Why do cats scratch?
I. Why do cats like to scratch?
For those who have cats, cat scratching boards and cat climbing frames are always available at home, especially cat scratching boards, which will have to be replaced with new ones in a few days. There are also some cats, even if the home has been prepared for them to sharpen the claws of toys, it will still focus on the sofa or curtains above. This is a headache for many pooper scoopers and some cats have been misunderstood and abandoned because of this.
The fact is that cat scratching is a very common action, regardless of the age of the cat, they all like to scratch. So, what kind of behavior is scratching? What is the significance of scratching? If a cat stops scratching, does it mean that there is a health risk? Let's talk about it.
We often see cats scratching the cat climbing frame, cat scratching board, or sofa, which is a very normal and necessary action, which is a kind of body language for cats. Even cats that have lost their paws in accidents will sometimes scratch. If you have a cat that has been raised since childhood, you will find that kittens will also scratch. Due to their curiosity, they scratch even more widely, pillows, curtains, blankets, and even the shovel's dress skirt. This scratching behavior will continue for the rest of your life, whether you are a kitten, a young cat, or an older cat.
II. Cat scratching is often the result of these main reasons
1. Nail grinding. We understand that grinding nails may be sharpening the parts of the nail that have become dull, but this is not the case. Cats' nails are constantly bending and growing, and they scratch to remove the old surface and wear off the worn claw sheaths, which exposes the new claws underneath. If cats do not scratch and grind their claws, without the intervention of the pooper scooper to cut the nails can lead to injury and infection or even disability.
2, exercise the front paws and strengthen the claw stretching function, which is also a genetic survival instinct. Cats mainly use their front paws when scratching, while the old layer of the hind paws is often chewed off by the cat itself with its teeth. The front paws are especially important for climbing, playing, and hunting, which is their main weapons. At the same time, cats need to hunt in the wild, life is also like jumping up and down, polishing the front paws can not only be "old for new", but also let the front paws get exercise, so that the cat better play and catch prey.
3銆丷elease stress or express pleasure. The impact of stress on the cat is self-evident, too much stress cats will have a variety of stress reactions, and long-term stress will also make the cat suffer from a variety of diseases. And when the cat thinks that the current environment is on its pressure, it will scratch its cat scratching board to relieve its tension. In addition, when we return home from a busy day, the cat will first happily greet us, then immediately run to the cat scratching product to scratch some, and finally, return to the pooper scooper for touching and hugging. If your cat has also done this, then do not doubt that it is very fond of you ~.
4, to pass the time. Cats spend most of the day sleeping, but when they wake up without any entertainment and boredom, they do not mind going to the cat scratching products to scratch a few times for fun.
5, marking territory. Cats have scent glands at the bottom of their front paws, and when they rub their scratching products or furniture, these glands will be scented in the rhythmic paw grinding, thus leaving their identity signals (such as gender, age, health, neutering, etc.). This explains why cats like to scratch our sofa, the first point is perhaps the material of the sofa attracts the attention of the cat, and the second is that the cat is deepening the scent marking territory. If you do not want your sofa to be full of holes, then when your cat does this for the first time you have to stop it, while guiding it to where it should scratch. If you wait until she has made the couch her scratching spot, it will be difficult to correct her.
If you pay attention to observation, you will also find that the cat scratching often appears in these scenes.
1銆丄fter waking up from sleep, the cat will stretch its stiff muscles. After simply arching its body and moving around, it will go to the cat scratching board or cat climbing frame to scratch and then extend its front paws as far as possible, with its body lying low and its hips high. This will help the cat activate its body and relieve muscle tension so that it can engage in the next activities, such as patrolling the territory.
2. The cat will be very excited at the beginning of the game and will run to scratch its cat scratching products to put itself in a better condition. After entering the state, you will find that the cat's interest in the game is much higher than usual, and at the same time, to prolong the game activity, they will also briefly stop. Run to the cat scratching product to scratch again, and then return to the game.
3銆丅efore or after eating. Cats are natural predators, they will sometimes bury the food for a short time waiting for hungry for the paws to dig out to eat. Although domestic pet cats do not have to worry about food, many cats scratching behavior before and after eating, you may also be able to interpret this as cat meal etiquette.
Cat scratching is part of their life survival. If you don't want your cat to scratch your beloved couch or other items you don't want to be scratched, you need to figure out your cat's preferences and also provide cat scratching items he likes to divert attention.
Which cat scratching products are more popular with cats?
1, material. 80% of cat-owning households will have at least one cat scratching product, and these cat scratching products are mainly composed of sisal or carpet material, etc. Most of the cat scratching products on the market today are also composed of sisal, cardboard, soft fleece, etc., but each cat's preferences are different. Want to figure out which one they like, then you need to provide them with different cat scratching products to see the cat's choice.
2, shape and stability. Cats like to scratch from different angles, such as horizontal cat scratching boards, vertical cat climbing frames, and curved cat scratching balls. But after a survey found that most the prefer to scratch S-shaped hard paper cat scratching board. But there is a point to note, whether it is a cat scratching board or cat climbing frame, the placement should be kept as stable as possible. Especially cat climbing frame, if the bottom is not stable enough, cats scratching when the cat climbing frame shaking, cats may shift their attention to other places, such as the sofa. Therefore, before buying these products, one of the criteria for purchase is to test whether they are stable.
3. Cats prefer new cat scratching boards. Cats will prefer new scratching boards, especially in a multi-cat environment, where cats will stay shorter when scratching on scratching products that are stuck to other cats' scents. They will also avoid cat scratching products that are higher status and stained with unneutered adult male cats. And when the cat is faced with a new cat scratching product, it will stay longer on the new product so that its scent is left perfectly.
4. Cats of different ages and different individuals have different preferences. Young cats are curious and energetic, they like scratching more than adult cats and are also willing to try different cat scratching products. In addition, cats under 10 years of age prefer sisal scratching products, while cats over 10 years of age prefer carpeted fleece, and preferences will change again for older cats.
If you want to figure out your cat's preferences, then basic cat scratching boards and cat climbing frames can be purchased according to the size of your living environment. If your cat likes it, then you can buy it for a long time. When you perceive that your cat's preference has changed and you want to try new cat scratching products, then you can provide small cat scratching products of different materials for your cat to try first before purchasing them.
Three, when your cat suddenly stops scratching, you need to be alert
Cat scratching is an innate and irreversible behavior, and trying to get a cat to stop scratching is basically impossible. For them, this activity is as important as eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom. If your cat suddenly starts to stop scratching, then this is the time not to assume that your cat has changed sex, but to wonder if your cat is suffering from a disease and look for clues to provide to your doctor for consultation and to receive observation and treatment.
Injury to the claws is one of the direct causes of a cat not scratching. Examples include nails that are too long and pierce the fleshy pads, injuries sustained during nail clipping, paw injuries sustained during jumping up and down, and other accidents that cause injuries. When you find that your cat suddenly does not scratch, the first thing you should do is to observe whether its paws and claws are red, swollen, bleeding and painful. In addition, when trimming your cat's nails make sure not to cut to the blood line, just cut off the bent part, and you can trim it several times thereafter.
For cats kept purely indoors, the intensity of daily activities does not easily lead to fractures, but if there are stairs or a large cat climbing frame in your home, it is very possible for the cat to fall down and cause fractures. For those cats that have the habit of going outside or are free-ranging, the chance of fracture will be greatly increased. If you find that your cat does not like to move one of its feet or stays on its back all day, then it is possible that your cat has suffered an accident, such as a car accident, during the process of going outside. A fracture will be painful if left unattended, and even if your cat is very reclusive, you can still get a glimpse of it by its unusual behavior.
Some cats are very self-healing and will heal on their own from minor fractures, but many fractures also require surgery depending on the severity of the choice.
Professor David Bennett of the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine has found that cats over the age of 8 have about a 30% chance of developing feline arthritis. In a series of studies it can also be found that the chances of developing arthritis in the various bone joints of cats vary: elbow, hip, knee and shoulder joints are the most susceptible parts. When a cat develops arthritis, its movement will be affected regardless of the part of the body. For the favorite cat scratching products they also want to play, but the pain forces them to give up. At such times, they prefer to sleep and lie down to rest rather than move around standing up. If you observe abnormal activity in your cat, especially in older cats, then you need to take it to the hospital promptly for observation.
Strained or torn ligaments
Cats walk on their toes rather than their paws, and their foot bones are firmly bound together by ligaments, with the carpal and ankle bones arranged in a lateral motion, which allows them to withstand the shock of running at high speeds or even falling from a height, and allows them to move more freely on a daily basis. However, when a cat's ligaments are injured during jumping or running, their walking posture will change and their jumping and scratching activity will be significantly reduced. Ligament injuries in cats are difficult to diagnose and require the help of specialized doctors and equipment to confirm and treat.
Tumors can indirectly affect the limbs and paws of cats, such as squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, fibrosarcoma, hemangioma, etc. Although it is relatively rare for these cancers to affect the cat's paws, they can still cause considerable effects on the paws, such as paw swelling, pain, separation of the paw from the nail shell, paw loss or nail fungus, etc.
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