Cat scratching

Cats scratch, everybody knows that. But have you ever wondered why that is? If you have a feline companion at home, you might have thought it would be a good idea to break her habit of scratching. Especially if your cat has ruined your furniture with her claws. We interviewed breeder Helena Ruckerová on the topic of scratching and clawing.

Why do cats scratch?

Scratching is their nature. Cats can retract their claws to be able to sneak silently when hunting and then strike quickly with their claws to catch their prey. Dogs can’t retract their claws, using them as running spikes. Dogs chase their prey. Cats wait for their prey.

Is there a common cause for scratching?

Cats have many different reasons for scratching. A cat can even scratch a person when it has too much energy accumulated and needs to release it somewhere. Especially if we’re at work and she sleeps all day. We recommend motivating cats by playing so that they can spend their energy on catching a feather or running after balls. Over-petting also can get a cat to scratch you. Turning the cat on its back and rubbing her belly will not sit well with her, but even long sessions of back rubs will stop being pleasant after a while. By stroking the cat's fur, we create static electricity, which isn’t very comfortable for the cat either. Light scratching is more preferable. If you have children at home, it is necessary to teach them how to treat the cat. It is during petting and playing when the accumulated energy may provoke the cat to scratch.

If the cat has the opportunity to retreat to a higher position and observe the ground from safety, then these incidents can be avoided. Only really shy cats can scratch us if we just try to make contact. It’s their fear that drives them to choose the inappropriate defense of scratching. There are also cats who are aggressive seemingly for no reason. In that case, the cat usually has some health problem or doesn’t have her basic needs satisfied.

Can we attribute any significance to kitten scratching? How to approach it?

Cat’s play may also seem like aggressive scratching. If we have only one kitten, it can have us as a cat partner for learning how to hunt. With kittens, you should always use a toy to play (feathers, etc.) You shouldn’t let the kitten play with your hand. Cat claws are very sharp and scratches can hurt a lot. Injuries can be partially mitigated by trimming the sharp ends of their claws, dulling them.

Is claw trimming a must? When to start with it and should you trim the claws of all cats?

Claw trimming should be practiced with kittens from a young age to make them accustomed to it. For outdoor cats, claw trimming is not recommended, because it would it make it harder for them to hunt or escape to trees when in danger.

Why are claws so important to cats?

Cats use their claws to climb a tree when they need to escape danger. Their claws are curved towards the pads, making it easier for them to climb up. However, they aren’t of much use for getting down, which is why so many cats get trapped in trees. An experienced cat climbs down from a tree backwards.

How to eliminate scratching at home?

Scratching is part of the cat’s nature. When you keep a cat at home, you should think about her instincts. You should get a cat tree so the cat can hide at height. At the same time, scratching is good for the cat’s psyche (she marks her territory). When selecting a scratching tree, you should choose one where one trunk is tall enough for the cat to stand on its hind legs and scratch the tree with its front claws. Many people choose scratching trunks that are too low, which can result in cats ruining furniture. For a cat to be happy, she must be able to satisfy her natural needs.

 

Are there reliable methods to stop cats from scratching?

If the cat is often alone at home and we have a problem with her scratching people, it usually helps to get a feline friend for her. Especially if we go to work. The two cats will then practice their hunting skills together.

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