Have you ever gone for retail therapy at Home Goods or TJ Maxx and checked out the companion animal section? And behold! Look at this scratcher on clearance. You just can't beat that price so you throw it in the cart to bring home a little gift for your beloved cat. You get home and plop it in front of them. Ta dah! The response? Nothing. Crickets. A cat who looks at you like you've lost your mind. There goes another $15 down the drain. What happened?
In this specific scenario, the scratcher was probably too small. When cats scratch, they are multi-tasking. They shed the outer layer of claw, deposit friendly pheromones, and put all their weight into a delicious shoulder stretch. One wobble or topple and a scratcher doesn't make the cut. For that reason, scratchers must be at least three feet tall and sturdy enough to support your cat's weight.
But what if the scratcher you bought is tall and sturdy and still there's no response from your cat? That's a lot more tricky. There are a number of factors too detailed for one blog post. Cats have preferences for everything from material to incline and even to where the scratcher is placed in your house.
We could easily spend an hour long behavior session discussing your cat's scratching preferences and how to meet them. Most clients, however, throw this issue in at at the last minute with another larger issue such as house soiling or shyness. This is why I created the Cat Scratcher Cafeteria Kit. At a fraction of the price of a behavior session, this three week printable can take you through the scientific process of isolating variables to find your cat's favorite scratcher. No more guess work or ignored gifts! And you'll have one happy cat on their Best Behavior.