Scratching behaviours & dealing with them

Cats are notorious for scratching furniture. Scratching is a behaviour and is completely normal for cats.

Cats will typically scratch both vertical and horizontal surfaces on a regular basis on any given day. For outdoor cats, this would typically include scratching the side of a tree trunk for a vertical surface and dirt or grass for a horizontal one.

One of the many reasons cats scratch is to mark their territory. Cats have scent and sweat glands within their paws and as they scratch a surface, a cat's unique scent I.D. will be added to the object that they are scratching. This scent, in combination with the more obvious scratch marks in the object that has been marked, sends out a clear message to other cats.

Scratching behavious exhibited by cats have a number of other purposes including:

- Stretching muscles, joint & ligaments

- Sharpening nails

- Digging over their pee or poop in the litter tray

- Expressing behaviours to other cats - another means of communication

- And finally - because sometimes they just enjoy it

Your cat is going to scratch, whether you like it or not! It is how we dictate where and when they scratch that is the most important point when dealing with this behaviour in your home.

We acknowledge Hepper - Happy Cats - Dr Mark Edwards

Andrew Lewis
Andrew Lewis