Cat: The Masterpiece

11/09/08 - by TheCatCoach

Cats are nature’s masterpiece. They are perfectly designed. They are compact and streamlined hunting machines. Every part of a cat has multiple jobs to perform. From the tips of sensitive whiskers to the bottom of silent paws, every part of a cat multi-tasks. Every part of a cat is perfect.

A cat’s claws and paws are good examples of this. Cats use their claws for many reasons. Defending themselves is one, catching prey is another.  Cats also need to scratch. When cat’s scratch, they are telling the world about themselves, broadcasting information, marking their territory. Cats have scent glands on the bottom of their paw pads that leave vital information about themselves. Additionally they are marking visually.

Cats give themselves manicures when they scratch. When we get manicures and pedicures, we spend lots of money and time in order to have perfectly shaped finger nails and toe nails. Cats have it made. All they have to do to maintain the health of their claws is scratch on a surface that has a certain texture and resistance.

When cats scratch they are stretching. Every morning my cats go to their favorite scratching posts and reach up as high as they can and scratch and stretch. They stretch every muscle with these daily stretches. We can learn a lot about how to properly stretch just by watching our cats scratch and stretch.

Cats do have to scratch. They don’t have to scratch the antique sofa or the Persian rug. They can be taught through methods that include positive reinforcement and modeling to scratch the right cat-centric furniture.  Declawing a cat is not a good solution to stop a cat from scratching furniture. Besides being painful and inhumane, it can lead to other behavior problems such as biting and inappropriate elimination.

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5 comments on “Cat: The Masterpiece”

  1. I agree that declawing is inhumane as well. I got my cat soft paws, they are these colorful nail caps that allow my kitty to scratch without ruining my furniture. I love them and think they are another great option to fixing the indoor cat scratching problem!

  2. 18 years ago--my (then) kitten attempted to scratch our rented furniture--so hubby and I built him a cat tree. He never ever ever touched our furniture again--we didn't even have to train him not to. I have replaced the carpet on the cat tree 8 times--more often in some areas. Any other cats that have visited or we have owned have not scratched our furniture--including our two bengal adolescents. I highly recommend cat trees-- taller the better--so they can stretch and not knock it over. Even a log with bark on it will do. Another interesting surface my bengals have found-- the old barn wood that is on our stairway walls-- I wanted to take it down--but it is so handy for the kitties to scratch on-I think I will leave it.

  3. Angela,
    Soft Paws are definitely an option. You do have to be a little careful with them though, fungal infections can occur. One of my client's cats has soft paws that have little moons and stars painted on them. Very stylish...

    In answer to Amy's comment: Cats also love scratching on sisal rope. BTW, cat trees are available that are made from actual trees. Check out

  4. Wowie! Furwood Forest has some great looking trees! Thanks for that link!
    Our first scratching post was made with sisal rope-- our first cat did not like it-- we wrapped the rope around a post on the tree that we made-- he still did not like the rope-- BUT our bengal boys love it.

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