I love my cat, but one of the most difficult behaviors to deal with his scratching! Although it is a normal and innate behavior for him and all cats – it is hard to watch your thousand-pound sofa be treated as a tree!
My home is my cats home so I don’t want to be overly precious about my furniture, however all cat parents should prepared for the inevitable scratching!
There are so many options in terms of the way we can protect our furniture and at the same time provide a happy scratching place for our cats. You don’t have to spend a fortune on these – you can make your own DIY scratching area for your cat. Anything from a simple cardboard scratching pad, to an exquisite DIY cat tree that looks like a real tree. But if you’re like me and not really that way inclined then you can buy one.
Things to Consider Before Investing in a Cat Scratching Area
So you’ve started scrolling through amazon and have realized that there are hundreds of cat scratching solutions. Options will include scratching boards, scratching mats, scratching posts or cat trees. But you need not worry – below are some tips on what you should consider before you invest. Believe me it is definitely worth the investment!
- Set a budget
If you haven’t looked at what’s available yet, you may get a surprise at what some scratching apparatus go for!
- Where are you going to put it?
It’s all about location, put your scratching apparatus where your cat will use it! There are two instances where my cat loves to have a stretch and a scratch – when he wakes up from his nap and when he walks in from outside back to his sleeping spot So consider your cats’ route from outside to their regular sleeping spot. It may also mean that you need a few posts dotted around (so space and budget is also a factor here).
- How much space do you have?
Cats have a tendency to go to the same spot for their scratching ritual – this is due to a scent being released from the pads of their paws so choose the scratching apparatus that you are happy to leave in the same position for the long term – otherwise your cat may decide that your furniture is a better option.
- What furniture are you trying to protect?
Cats love things they can really stick their claws into – often nubby, coarse or textured surface – such as your curtains, sofa or carpet! For carpet scratchers you can get a scratch board or scratch mat of which there are many different versions. Some are simply flat, some are waved shaped and others are cylindrical so can double up as a cat lounge! To protect your sofa, you can purchase furniture scratch guards or sofa shields – these are super cheap if you consider the price of a new sofa once your cat has finished with it.
As well as scratching, cats love a place to play, climb and sleep – if you are all about making your cat happy then consider an apparatus that can tick all of the above boxes. Just make sure that what you do buy is bottom heavy. You don’t want it falling over as it will put your cat off using it.
Our Reviews of Cat Trees that Suit Different Needs
We created some guides to help you pick the best cat tree depending on your needs. Click the links below to read the reviews.
- Best overall cat trees this year
- Cat trees for large cats
- Maine Coon cat trees
- Wooden cat trees
- Stylish & modern cat trees
- Cat trees with hammocks
- Cat trees that look like trees
- Cat trees under $50
What You Need to Remember
In terms of scratching behavior negative reinforcement is not the answer – never hit or shout at your cat. Instead if you do catch your cat scratching an off limits object, interrupt them by making a loud noise, clapping your hands or making a ‘ssshhhhtt’ sound should do they trick. This redirects their attention and teaches them that the sofa is bad and the post or mat is good. You can read more about how to stop your cat scratching furniture here.