Cats are finicky creatures. They can be the sweetest, most loving animals one minute, and the next they’re sharpening their claws on your couch. So what’s behind this seemingly random behavior? Let’s take a look at the science behind why cats scratch.
Cats scratch because it feels good – the act of scratching releases endorphins that make them feel good
Who doesn’t love a good scratch? We all know that feeling of blissful relaxation that comes after giving ourselves or our furry friends a good scratching session. It turns out cats get the same satisfaction from scratching things – perhaps more so! Cats scratch not only to keep their claws sharp and groom themselves, but because it releases endorphins that make them feel extremely good. So next time you notice your trusty feline friend lounging in the sun, don’t be surprised if they start to self-groom by scratching around – it’s their way of indulging a little pleasure!
Scratching also helps remove dead skin cells and keeps their nails clean and healthy
Scratching isn’t just enjoyable for our four-legged furry friends – it also serves a practical purpose! Paws helpfully have their own built-in maintenance and grooming capabilities, and scratching is one of them. That little action helps keep their nails in tip-top shape while removing any dead skin cells that may be lurking around. Not only is scratching super fun, but it helps keep your cat’s paws healthy and happy – what a win for everyone!
Cats use scratching as a way to mark their territory – by leaving their scent and visual marks, they are claiming the area as their own
Cats are certainly not shy about making sure their territory is known – they have a hilarious way of declaring ownership! An instinctive form of communication, cats use scratching to leave behind both a visual and an olfactory sign that screams, ‘This place is mine!’ So, the next time you see your kitty having her daily scratch session, know that she’s just being a proper cat and molding her kingdom for all the world to see (and smell)!
Some experts believe that cats scratch as a way to relieve stress or anxiety
Believe it or not, scratching could be just another day in the life of a stressed-out kitty! It might look like chaos to us humans, but cats could actually be taking part in some healthy self-care every time they attack your brand new couch. Some experts even claim that cats use scratching to express their pent-up emotions in a safe way (so instead of channeling those negative vibes into a misbehavioural outburst, our lovely felines channel them into something more constructive). Next time you find your cat busy sharpening her claws on your furniture, don’t panic – try to understand why she needs to scratch.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to provide your cat with a scratching post or other outlet for this behavior
Cats have been scratching for centuries; it’s a natural instinct for them. So why not give your feline friend the perfect place to do it? Providing a dedicated scratching post or another scratcher like a cat tree offers cats the chance to take their natural behavior and do it somewhere where you won’t have to worry about worn furniture or carpets. Not only does this give your kitty an outlet to scruff up their claws, but it also provides a great opportunity for them to stretch and even keep their claws healthy!
Still, as natural as the behavior is, you can train your cat to scratch appropriately. Here are 5 Ways to Keep Your Cat From Scratching the Furniture.
Now that you understand a bit more about this natural feline behavior, you can provide your kitty with the scratching outlet they need to be happy and healthy. And who knows, maybe next time they start to scratch up your couch you’ll think twice before getting mad at them. After all, they’re just doing what comes naturally!