks next to its den.
Several types of scratching posts can be installed on the floor: a post, a flat structure, or a product combined with a stove bench and a house. Thanks to their compact size, simple floor models save space in the apartment. It is more difficult with additional devices.
When choosing such a design, it is important to pay attention to the stability of the product. It should not fall when the cat wants to jump up. However, ordinary flat scratching posts sometimes have to be nailed to the floor, since the cat drags them around the apartment. Accordingly, it must be a rather heavy, powerful and stable structure.
An interesting and inexpensive option with bends is usually very popular with pets. It is convenient for the cat to sit horizontally, and raise the paws for sharpening to a higher level. The animal changes its position according to the mood.
Pet shops offer models combined with a post-scratching post. Such a product is something like a Soviet hill. In this case, the wave becomes vertical, its upper part is held by the tip of the column. The fluffy owner of such a scratching post has several options for sharpening claws in one place.
The base itself for a scratching post can be anything, even the cheapest plywood will do. It is important to pay attention to the so-called abrasive . It should be a material that easily removes the stratum corneum of a cat's claw, but so as not to injure living tissue. Accordingly, a flat, flat surface is unacceptable, it must be a rough surface, fibrous, but not excessively rough.
If the tips of the claws constantly get stuck in the material and get entangled, the animal will quickly abandon the new product and return to its favorite sofa. It is important that the tensile strength of the surface fibers is lower than that of the “plastic” claw, but not much. Another prerequisite for a good scratching post is to ensure the drainage of static electricity, since cats feel it well. Such qualities are inherent:
- some types of wood;
- hemp hemp and wicker products: burlap, rope, carpet;
- jute hemp or any jute products;
- woven coarse wool materials: drape, play cloth, tapestry;
- corrugated cardboard - this option is well suited for kittens or miniature dogs.
Keep in mind that synthetic materials will not work, as their fibers are too tear-resistant, they are smooth, slippery. Having used such an “abrasive”, the cat will remain dissatisfied and will no longer be interested in the subject. Also, avoid buying sisal and manila hemp products. The fibers are rather weak, the animal will break them, but it will not be able to sharpen its claws.
In addition, make sure that there are no metal or plastic fasteners in the scratching post: metal tends to remove static, and plastic, on the contrary, accumulates it. In addition, these two materials can tear the animal's claws.
The basic rule when choosing the size of the product is: the width and height of the structure cannot be less than the dimensions of the cat. The animal should be comfortable. For example, flat floor or wall models are usually offered in standard widths for a normal cat.
But they do not seem comfortable to some well-fed individuals, so many owners nail a similar structure next to it, thereby increasing the width of the space for cleaning the claws. If this is not done, then only one paw of a fat cat will be sharpened, and he will have to sharpen the floor or wall with the second.
Consider one more fact in favor of the large size of the scratching post. Observe the cat: to sharpen its claws on the floor flat device, he sits on it. If this product is smaller, then the animal will not be able to comfortably fit on top, the scratching post will "walk" under the influence of its claws. Eventually the pet will lose interest in the subject. The wall fixture should be not only wide but also long.
The optimal size is twice the length of the animal. Please note that when sharpening claws on a wall product, the cat is stretched to its full length and if the structure is short, then it will be very uncomfortable.
If the choice fell on a post-scratching post, then before buying it is necessary to measure the length of the cat in an extended state, including the tail. Such measurements will give the animal the opportunity to indulge in its favorite pastime, stretching out to its full height.
How to choose?
Before buying a scratching post, pay attention to the following parameters.
- The size. As already noted, it is better to give preference to large and wide structures.
- Material. It is recommended to choose hypoallergenic natural products. The cat should not injure its paws on protruding elements.
- Treatment. If the material is impregnated with a special substance, the smell of which attracts a pet, then you should pay attention to this scratching post.
- Mount type. Explore how securely the selected instance can be installed. If it is a floor structure, then it must have anti-slip feet, if it is wall-mounted, then it must have open or hidden fasteners.
- Design. This criterion should be purely individual, as it depends on the interior of the apartment. Each homeowner wants to feel comfort and coziness in the house, ugly things should not violate harmony, so you need to carefully select the shape and color of the product.
It is not necessary to buy a ready-made scratching post, you can make it yourself with a minimum amount of materials, even without any design experience. To make the simplest scratching post, prepare:
- a skein of jute or hemp rope;
- the base - it can be a rectangular piece of board or plywood (if such items were not found, take an old unnecessary cutting board or a piece of plastic);
- glue gun;
Next, we follow a simple instruction.
- Take a base. Wrap it tightly with a rope, each time lubricating the skeins with glue so that the rope does not move during operation.
- Drill a hole at one end.
- Pass a rope through the hole and make a loop.
- Hang the resulting structure on the wall.
The product is ready. It is recommended to hang it in the place that is most often used by a cat for sharpening claws, for example, on a section of the wall that a pet has chosen. Also, in addition, you can make a loop on the opposite edge of the scratching post, then it will be possible to install the structure more securely by attaching it to the wall at both ends.
There is another option for a scratching post that can be made at home. You will need:
- corrugated cardboard sheet;
The cardboard scratching post is constructed as follows.
- Cut the cardboard sheet into long strips 5 cm wide.
- Take one strip and start rolling it up.
- Once the strip is over , glue the edge of the next strip to it and continue to roll the roll. Use all stripes this way.
- Make legs from corrugated cardboard. Flip the resulting circle horizontally and glue the legs.
So we got a floor cardboard scratching post. It is good because the cat can not only sharpen its claws, but also relax on such a homemade bed. In addition, cardboard is usually very interesting for cats, so the animal does not have to be taught to a new place for a long time. However, this design has its drawbacks: the cardboard quickly deteriorates , and its parts, which the cat scrapes off, all the time scatter across the floor.
Some owners simply nail a wooden board into the right place to create a claw sharpening area. For this, a carpet surface is also suitable . This method is simple, quick, quite reliable, although a piece of board or carpet may not always fit aesthetically into the interior of an apartment.
A very simple and almost invisible to the human eye option of a homemade scratching post is as follows - wrap the table leg with jute thread. Easy, fast, economical and efficient.
How to install?
It is important for floor and wall products to adhere well to the surface. If the wall structure is hammered too weakly , then under the influence of the cat's sharpening, it can fall and scare the animal. In this case, there is a possibility that the pet will no longer approach this item due to fear. Moreover, it can be dangerous for him.
The fastening of the floor structure is also worth checking. If she is not nailed to the floor and has too light weight, then this thing will not suit her pet, because the product will slide off under the influence of her paws. Use a few more tips for installing a scratching post.
- Fasten it to the surface not with nails, but with bolts - this will be more stable and reliable.
- If you nail the scratching post with nails or staples on the front, the cat can injure itself on these parts. Therefore, the fasteners must be hidden on the back.
- When installing, try placing dry mint or catnip leaves under the upholstery. This will not only attract the cat, but also prevent early decay or mold.
- Some wall designs are already pre-offered with two hinges at both ends. Try to use both. Then the structure will be strengthened more reliably, and it will be more comfortable for the cat - the product will not "ride" under its claws.
Another important criterion is the installation location. Most cats like to clean their claws right after waking up. Try to install the structure close to where the animal is used to sleeping.
Another tip for choosing a place: place the product where the cat is used to sharpening its claws . If this is the corner of the sofa, then place the purchase near it, but so that it does not come into contact with the furniture, otherwise the pet will think that this is a continuation of the "sharpening" area and will use both surfaces.
If the size of the apartment allows, then put several structures at once . This way you can secure furniture and wallpaper in all rooms. Do not use the door jamb for installation - this is not only inconvenient for the cat, but also dangerous: someone could crush her paws.
How to train a cat?
If a kitten appears in the house, then teach it to a scratching post from childhood. This is easier than retraining an adult cat, and besides, from birth the kitten will try to sharpen its claws on all the pieces of furniture it comes across. If an adult cat lives in the house, and now she has an addition, then usually there are no problems with training, since the baby himself begins to repeat after the mother and cleans her claws in the same places where she does. There are several tips for teaching a kitten to a scratching post, let's take a closer look at them.
- Seeing how the baby aims its claws at the upholstery of the sofa or wallpaper, immediately pick it up in your arms and carry it to the scratching post. There is no need to shout at the kitten, he will be scared and think that he is completely forbidden to sharpen his claws and therefore will not do this with a scratching post.
- When you notice that your pet is ready to clean its claws and bring it to the right place, show it how to do it. Scratch the surface of the scratching post, the kid should figure out that this place is suitable for sharpening.
- In no case do not force him to get used to the new place: do not take by the paws, do not pull, do not press the padding with the paw pads. These actions can only scare the kitten, and he will never come to the product again.
- Praise the new pet if he sharpened his claws in the right place, stroke, scratch behind the ear, be sure to talk to him in an affectionate voice. Cats do not distinguish between words, but they perceive intonation very well, so the kitten will understand that it has done something good and has brought pleasure to its owner.
It is more difficult to accustom an adult cat to a scratching post, but it is also possible. You can use the tips for training a kitten. In addition, in the case of an adult cat, there are additional recommendations.
- Use special products and drugs . Spray the surface that the cat can no longer spoil with a deterrent compound, it can be found in any pet store. If the material allows, then you can rub it with lemon - the smell of citrus should scare the cat away. On the other hand, grease the surface of the scratching post with an attractive agent such as catnip or catnip. It is better not to use valerian, it dulls the instincts of cats.
- Try teasing the animal with a toy . Move the object along the scratching post. Some cat owners use a laser pointer. The cat will begin to catch a curious object and will discover a new place for sharpening its claws.
- You can stroke a neighbor's cat with a rag, and then wipe the surface of the scratching post with it. Upon sensing a stranger, the cat will begin to mark its territory using its claws. But this method is fraught with the fact that some individuals, especially not neutered, can mark the territory in another well-known way.
- If attractive scents are used , do not overdo it. Too strong a scent can have the opposite effect and will only scare the animal away from the new object.
Today there are quite a few beautiful scratching posts that will definitely surprise your guests. If you look well in online stores, you can find unusual designer scratching posts that will not only save furniture, but also perform a decorative function in the apartment.
- These include, for example, a post-scratching post made in the form of a tree. Palm, cactus, tree stump - such an interesting presentation will not spoil the interior design at all.
- An interesting option is an animal-shaped scratching post. It can be either the cat itself or other representatives of the fauna: a dog, a horse, a raccoon. The cat will be able not only to sharpen its claws on the figure, but also comfortably sit on top and amuse its owners.
- The modern sheepy model not only serves as an object for playing cats and sharpening paws, but also an art object for the interior. In appearance, the object is a coil upholstered with soft material, about which the pet will be happy to sharpen its claws, and its owner will be able to comfortably sit in a chair, putting his feet on a warm surface.
For information on how to teach a cat to a scratching post, see the next video.