Why Do Cats Scratch and Rub?

Scratching Post

If your favorite easy chair has cat claw marks on it, you’ve probably wondered why your would do such a thing when s/he has such a good life. Actually it’s a natural, instinctive act, no reflection on your cat’s treatment. Besides vocalization, scratching is a form of communication, indoors or out.

Your cat has scent glands in its paws as well as other parts of its body – the corners of the mouth, between the eyes and ears, at the base of the the tail. One reason is that your cat is basically marking it’s territory, leaving its scent so that other creatures will know this belongs to him/her. Scratching also helps sharpen the nails and helps remove the outer dead sheath. Scratching can also be an emotional release demonstrating happiness or frustration. A full stretch with scratching exercises muscles.

Usually when a cat rubs up against you, s/he wants to be fed or petted. It can be a show of affection and friendship.

There are things you can do to stop your cat from scratching furniture. Have more than one scratching post and place them in areas where your cat like to scratch, even next to that area. Scenting them with catnip encourages your cat to use the posts. Cover the areas where your cat’s scratching has done damage with plastic or any material your cat doesn’t like.

You can make your own scratching posts from materials that will attract your cat and encourage him/her to use them.

When your cat uses the scratching posts, be sure to praise and give treats. Your cat will respond positively by using the scratching post instead of your furniture.

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