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Strategically Placed Scratching Posts Could Save Your Furniture

orange cats using scratching post
Image Credit: MarinaTr, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

Recently, we got a new couch. We’d had used furniture for a long time, and in a way, it allowed me to get lax — I never worried much about whether the cats scratched the furniture because it was ancient anyway, and not the most beautiful pieces in the furniture universe. I got lucky — I didn’t have a lot of trouble, though Kali (now deceased) loved to scratch a particular corner of an ancient futon. We got a washable cover to place on it, which generally seemed to make the cats want to scratch less, and it made me forget about the previous scratching.

But when we spent a few hundred dollars on a new couch, I started thinking more about providing good scratching options for my cats. I believed that cats would be more tempted to scratch if the fabric on the couch had an obvious nap (a texture that had something for the cats to grab onto and dig claws into), so I chose a microfiber that was smooth.

The saleslady (a cat person) said that when she purchased new furniture, she placed the cat scratching post in a prominent place in the living room. Picture a room with a couch, and a coffee table in front of the couch. The cat scratching post would replace the coffee table.

bengal cat plays on scratching post
Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

The saleslady theorized that the cats liked being the center of attention in the room and they would head right to the scratching post and use it. I wondered whether the cats enjoyed being the center of attention or the cat scratching apparatus had simply been placed in an area that was easier for the cats to use. Regardless, we had a few days until the couch actually, so I took the saleslady’s advice. We had a small cat scratching post. I knew it was inadequate (not tall enough, not enough scratching area), though the cats did love the little tube area to play in. I ordered a taller and more sturdy scratching post. We set them both in the center of the room, right in front of the couch.

Did it work? Yes. The cats loved the addition of a sturdier and taller scratching post. At the same time, they still loved to play in the smaller version, and they scratch on it, too.

I believe they also like having the posts out in the open. It’s easier to approach them from any side. I believe that having these scratching opportunities out in the open also encourages the cats to really stretch out, use their bodies, and scratch. We have not seen them scratching the new furniture so far.

cat sitting on sratching post
Image Credit: Pixel Shot, Shutterstock

Cat expert Rita Reimers agreed with my findings, and she added this advice:

“Offer a variety of scratchers of different types that are available throughout the cat’s environment. Tucking all of them in corners or just offering one scratcher is setting you up for failure. Our cats want to be where we are, so set up scratchers in places where the cats can be with us, be it the living room, bedroom, or office.”

Reimers also sprays scratchers with catnip spray.

Other nuances to consider: “If your cat is a carpet scratcher, a flat type of cat scratcher will appeal to him. If he likes to scratch the sofa, he might be attached to an upright type of scratching post or scratching box.”
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Featured Image Credit: MarinaTr, Shutterstock

About the Author

Catherine Holm
Catherine Holm

Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

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