In order to keep a cat from ripping up your favorite armchair, Levine recommends new cat owners try and find out what materials their cat prefers to scratch. “Some cats really like the sisal [rope] material, some like carpet, some like cardboard, and so we don’t want to make the choice for them because if we do, and it’s not what they prefer, they’re gonna find our couch and our chairs,” Levine explains.
It’s important when bringing a new cat into your home, regardless of age, to give him plenty of scratching options, Levine says. This means that not only do the cats need scratching posts made from different materials, but in varying shapes and sizes as well.
“Some cats like to mark or scratch horizontally and some cats like to scratch vertically,” Levine explains. “So, not only do we have to give them a choice of materials, we have to give them horizontal and vertical surfaces.”