There's A Surprisingly Sweet Reason Your Cat Is Scratching The Sofa
It's actually kind of cute ❤️
Sponsored by FEANDREA
Cats may have a reputation of being aloof and unaffectionate, but they’re a lot more in tune with their surroundings than you might think — and they have an interesting way of showing their love, too.
In a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, veterinary psychologists in Brazil surveyed 500 cat parents on the emotional bond they have with their cats, and how that closeness affects their cats’ behavior.
Cat parents — before you keep reading, you might want to go cover up your furniture.
Scientists have concluded that cats who feel close to their humans are more likely to scratch furniture around the house. Ummm … thanks, kitty?
While the reason for this link remains unclear, scientists found that the cats in the survey who scratched furniture and destroyed objects the most were directly connected to a high level of emotional closeness with their humans. This assessment was based on interviews with cat owners and how in-depth their descriptions were of their cats’ personality and behavior.
Researchers were also able to conclude that cat parents may just expect and tolerate this behavior, as scratching appeared to be corrected less than other problem behaviors, like aggression, excessive vocalization (meowing) and peeing outside of the litter box.
Meanwhile, cat parents who didn’t report having scratched furniture had a lower level of emotional closeness with their cats, based on the lack of description they gave to questions about their cats’ personality and behavior.
In the report of their study, researchers wrote, “Evidence supports that cats' behavior influences the level of emotional closeness between the animals and the owners.”
There are a couple additional takeaways from the survey worth noting.
The majority of survey participants (90 percent) were female, and researchers found the level of emotional closeness was higher in this group than in male owners. Perhaps cats like females better?
Also, having other pets and making frequent visits to the vet were also linked to a higher level of emotional closeness between cats and their humans.
On that note, if saving your furniture and redirecting your cat’s love of scratching couches sounds appealing, you’ll want to continue reading.
Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in Colorado, tells The Dodo, “Instead of attempting to eliminate [your cat’s scratching], it’s more productive to refocus this natural behavior onto an appropriate target.”
Cat scratching options that aren’t your sofa
As mentioned above, a cat scratcher (or cat tree with scratching options) is a great item to help refocus your cat’s attention on an appropriate place to sharpen his nails.
The FEANDREA cat tree tower, for example, not only offers multiple levels of climbing and lounging fun, but 13 (yes, 13!) scratching posts and one scratching ramp. Basically, it’s a special place just for your cat to hang out and scratch to his heart’s content. He’ll be a happy camper, and you’ll be excited about giving your kitty a place of his own, much like the brand’s slogan, “We care, we share.”
There’s nothing sweeter than the love your cat has for you, and it’s even better when you can share that love for each other on your scratch-free couch!