To your cat, a scratching post is a sign post and scent soaker indicating his belonging. So if you want your cat to use his scratching posts and not your couch, the placement of the scratching post, among other things, matters—a lot. There’s a reason your cat gravitates to your couch (or rug, or bed frame). Your couch is nice and sturdy, covered in a very scratching-friendly material, and lives in a socially significant territorial destination. But we can provide all of these things for your cat in a scratching post. Here’s how.
When it comes to scratching posts, cats usually have four key preferences that you need to know about…
In a cat’s mind, scratching equals ownership. Think about where your cat likes to scratch—cats will mark things that are socially significant to them, whether that is a doorframe, your couch, or a rug.
Scratching post placement is where you need to be willing to compromise. When you hide a scratching post in the back office that no one ever spends time in, you are ensuring a lack of Mojo and a destroyed sofa. And because scratching equals ownership, you need multiple scratching posts, throughout the home.
#2. Know Your Angles
Watch your cats when they scratch. Do they prefer horizontal surfaces like your rug, or do they go for the side of the couch in a fully vertical position? Or do they scratch the base of your bed frame? Some cats prefer an angle when scratching, and some cats love to scratch in all three positions.
Cats want a scratching material they can dig into. Cats usually prefer textures like sisal rope, jute, wood, cork, carpet, or cardboard. Some cats have strong preferences, so it’s good to offer some different choices and see what they like the best. When in doubt, match what they scratch!
#4. Size Matters
Whatever you give your cat to scratch, it needs to be sturdy. Cats who are vertical scratchers need to be able to stand on their hind legs, extend their legs, and get a full stretch. Freestanding posts need a wide base—if it wiggles or wobbles, the couch wins.
Once you’ve got you’re scratching situation set up, move on to this catification staple for a harmonious home…
The Cat Sundial
This catification staple is a true game changer
Allow your cats to share, rather than fight over, territorial resources by creating a Cat Sundial. The Cat Sundial is the tendency for cats to follow the patterns of the sun throughout the home. The best thing you can do is know what windows let in the most sun at each time of the day and then make sure you place scent soakers—beds, cat trees, perches, hammocks, or condos—in those areas. When you give your cats multiple resources in these highly desirable sun-soaked areas, you allow them to practice the fine feline art of time-sharing. Think sharing rather than fighting over resources!
For more life-changing catfication strategies, pick up Jackson Galaxy’s amazing book Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide To Life With Your Cat.