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ashleywong 10-14-2008 10:58 PM

Cats 101 : Getting Your First Cat - Part 5 All-Important Scratching Needs of Cats
Lesson 5 - All-Important Scratching Needs of Cats
By Franny Syufy,

Next to litter box avoidance, undesirable scratching behavior is the top reason for shelter surrenders. Actually, scratching is as essential to cats as eating and breathing. When you complete this lesson, you'll have all the tools you'll need to ensure your cat the scratching, stretching exercise he needs, without sacrificing your hard-earned carpet and furniture.

Basic Claw Management

Scratch This! Pussycat
The gripping, pulling, stretching exercise a cat gets through scratching is essential to the development of his skeletal and muscular structure. You'll understand by observing his supple muscles when he scratches.

This article covers:

* Why cats need to scratch
* What never to do
* How to trim your cat's claws
* Basic scratching post tips
* Ways to discourage undesirable scratching
* The importance of rewards

(note from ashley : pls refer to another thread of this title for more info)

A Word About Declawing
You may have adopted an already-declawed cat, or had your cat declawed before you fully understood what it entailed. If either of these scenarios applies, skip this section, as it does not apply to you.

However, if you've even remotely thought of having your cat declawed, this is information you simply must not miss, so that you can make an informed decision about this irrevocable surgery.

[note from ashley : pls refer to another thread with this title for more information]

More on Scratching Posts
There are many fine scratching posts on the market, and these are just a few that I like. You and your cat will get along fine with just a simple post or two for starters, but you may eventually want to buy him a multi-tiered "cat tree." If you or a relative are handy with saw and hammer, consider building one yourself.

Every cat should own several scratching posts, of varying size, angle, and scratching surface. Scratching posts are essential to cats, for needed exercise, stress relief, and claw management, and will save wear and tear on furniture and carpeting, as well. With scratching posts, costs are not necessarily a factor, as the inexpensive corregated cardboard pads are a favorite with cats.

You've worked hard today; have some ice tea and give your cat a scratch or two on the back of the ears. We cat lovers like to call them "scritches." :)

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