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Why Do Cats Scratch?

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Cats scratch for many reasons. 

Scratching may not be your favorite behavior that your cat exhibits, but you should know that it is a perfectly normal behavior. Unfortunately, some cats tend to scratch everything, which can leave you with ruined furniture. Before our veterinarian in North Merrick goes over strategies to help you discourage excessive scratching, you need to understand why scratching is important for cats. The following is a list of the main reasons why cats scratch:

#1. Claw Conditioning

Scratching helps to keep your cat’s claws healthy. The outer layers of your cat’s claws can become worn and frayed over time, and scratching helps to remove the outer layer to reveal a new, sharper layer underneath.

#2. Exercise

When a cat hooks his or her claws into something and pulls back, it creates a resistance that helps to strengthen the muscles and keeps the joints healthy.

#3. Claiming Territory

Unlike dogs, cats don’t have to urinate on something to mark their territory. Cats actually have scent glands on their feet, and they scratch surfaces to claim their territory. This behavior is commonly observed in indoor cats who scratch trees to mark them.

Scratching is a very common behavior in cats, but they aren’t doing it to be a nuisance. Scratching is a healthy part of life for cats, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to live with scratched up furniture! There are many things you can do to encourage your cat to scratch appropriately. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn more.

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