The Omlet Blog

Why do cats need scratching posts?

Cat in living room using Omlet's Stak cat scratcher

Scratching is to cats as tail-wagging is to dogs – it’s a completely intrinsic behaviour that is healthy for them to engage in. But how does scratching help cats? In many ways, actually! The act of scratching for cats is an emotional release to get rid of any stress or excitement, but it’s also a necessary act that allows them to keep their claws maintained and give their body a good stretch. And that’s precisely why cats need scratching posts so they can have a safe place to participate in this normal feline activity. 

4 reasons your cat needs to scratch

The act of scratching for cats isn’t second nature – it’s in fact, first nature. A primal instinct that is part of their innate feline behaviour, cats scratch for a variety of reasons to help both their bodies and their minds.

  • Maintain their claws: In the wild, cats use logs or trees to scratch so they can sharpen their claws and clean away any dirt or debris trapped in their paws. Akin to a manicure, cats can actually trim their nails and keep them manageable with one scratching post-session.
  • Stretching: What’s better than a full-body stretch first thing in the morning? If you ask your cat, the answer is nothing. When cats scratch on a cat scratching post they’re able to stretch out their body, legs, and paws to give themselves the necessary movement in their muscles to keep them healthy and strong.
  • Emotional release: There’s no doubt cats enjoy the act of scratching for physical reasons, but engaging in this natural activity is actually super beneficial to their mental well-being as well. When cats scratch, they’re able to release any pent-up stress or excitement to calm themselves emotionally in a way that best serves their state of mind.
  • Scent marking: Did you know that cats use scratching as a communication tool? With tiny scent glands located all over their paws, cats use scratching as a way to ‘mark their territory’ and tell other animals that this is their domain. 

5 benefits of scratching posts for felines

Cat scratching posts are more than just a feline fitness centre where your furry friend can exercise their physical, mental, and emotional needs. With their sturdy platform and alluring nature, cat scratching posts are the saving grace for your furniture so they can stay claw and paw-free. Let’s take a closer look at all the benefits of cat scratching posts:

  • Prevents furniture scratching: Your cat needs to scratch. So having a durable and sturdy scratching post allows your feline friend the ability to perform their innate behaviour while keeping your furniture claw-free.
  • Release stress: How do you destress after a hard day at work? While cats make living look easy, our feline friends are still susceptible to feelings of stress as well. And with a scratching post, your cat can release any feelings of excitement or worry that has built up in a healthy and engaging way. 
  • Claw care: As a cat parent, you know all too well that trying to give your cat a manicure is out of the question. So how do you keep your kitty’s claws clean and cut down? With a cat scratching post, of course. 
  • Encourages exercise: Keeping your cat active is essential to their overall health. And since most cats won’t agree to a walk around the block on a leash, the act of scratching provides the necessary exercise they need. Especially for cats who don’t have the opportunity to go outside, a sturdy cat scratching post allows your feline friend the ability to stretch and move in a way they love.
  • Promotes feline interaction: If your home is a multi-cat household then the benefits of scratching posts are far-reaching. While you can certainly get one scratching post for each cat, having just one for them to share encourages positive interactions and is a great way for them to get along.

Should kittens have their own scratching post?

As the toddlers of the cat world, kittens have lots of energy! And in order to ensure they get a good night’s cat nap, it’s essential to find a way to encourage ways for them to expel that energy. A scratching post is an excellent way for your kitten to get their ‘wiggles’ out before bed and also learn healthy ways to express their natural instincts. Giving them a dedicated space all their own not only prevents unwanted scratches on your furniture, but also helps to create positive behaviour as they grow into adulthood. 

Introducing Omlet’s sustainable cat scratching posts

At Omlet, we understand cats and their innate, primal instincts. It’s what allows us to think outside the box and create products that bring you and your pet closer together. So when we set out to design a new cat scratching post, we challenged our designers to create a product that your feline friend would not only love, but would stand the test of claws while also looking good in your home.

Introducing the Stak Cat scratching post, designed by Omlet. A sleek and sturdy post crafted completely from sustainable materials to allow your cat endless scratching sessions. The Stak challenges the cat care norm of consumable scratchers with its refillable, stackable cardboard triangles so your cat never runs out of something to scratch, and you don’t have to worry about ever buying another scratching post. This is literally the last cat scratching post you’ll ever buy. Because kittens and cats scratch every day, we curated this post to be the one they would use daily – for life. When the cardboard gets worn down, simply remove them and recycle and replace with new Stak triangles. 

Preventing your furry friends from scratching the furniture

While the cat scratching post is away, the feline will find something else to scratch. So if you find your furry friend exercising their claws on your walls, carpet, or sofa, it’s time to redirect this destructive behaviour to something more beneficial. Here are our top tips on breaking your cat’s habit of scratching on the furniture:

  • First and foremost, introduce your cat to a cat scratching post. In order to encourage your feline to use the post instead of your leather chair or wool rug, sprinkle some catnip on the scratching post. The irresistible scent of the catnip will make the scratching post your furry friend’s new favourite place to scratch.
  • Cats are particular – especially when it comes to scratching surfaces. So if the sofa and armchair are their favourite places to sharpen their claws, cover them with materials that will leave your cat displeased and looking for something else. Tin foil, double-sided tape, or Saran Wrap are all surfaces that will deter destructive clawing and make them move to a better surface such as a scratching post.
  • One of the best parts of cat parenting is the post-workday snuggles on the sofa with your favourite furry friend. But what if the cat sofa surfing leads to cat sofa clawing? Simply cover their spot with a cosy cat blanket to encourage snuggling instead of scratching.
  • If you start to hear your cat scratching the walls of their litter box, it may be their way of telling you they want more privacy. And you can’t blame them! So give your cat what they want with an enclosed cat litter box and perhaps even a private cat house so they can destress with ease wherever they are. 
  • It’s known throughout the animal world that certain smells are off-limits to certain species. And cats are no exception. So if you have a repeat furniture-scratching offender in the house, try spraying citrus or menthol scents on the areas you want them to stay away from. These odours are sure to deter the most persistent of scratchers. 

Training your feline to use their new scratching post

The most important thing to remember when buying a cat scratching post is the specific needs and scratch styles of your cat. Do you have a pint-sized puss or a tall and long feline? Does your cat like to scratch on their hind legs or while lying down? Making sure you provide your cat with a scratching post that is appealing to their size and needs will better ensure their use of the post over anything else.

Finding a cat scratching post that is sturdy and wide is another important feature to consider. A strong, heavy base will help prevent the scratching post from falling over during a scratch session and allow even the tallest of cats to reach full stretch potential. Next, make sure the cat scratching post is covered in material with vertical grooves rather than horizontal to allow for the ultimate scratching experience. Cardboard is an excellent choice with its corrugated fibres that help eliminate the chance of snagged claws when scratching.

Once you have the perfect cat scratching post picked out all that is left is introducing your feline friend to their new friend. Be sure to place the scratching post in an area frequented by your cat so they can get accustomed to the new equipment quickly. And any time they mistake your furniture as a still acceptable scratching option, simply redirect the behaviour by placing the scratching post in front of them. Cats are curious but also very clever so they will catch on in no time. 

How time outdoors impacts your cat’s need to scratch

Domestic cats can be found living indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both in homes all across the country. And while every cat needs an outlet to express their natural scratching instincts, outdoor cats don’t need as many scratching accessories inside the home as they are able to exercise those needs very well outside. Just like their wild ancestors, outdoor cats use trees or other natural surfaces to manicure their claws, release any tension, and get a good ol’ fashion exercise.

So if your cat stays indoors more than out, consider creating a safe outside environment where they can not only play, but help discourage indoor scratching. If you have a spacious garden, you can add an outdoor Catio enclosure where your feline friend can explore nature in a secure structure. Live in an apartment or condo with no garden? No problem! Create a cat-proof balcony with a balcony cat enclosure. Your feline friend will love the fresh air and natural environment to exercise their instincts and you will love keeping your furniture and walls scratch-free.

Identifying stress in your feline

When cats are stressed, they have a tendency to release their emotions through their claws. And that’s when your furniture could be in real danger! So in order to avoid cat-scratch-fever on your belongings, pay close attention to what is causing the stress in your cat so you can help eliminate it from happening in the first place.

There are a variety of reasons why cats exhibit a stress response – it could be another cat, another pet (usually the dog), or even a child in the home who has done something to freak out your poor puss. In other instances, it may just be the hum of the dishwasher or even a jet plane flying by that could trigger their emotions. 

Paying close attention to your cat’s behaviours before they start scratching can give you better clues to the cause and help you to minimize or remove the source altogether. And adding a second cat scratching post will encourage their instinctual behaviour to be released in a healthy and less destructive manner. 

Breeds least likely to scratch

If you’re just starting out on your cat parenting journey and scratching is a big concern, fear not. There are some cat breeds that are less likely to scratch when given a good cat scratching post as an outlet. Here are our top cat breeds that are more likely to snuggle on your furniture than scratch it:

In general, cat breeds that are more likely to scratch with frequency are also the cats with high-energy personalities. While this can certainly differ from cat to cat, breeds such as Bengals and Siberians tend to have a greater need to scratch more often.

Cat care with Omlet

At Omlet, our goal is simple – make products that help care for your pet in the best way possible. From cat scratching posts, to comfy cat beds, to outdoor cat trees or cat litter, we have everything you need to make life with your cat better. And when you give your cat everything they need, you can both focus on doing more of what you both love – spending quality time together.

Cat using Omlet's wall mounted Stak cat scratcher

This entry was posted in Cats

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