We have all experienced this before. Your cat is scratching all your furniture and they seem to be ignoring the little scratchpad you bought them, the small scratching post, or even their mid-sized cat tree.
Cats scratch things to stretch, but also to shed nail growth. Cat nails, unlike ours, grow an outer layer surrounding the entire claw, and then by scratching, they shed that outer layer naturally.
But why are they ignoring these implements specifically designed for them to scratch? The answer is simple; because they aren’t heavy enough.
Couches are heavy, and in most cases, will not move when your cat scratches them. Smaller cat trees, scratch pads, etc. – they all move with little force, and your cat can’t use them to remove their nails. For the nails to shed naturally, they need something solid for the nail to grip, and pull off.
Imagine trying to get your footing on a ledge, and part of it slides away. You are not going to want to walk on that ledge – you will find something more solid. While the stakes aren’t the same, the premise is. If your cat tries to shed a nail on something and it slides when they pull on it, that isn’t going to work.
So how can you possibly save your couch, mattress, carpet, or any other spots where your cats like to scratch? A heavy floor-to-ceiling cat tree is the answer.
These cat trees, composed primarily of wood, are heavy enough to stay solid while your cat scratches to their heart’s content. Some cat trees actually go right to the ceiling and use a spring-loaded rubber stopper on top to prevent them from moving.
If you aren’t able to acquire a cat tree that goes right to the ceiling, there are some that range from 5ft to 8 ft and are built with solid wood. These may not stick right to the ceiling, but they are heavy enough they will not move on a carpeted floor – and if you have hardwood at home, place some rubber feet on the bottom from a place like Ikea or a home hardware store.
Another benefit of a floor-to-ceiling cat tree is the enjoyment your cat will get out of it. Cats love to climb, jump around and be wild. Cat trees also provide them with vertical space, an important element for a happy cat.
Cat trees, in general, give your cat its own space. A part of the home only they interact with and a place they know they can always fall back to when feeling overwhelmed or tired.
If you have cat conflict in your home, a tall cat tree can help reduce that. Cats like to operate on levels, in fact some enjoy being on the floor at all times, while others like to be up high. If your cats don’t have a way to get up high and rest, they are more or less forced into each other’s space – creating conflict. Cats, by their nature, are very territorial, and having vertical space available allows them to get away from each other and ‘own’ their spot in the house.
At the end of the day, a cat tree has multiple benefits to your cats and your home. If you get the right one, you might never have to deal with a shredded couch in your home ever again!
Remember, the most important element of the cat tree is that it won’t move when your cat scratches their claws on it. That’s most likely the primary reason they are going for your couch.