The Importance of a Cat Scratching Post
As the new owner of a cat, you've probably been told over and over again that you must purchase a scratching post. But why is a scratching post so important?
Scratching is Natural
In the wild, cats naturally use their claws to hunt and to prepare the bodies of their prey for eating. Therefore, it is critical that they keep their claws razor-sharp by periodically sharpening them on tree trunks or hard soil. This helps remove loose pieces of sloughed-off nail that dull the claws and feel uncomfortable.
Although your pampered domestic kitty doesn't hunt, it still has to maintain its claws, because it has the same mechanism of nail growth that nature gave it to survive in the wild. This is why, left to its own devices, it will eventually try to sharpen its claws on your furniture or carpet. It's not being bad – it's just doing what comes naturally! So to prevent the destruction of your furniture and carpet, it's essential to purchase a scratching post.
Scratching Post Types
There are three basic types of cat scratching post – carpet-covered, sisal or rope-covered, and corrugated cardboard. Carpet and sisal covered scratching posts can be expensive, but are durable, will last practically forever and are an attractive addition to your home.
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Corrugated cardboard scratchers are a great low-cost option, but keep in mind the fact that these scratchers are disposable and may only last for a few months.
Build Your Own Scratching Post
Finally, you may also want to build a cat scratching post. Building scratching post for cats is relatively inexpensive and uses simple, easy-to-find components. A cardboard scratcher can be constructed by using old cardboard boxes. Simply cut the boxes into even strips and start winding them into a circular scratcher. Use tape to connect strips; also tape down the ends to the body of the scratcher. There are also instructions online to teach you how to make a cat scratching post with carpet or sisal.
Whatever type of scratcher you choose, it is simple to convince your cat to use it. All types of scratchers are better at sharpening the claws and removing nail than your furniture is, so most cats will naturally gravitate to them. To encourage your cat, cover the scratcher with some catnip. You can also scratch the scratcher with your fingernails to show them how it's done.