Your cat’s nails are a treasure for him and his identity. And, in order to keep them healthy, you need to file them with other objects. If you want to help him keep his nails good and, at the same time, protect your furniture, offer your pet a good scratcher, since by its nature it tends to mark places. There is a wide variety on the market.
In this guide we try to help you understand why your cat has already destroyed some furniture with its nails and what are the reasons why it needs a scratching post for its well-being. In addition, we will learn more about those felines with whom we share a home and you will also be able to know the varied market of scratchers that you have at your disposal.
The most important
- There is a great diversity in terms of sizes, designs and prices within this market, to adapt to everyone’s needs.
- Your cat will most likely not have major problems adjusting to using his scratching post often. Filing their nails is one of their favorite activities and these products are made from materials that these pets love.
- Your cat needs to scratch its nails for various reasons: to renew them, to mark the territory or to stretch its muscles after its long days sleeping.
The best cat scratchers on the market: our favorites
In this section you will see a compilation of the most popular scratchers among people who live with cats and that offer them products to make them happy, such as a scratching post. You will also read a summary with the characteristics of each of the articles. Before deciding on one or the other scraper, analyze the market well. We help you.
- The best scraper to place on the armrest of your sofa
- The best scratching post for your cat to stretch along
- The most original sofa-shaped scratching post for your cat
- The most adorable scratcher in the shape of a carpet
The best scraper to place on the armrest of your sofa
Designed to cover and protect sofas, this mat has half made of resistant sisal fabric and the other half is made of linen fabric. The sisal part, the one used for the animal’s nails, measures 60 x 45 centimeters.
The article fulfills its great function, which is to save the armrest of the sofa from the nails of your cat. Buyers note that both materials are very resistant.
The best scratching post for your cat to stretch along
This scraper is characterized by being a round post covered in sisal on a wooden conglomerate platform. It stands out for being easy to assemble, according to users, as it includes a screw and “allen” key.
It measures 62 cm and has been created so that the height is suitable for your cat to stretch out. The base, covered in plush, is available in two colors to choose from: beige and dark blue. It stands out for the durability of the materials.
The most original sofa-shaped scratching post for your cat
This scraper is made of cardboard and comes in a rectangular package that measures 53 x 25 x 10 centimeters. It weighs very little and has a leopard print on the sides.
It comes with a bag of cat grass that helps to attract the pet to the scratching post to prevent it from doing it on your furniture with its nails. As it is shaped like a sofa, many cats sleep on it. It should be flat so that your cat is more comfortable scratching his nails.
The most adorable scratcher in the shape of a carpet
This product is a rectangular rug measuring 55 x 35 centimeters. It is covered with sisal rope and plush fabric. It can simply be left on the ground or it can be screwed on, depending on the strength of your pet.
It can also be fixed on the wall, allowing your cat to stretch its body. It comes with a mouse hooked in a corner of the carpet for the cat to play with. It is rigid and resistant to the nails of your kitten.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Cat Scratchers
Before opting for one or another cat scratcher, you need to know your pet. And, as a result of their character, customs and needs, you can choose one or another scraper. There are them with different shapes and to place in different places in your house. For this reason, we recommend you read this guide where you can meet that beautiful feline that lives with you.
Why does my cat need a scratcher for his nails?
There are several reasons why your cat needs to scratch its nails. These pets need to remove the tips of the detached nails, thus allowing the growth of a new one naturally. On the other hand, with the movement they make to scratch their nails, they also stretch the muscles of the back, which contract during the hours of sleep.
In addition to this, the nature of your feline pet leads him to mark the territory where he is with his nails to warn other animals of his presence. So, with all this, if you do not have an object for your cat to clean its nails, it will use something different, such as a sofa or your wooden furniture.
Why, even with a scratching post, does my cat mark my furniture?
The common thing is that, if your cat is happy with his scratching post, your furniture is much safer than if you do not have one of these at home. But despite that, your pet may still be tempted to mark your furniture. One reason may be that you want to mark your territory with pheromones from the glands in your interdigital spaces.
This means that, by feline nature, these animals mark the territory with their nails and urine in order to avoid crossing with other individuals. Thus, it is hoped that other cats can smell them and know that that territory already belongs to someone. And that is why your cat continues to mark your sofa even if it has a scratching post. By simple instinct.
Besides a cat scratcher, what else can I use so that it doesn’t mark the furniture?
If your scratching post isn’t enough to prevent your cat from marking your furniture, there is some other option. For example, you can spray your favorite furniture with pheromones that are bought, which will make your kitty understand that that place is already marked. There is also a different pheromone, which leads your pet to try to leave its mark in the same place where you spray it.
In that case, you should buy one more of a different model and place it near his favorite piece of furniture. And, the most basic option if nothing ever works, is to cover your furniture with a nice fabric that does not greatly change the decoration of your house.
Can I clip my cat’s nails so she doesn’t use her scratching post?
There are many people who choose to trim the nails of a cat so that it does not leave marks on the furniture at home or that it does not scratch its owners. That is allowed to do, although many pets will not allow it. The correct thing is to cut in the direction of the nail so as not to harm the animal. And just for the tip. Touching the sensitive part can be dangerous.
It is important to mention that if you get used to it since it is a kitten, you will get it familiar with this activity and it will allow you to do it. For cutting, you need to grab each of your fingers and press the pad so that the nail pops out and is easily accessible. The market offers specialized nail clippers for the shape of the small claws of the pussycat.
Is it legal in Spain to remove your cat’s nails so that he does not scratch his scratching post?
The so-called declawing consists of the removal of the nails of cats and in Spain it is a legally prohibited practice. So it can no longer be carried out since 2017, like other practices that consist of mutilating important parts of pets.
Sometimes their nails can be annoying, but when we decide to have an animal at home, we must respect its nature. Veterinarians explain that the cats they have removed have difficulty walking, as they are forced to change their gait and all their weight falls on the soft cartilage. And this posture leads him to suffer from chronic pain.
Can my cat break his nails with a scratcher?
It is rare that this can happen because, precisely, they are created to take care of your pet’s nails. And, in fact, it prevents it from going against other more harmful objects such as curtains where it can be hung or some furniture. But, if your cat is a little energetic when scratching, it could happen. Cats can hurt them like any human.
If that happens, you will notice it because you will likely see your pet limping. You can apply a bandage to him and you should prevent him from going outside so that he does not catch any infection until his nail grows back. If you see that his paw is swollen, you can also take your cat to the vet so that he can cure it.
Where should I put the cat scratcher?
When choosing which part of the home is best, you must take into account the shape of the scratching post you have bought and the tastes and habits of your cat. If it is a tree-like scratcher, better place it in a place where you do not travel much so as not to trip over it. The same, if it is a mat with which you can slip if you step on it.
These styles are convenient to place where you have your pet’s toys, or in the part of the house that he has for leisure. If you buy a scraper made to protect furniture, then that will be its place. Those created for the sofa are recommended for the armrest, which is usually a recurring place where your pet nails his nails.
What is catnip and why does it encourage my cat to use her scratching post?
The catnip is a plant similar smell of mint really like cats, attracts them and even encourages and motivates play. This product, also called ‘catnip’ is a plant in the mint family that contains an oil called nepetalactone in its leaves. It only stimulates adults. Baby cats will ignore him.
Therefore, if your cat ignores his scratching post, or pays less attention to it than you would like, put a target with catnip nearby and he will love it. It is worth mentioning that, despite its stimulating effects, experts assure that catnip is not harmful to the animal. Rather, it helps you to be more active. Something necessary for home cats.
What is the difference between a cat scratching post and a tree?
With nail renewal being such a great thing for cats, almost every tree on the market has scratching post parts. However, the main difference is that while the tree is intended for play, the scratchers are simpler and more affordable. They focus on this need for nails, not always having a vertical shape, like trees.
Some scratchers come, however, supplemented with a small accessory, such as a ball tied to a string or a stuffed mouse, that will encourage your pet to play. But just that. If they have more parts, then they will be cat trees instead of the traditional scratching posts. And usually, with more accessories, the trees are also more expensive.
When buying a nail scratcher for your cat, it is important that you do it in an informed way so that it fulfills its function. You will have to look at what parts of the house are your pet’s favorites and what postures he takes to stretch. Here we summarize the most important issues to consider to help you make a good purchase. These are:
A cat scratching post will vary in design depending on several factors. One of the most important is where you want to place it. A scraper can be a circular tube on a platform, it can be a flat mat or a bed block. In the following lines we are going to see which are the most common designs on the market:
- On a board or flat: They are rugs that can be attached to the floor so that the cat scratches without having to get up and it remains fixed without moving from the floor.
- Wall scratchers: They can be flat like the aforementioned rugs or shaped like a corner, whose objective is to allow the cat greater stretches when scratching its legs. They are usually placed on furniture where your pet tends to mark more.
- Rollable: The rugs are again, but with the option of being rolled up and positioned around the legs of a table or chair for protection.
- Cylindrical post: A tube, usually surrounded by sisal and placed on a platform. It is usually the most common in homes.
- Tree: As we mentioned previously, a tree is a toy with many more options for the cat, but they always have a scratching post part.
- Beds: There are some scrapers that are usually made of pressed cardboard and are shaped like a bed. Many cats even use them to rest.
Most scratchers are created with the same materials but, with the fame of cats as pets, alternatives have also emerged on the market. Even ecological. We will see here the most common materials in the creation of scrapers and their advantages and disadvantages.
- Sisal: It is the most common material par excellence to scratch the nails. It is a rope obtained from an agave, a very common plant in Mexico. It is not known that this material can cause any allergies, since it is, as we have said, natural.
- Cardboard: Some scrapers are made from pressed cardboard. The problem is that it loses pieces of cardboard, so it dirties where it is located and forces the area to be swept regularly.
- Velvet: A cat tree usually integrates velvet on the edges or platform of the cylinder scratchers. It is very soft and comfortable to put your paws on it.
- MDF: From English, Medium Density Fibreboard , and that in some rigid scrapers they are the wood on which the sisal is screwed.
The size of a scratching post should depend on what your cat measures and weighs. When it comes to using a scratcher, they don’t just mark territory or renew their nails. This practice helps your feline to stretch his muscles after one of his long naps. And with a scraper that is small, you will not be able to cover this need and, probably, he will go to a sofa to do it.
It is common for beige or brown colors to predominate in a scratcher because of the most common materials for scratching nails, such as sisal or cardboard. But on many occasions, they are sold with other colors or decorations to choose from in certain parts of the scraper, which will give you more options.
Always, with regard to any purchase you make, it is necessary that you take into account the opinions of other consumers. Normally people, in addition to scoring, have experience. Look more at those comments from users whose cats have similar characteristics to yours. For example, where your nails tend to scratch or the size of your body.
When you go to choose a scratching post for your cat, keep in mind which are the places where he always chooses to mark with his nails. There are scratchers adaptable to different places in your house, with different designs, and you can even choose the complementary color according to the decoration of your home. The common thing is that they are made with sisal, a very natural material.
We all know that when we decide to make a cat part of our lives, our furniture can end up a bit damaged. But a scraper will do its best to prevent this from happening. Your pet needs these objects for their well-being and health. The common thing is to have more than one scraper and that you put them in different parts.