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Cat scratcher: how much does it cost and how to make a scratching post [step by step

Cat tree

Cat tree - is it really necessary?

Scratching is normal cat behavior.

Cats scratch, to communicate with others, and the traces left behind are a visual and olfactory signal.

Keeping the wrong items from scratching is all about learning and accessing suitable cat scratchers.

Between the fingertips there are glands responsible for the release of a characteristic smell, thanks to which the animals mark the area.

Scratching also helps to rub off too long claws and is fun for the animal.

  • Cat tree
  • Why is the cat scratching?
  • Where to put a cat scratcher?
  • Types of cat scratchers
  • How to make a cat scratcher
    • DIY cat scratcher
    • How to make a cat scratcher step by step?
  • Cat scratcher price
  • What if the cat doesn't want to scratch the scratching post?

Cat tree

Cat tree

In order to save furniture and allow relaxation, we should provide the pet cat tree.

And this one should be covered with a suitable material.

Some cats prefer to scratch vertical surfaces and others horizontal ones, but no matter their age, they must have a chance to tear and tear material apart.

We do not replace the worn and torn material in its entirety, because it can be replaced in this way discourage the cat from using the scratching post.

If we replace material, we should leave a piece of the old one, and if we buy a new one cat tree, then we should attach at least a scrap of material from the old scratching post to it to encourage the animal to use it.

Cat tree must be stable enough not to tip over or sway when in use.

The cat scratching post should be high enough to allow it to stretch freely on it.

A way to diversify it may be to hang toys on strings on it.

To attract cats to the scratching post, it is worth using catnip (it does not work for all cats).

It should be remembered that the cat develops and grows, and as it grows, the scratching post should be larger, i.e large xxl scratcher for a large cat.

Similarly, if after sterilization or castration our predator gets fat and becomes a teddy bear.

If there is more than one cat in the house, you will need several scratchers located in different parts of the apartment or one cat scratching post, but a much more extensive one.

The scratching post should be placed where the cat will use it, i.e. in some important place for him - next to the heater / bowl with food, the room where there are usually fewer people (i.e. the living room where guests come or the children's room is not available) or in front of the thing, he was already scratching.

Areas not intended for scratching should be covered and access to them blocked.

Over time, the scratching post can be gradually moved around.

Empty cardboard boxes can also be used as scratching items.

They are also great toys for kittens.

Why is the cat scratching?

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Scratching and tearing with claws is a natural aspect of domestic cat behavior.

However, if it is an activity performed by him at home and concerns furniture, caregivers often perceive it as problematic.

Scratching the wrong places is a behavior rarely reported for consultation, but often during the interview, caregivers mention it as an additional problem.

Scratching is important to cats for two reasons, whether from a human perspective it is in the "right " (outdoor or scratching post) or the wrong places.

Underlying this behavior is a mechanism to help keep claws ready for predatory behavior, or a mechanism by which cats leave signals used in olfactory and visual communication (Bradshaw 1992).

Scratching helps your cat to shed the outer dead coating of its claws and trains the ligaments responsible for sticking out the claws while hunting (atavism).

Cats care for their claws even when their predatory behavior is limited.

Therefore, we need to provide a suitable scratching spot for home-grown housemates.

An ideal scratching post must be stable enough to support the weight of the cat leaning against it.

Its vertical surface must be covered with a suitable fiber or rope and must be high enough for anyone to stretch freely and hook on it with their claws.

It does not always have to be a vertical surface, some cats prefer to scratch horizontally and, for example, by walking on a fence or carpet, others will lie upside down and scratch the bottom of the bed.

As a rule, cats choose several places where they sharpen their claws.

Once they choose them, they will come back to them rather than choose new ones.

It is not fully known what function the scent and visual signals left as a result of scratching perform, but we know that cats mark many important places in this way.

For example, they scratch rails in a fence where other animals pass by, or the bottom of stairs in houses with several cats that must pass each other at this point.

Much like urine squirting, it is a desire to leave a mark for other individuals while avoiding an open encounter.

Even cats that live without the company of other animals sometimes leave such signals - in this way they mark emotional places that are important to them.

It is an adaptive mechanism, thanks to which the cat knows where to stay alert and where to rest.

This provides a kind of inner peace through predictability and control over the environment.

We have known for a long time that cats are more prone to stress than dogs (cat's stress urination syndrome).

If scratching has become a persistent behavior for any of the reasons above, its frequency will depend on the caregiver's response.

Most people do not accept it when a cat scratches carpets or furniture, and reacts badly to such behavior by shouting at the pet.

In a cat, such a negative reaction may not stop scratching at all, but may only be moved to one that the handler will not notice or will scratch in his absence.

They may also associate the caregiver's response not with the scratching act, but with some other factor that arises in the situation.

As a result, they may continue to scratch and, at the same time, feel fearful of the caregiver when they approach the couch, for example.

For some cats, the scolding may be perceived as punishment, but unfortunately more often it reinforces the undesirable behavior (it becomes a behavior that forces the attention of the handler).

In conclusion, there are 5 main reasons why a cat scratches:

  • scratching to sharpen claws and exercising body parts used for hunting,
  • scratching to leave signals for domestic competition for the favor of the owner or, for example, another cat,
  • home boredom, especially in indoor cats (no time for the caregiver to play),
  • scratching that started for the reasons mentioned above but has evolved into a tool for getting the attention of the owner,
  • scratching which has developed for some reason and is exacerbated by the owner's negative reaction.

Depending on the cause, we select appropriate preventive measures, i.e. therapy.

If your cat does not have suitable scratching areas, it is the first recommendation of your veterinarian or behaviorist to provide them.

Initially, it may be necessary to cover the previously scratched place, e.g. with thick foil until the cat accepts the new place.

Cat tree must be close to the place that was scratched until recently, at least initially, and after the animal accepts it, we can gradually move the scratching post to a new place.

The second solution is to stop punishing your cat, though it may seem difficult.

In the case of valuable furniture, our frustration with the behavior of a pet is fully understandable.

If, despite a properly selected scratching post and a well-chosen place, the cat is still scratching, you can think about it trimming the claws.

Claw trimming is not recommended for cats that go outside, because the claws are needed for the animal to cope with the terrain (preventing the animal from climbing a tree and escaping the threat).

The cost of trimming a cat's claws in a veterinary office is approx PLN 10.

It is better that this activity is performed by a professional, the cat should be properly held so that it does not break away from us.

You should also know which places should be trimmed so as not to amputate the claw, which ends with a lot of bleeding and unnecessary stress on the animal.

Scratching with signaling functions can be prevented by reducing tension between cats living in different social groups under one roof, for example by creating safe territories and allowing access to important resources.

Where to put a cat scratcher?

Cat tree it should be near the entrances to the house (new smells appear), close to places where cats rest and sleep (they often stretch and sharpen their claws after waking up).

Types of cat scratchers

Types of cat scratchers

There are types of scratchers depending on:

  • Type of structure and its elements:
    • horizontal or vertical scratchers,
      • vertical - they can be the simplest with a single post, and they can additionally include cat beds, booths, couches,
      • horizontal - properly constructed (bent) so that the cat can scratch itself in a comfortable position - made of the same materials as vertical,
    • scratchers in the form of a bar,
    • cat scratcher shelf,
    • cat scratchers in the form of a platform.
  • The material from which they are made:
    • made of sisal cord,
    • from agave fibers,
    • with carpet flooring,
    • made of loosely woven material, such as jute,
    • cardboard scratching post

There is also an option to hang the scratcher on the wall or door when there is too little space on the floor.

Cats love to jump at height, but be careful not to attach the scratching post too high - a small kitten may hurt himself by jumping from the height of the ceiling.

How to make a cat scratcher

How to make a cat scratcher

When we want to save, we can make a piece of furniture for a cat by ourselves.

The simplest option will be to put a piece of the stump with the bark, but to check the true satisfaction of our cat you need to make a little effort ?

All you need is a board, an old carpet or a shelf.

We must remember that the materials we use are not toxic and do not contain sharp fragments, e.g. pins or nails that could hurt your pet.

Alone sisal string for a cat scratcher you can even buy it for 10pln counting with the shipment via the Internet, you only need to create a structure to which it can be attached.

DIY cat scratcher

DIY cat scratching post

What do we need to to make a cat scratcher?

  • A piece of a fairly heavy plywood board, e.g. after old furniture or something that will provide a solid, stable base.
  • A large wide PVC or cardboard pipe (you can use the remnants of renovation ? or buy something for little money in one of the large DIY stores).
  • Something to cut out the appropriate shape of the base and top, eg. saw.
  • Angles or other types of fasteners.
  • Stapler.
  • Hot glue gun and refills.
  • Cotton wool.
  • Old carpet or blanket.
  • Thick cord.

How to make a cat scratcher step by step?

  1. To make a DIY cat scratcher, attach the pipe to the base or use angles.
  2. Cover the base with a cloth and place it underneath with a stapler.
  3. Then attach the upper shelf in the same way. Cover it with cotton wool (so that the cat can lie down and sleep comfortably), and put a cloth on it, e.g. soft blanket / carpet and secure with a stapler.
  4. Attach the scratch cord to the pipe with hot glue (with care, it is easy to burn yourself).

It should be remembered that the structure cannot be too light, i.e. pushing it gently should not sway.

Cat scratcher price

How much is a cat scratcher?

The prices of cat scratchers vary from even 20 zł for a flat cat scratcher, a cardboard scratcher, up to a thousand zlotys for more complicated structures for several animals.

A decent cat scratcher with one shelf and column costs approx PLN 60-150 depending on the manufacturer.

It can be just a base with a column and one shelf or several columns.

You can attach e.g. a hammock on which the cat will lie.

Dangling toys can be attached to the top shelf.

What if the cat doesn't want to scratch the scratching post?

It should be remembered that the cat must accept the scratching post, so even if we spend a few hundred zlotys on it, it does not necessarily like our pet.

It's a good idea to spray the item with catnip oil or spray pheromones.

You can also leave your cat on the top shelf of the scratching post with a dried treat with an intense meat or fish smell, which will encourage him to climb.

Sources used >>

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