Happy weekend, friends! It's been quite a while since my last Caturday post. Truth be told, not a whole lot has been happening in the lives of my cats. They're still adorable, sweet, and sometimes crazy as ever! ;) I just realized that I start every Caturday post like this, ha! I guess it's because I've been going months in between them and it feels natural to update you on how they're doing.
Today I wanted to share my cats' scratching tendencies as well as their favorite scratchers. I honestly didn't realize how picky cats are about scratchers until I met my girls—they each have different preferences! I thought for sure that all cat would use all types of scratchers, but I learned that is definitely not the case. ;)
When I adopted Rosie, I did not have anything for her to scratch on, so she chose to scratch on my cheap ottoman from Target and some cheap fabric drawers I kept in my closet. I ended up buying a cardboard scratching pad for her, and boy did she love that thing! She really goes to town on cardboard scratchers. If she gets riled up, she will run straight to the scratcher. The funny thing is that now that we have other scratching options for Melody and Sybil, Rosie only uses the cardboard scratchers. She hasn't touched anything else—including the furniture!
Melody was a different story. When I met her, she loved scratching on the stairs in Chris's apartment. He bought her a cardboard scratcher, and we tried everything to get her to scratch on it: dousing it in cat nip, "scratching" on it ourselves, and moving her from the stairs to the scratcher and praising her. She would run to it, only to lick it and lay down on it. It was very frustrating. Fast forward to a couple of years ago, after they moved here. We picked up a carpet and twine scratcher, set it down by the stairs, and BAM! She was scratching away at it! It was basically a miracle. Turns out, not all cats like all scratchers, as evidenced by Rosie and Melody.
Shortly after Melody (and Chris) moved in, we added Sybil to the family. I was hoping she wouldn't be picky about her scratcher of choice—and she wasn't! She loves both the cardboard and the carpet/ twine scratchers. Thank goodness. ;)
We have quite a variety of cardboard scratchers for the girls to choose from. In the living room, we have a Scratch Lounge, Bergan Turbo Scratcher (one of Rosie's favorites!), and an arch cat scratcher (that we apparently have upside-down, oops!). We also have a very old lounge-style scratcher that the cats dug a hole through, but I won't get rid of it because they love napping on it. It's like they made it exactly how they wanted it, haha! In the bedrooms, we have a regular wide scratcher and a skinny scratcher like this one (we tried hanging it vertically, but they never used it so it's kept on the ground). I love picking up new cardboard scratchers for the girls every once in a while to mix things up, especially because they're cheap!
We picked up a couple of carpet and twine scratching posts from Petco on two Black Fridays. (They are 50% off then!) The first one we picked up in 2012 is still going strong! The one we got in 2013 looks a little more rough, strangely enough, but it is still holding up fine. We also used to have a carpet and sea grass scratching post, but Sybil tore it apart! (She loved sitting on top of it, too.) I spent a lot of time supergluing the sea grass back onto the cardboard, but shortly after, it was all ripped off again. It just didn't hold up as well as the others, and Melody didn't use it, either. (Also, supposedly the carpet and twine scratching posts we have are also sea grass and not twine, but they definitely have the appearance of twine, whereas the carpet and sea grass post had more of a rigid, straw-like appearance that easily broke and resulted in little pieces all over the place.) We also had a cheap scratcher like this one, but of course Sybil destroyed that one, too.
Because I am a crazy cat lady and love spoiling my girls, scratchers I hope to purchase at some point in the future include the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post, an inclined cardboard scratcher, an all-carpet post, and a scratching post-hammock combination. Chris would love to get them a huge cat tree, but I guess I'm not crazy enough for that just yet. ;)
If you're trying to get your cat to scratch on something appropriate, here are my tips: encourage her to use the scratcher (even when she's naughty and scratches something else) by moving her on or near it and praise her, use cat nip if your cat reacts to it, scratch it yourself to show her, place the scratcher near her favorite furniture or place she likes to scratch, wave a toy she loves by the scratcher, and if all else fails, perhaps try a different type of scratcher! You can also try deterrents like spray water bottles and Bitter Apple (a spray is also available but is not recommended for cats, apparently?). You're not supposed to scold her if she scratches something she's not supposed to, but I'm a bad cat mom and usually can't stop myself (Melody loves my kitchen rug and I'm lazy). I try to grab her, place her on the scratcher, and then praise her for using that instead. I still don't think she gets it, though, ha!
Any tips of your own when it comes to cat scratching? Any scratchers your cats love and that you would recommend? :)