Friday, November 30, 2007

Fuzzy Friday: Cat Scratch Fever

On Fridays I write about our pets

Even though our two cats wear SoftPaws nail caps, they still need a place to scratch. (If you don't know what SoftPaws are, read this post.) Scratching is an instinctive cat behavior, used to mark territory, to slough the old claws, and for exercise.

In order for that to happen, the cats need to "get a grip" into something. The SoftPaws keep George and Angel from poking sharp claws into soft material like fabric or carpet. When they try, the smooth plastic caps just slide over the couch.

We needed to find alternative scratching materials that were inexpensive, widely available, and had an open enough structure to accommodate the nail caps. We found this one at the grocery store:

If you can't see the video, George is going to town on a cardboard scratch pad. It is simply a flat box with strips of cardboard mounted on edge inside. I think we paid about $5 for one and it lasts about six months. The holes in the cardboard edges must have just the right feel for her toenails, because she loves this thing. A little catnip inside doesn't hurt, either.

Angel found the second scratcher:

This loosely woven sisal-type basket was originally purchased to hide a box of Kleenex from the dog. Opal loves to snack on tissues. After a couple of days, Angel started clawing at the box, probably to see what was inside. Curiosity didn't kill the cat, it showed her a great scratching post. She returned to the box again and again, knocking it over and exposing the tissues. Eventually it was just easier to give her the box and let her enjoy it. I paid about $8 for this basket which should last for years. It looks pretty ratty, so it lives behind my chair.

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