Why do cats scratch?
Cats scratch with their front claws by dragging them downward, either on a horizontal or surface – this action, mentioned as stropping, loosens and removes the outer husk of the claw revealing a pointy new surface underneath.
It also exercises the muscles of the forelimbs and spine to stay the cat in tip-top condition for hunting. Some cats will scratch by lying down and pulling their body weight along the ground. The surfaces chosen are usually fixed and non-yielding to resist the force exerted by the cat.
Scratching is additionally used as a sort of territorial communication or marking behavior. Scent and sweat glands in between the pads of the feet mix to supply a singular smell. When claws are scraped down a surface, the scent is deposited and therefore the combination of the mark, discarded claw husks, and therefore the smell provides a robust visual and scent message to other cats.
Evidence of scratching outdoors can often be found on trees, fence posts, sheds, and wooden gates, for instance, all strategically important locations during a cat urban area. Similar surfaces outside also will be utilized for claw maintenance. Unvarnished woods and tree bark are the foremost natural surfaces to scratch as they supply an ideal level of resistance to the action and show a robust visual cue when used regularly.
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