Cat Scratchers: Why Isn’t My Cat into Them?

March 30, 2019
If your cat doesn't use scratchers. then they might be more attracted to your furniture and/or other valuables items in your home. So, perhaps you should take measures to get them interested in it.

Domestic cats don’t lose their instincts, nor the customs inherited from their wild ancestors. For this reason, and others too, cat scratchers are necessary for them to be able to file their claws. This is not the only reason; they also need sharp claws to renew and mark their territory.

With this in mind, you should provide them with a cat scratcher. However, what happens if your feline friend doesn’t like using it, and prefers to use great-great-grandpa’s antique clock instead?

Cat scratchers are crucial

In the wild, cats often sharpen their claws on tree trunks. So, unless your kitty has access to the woods or you let them roam around freely outside, then you should provide a cat scratcher. If not, you’ll have to deal with the consequences of them scratching some of your nicest and most expensive furniture.

So, now you understand why cat scratchers are indispensable. But, however beautiful or expensive this object may be, or how much love you put into building one, it’s possible that your oh-so-moody friend won’t like it as much as they like your doors, windows, carpets, sofas, etc.

Below, we’ll give you different reasons why your cat may not like their scratcher.

Reasons why cats reject seemingly cool scratchers

Cat scratchers are important for cats.

So, why wouldn’t your pussycat want to use the super-cool scratching post that you just bought/built with so much love! There are a few reasons, and it’s important for you to keep them in mind in order to avoid wasting time, money – and valuable furniture. Take note:

  • Inadequate size. If the scratcher is too small, it’s probably not challenging enough for the cat. Keep in mind that this element should allow them to hook their claws in while stretching.
  • Instability. An unstable scraper will, most likely, just scare the cat. Make sure it has an adequate base that is attached to the floor or to a wall.
  • Texture. There are scratchers of all kinds, and you may already be familiar with them. Of course, you can find one to suit your decor and to the cat’s liking.

Other reasons a cat might not like a scratcher

Other things to keep in mind if your cat rejects a scratcher are:

  • Position. Pay attention to the scratching preferences of your cat before you buy a scratching post. Is it horizontal, vertical?
  • Location. Well, cats are picky and very particular about what they like so not all places are to their liking. Even if the scratcher is perfect, they won’t use it if it isn’t placed in the right place. Furthermore, put it in a quiet place where the cat might like to sleep or chill out. Why not place it in front of that Louis XV armchair they currently use to sharpen their claws?
  • Strong odors. If a particular object is impregnated with an unpleasant smell, the cat will develop a feeling of aversion to it. Remember that cats are very sensitive to certain scents such as lavender, rue, geranium, absinthe, lemon thyme, eucalyptus oil and oil of wintergreen, among others.
  • Lack of education. In spite of their intelligence, it’s always a good idea to teach your cat how to use a scratcher, and you should start when they’re young. If you show them how much fun it is, then you’ll surely tempt them away from using your 19th-century mahogany inlaid writing desk as a scratcher.

More tips on cat scratchers

A cat sitting next to a scratcher.

If your cat continues to reject their new scratcher in spite of all of your attempts to the contrary, then try these tips:

  • Spray the scratcher with a few drops of catnip; it’ll be irresistible to your cat.
  • Scratch it yourself to show the cat what it’s for and to remove any fears they may have.
  • Involve the scratcher in the cat’s usual games and place it near their favorite toys.

Finally, in no way should you try to force a cat to use a scratcher. It’ll turn it into a negative experience and you’ll get the exact opposite effect. The cat will end up hating it even more.