If you have a kitten or cat and you don’t have a scratching post, you need to get one pronto. Scratching posts are must-have items for any cat as they need somewhere they can scratch in order to clean their claws, mark their territory and have a good stretch. Without one, your cat might take a shining to your couch, dining room chairs or stair carpet… which never ends well.
There are lots of different options when it comes to scratching posts, you can choose one that has a dangling mouse, ball or feather attachment, one that forms part of an activity centre (with various levels and hidey holes) or one that has a bed attached. A novelty scratching post, that’s designed to look like a set of DJs decks can make a great present for both you and your cat. If you live in a small home or perhaps don’t want your cat’s scratching post getting in the way, you could get a scratching mat instead, which looks like a regular doormat.
If you find that your cat tires of their scratching post you can always rub a bit of catnip on it, which might send them a bit loopy but it should encourage them to use it again. It might be that they’ve feeling stressed or their current scratching post isn’t fit for purpose. For instance, an adult cat will struggle to use the scratching post they had as a kitten as often they are too small and are easy to knock over. Your cat mightn’t like the material the scratch post is made from so you might need to swap a post made from sisal rope to one made from carpet or from corrugated cardboard, to see if it makes a difference. Or you might have to vary the angle of the scratching post – cats can be demanding at times!
If you cat is being destructive when left alone, you might need to make some rooms in your house out of bounds and cover up any furniture they like to scratch to protect it.