They discover the reasons for this behavior in cats.

They discover the reasons for this behavior in cats.

Why do cats scratch furniture? This is the question that an international group of researchers asked themselves and set out to solve. These researchers have now been able to identify the factors that influence cats’ behavior and have published them in the scientific journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science

The researchers point out that cats have an innate instinct to scratch, a fact that many owners associate with behavioral problems, although this is not always the case. Yasemin Salgirlı Demirbaş, a veterinary researcher at Ankara University (Turkey) and first author of the study, explains that in the behaviors of domestic cats Several factors affect it, such as the presence of children in the home, the cats’ personality traits and their activity levels. Aspects that, according to Salgerli, “significantly influence the degree of scratching behavior.”

The study, conducted on more than 1,200 cat owners in France, showed that There is a “clear relationship between certain environmental and behavioral factors and increased scratching behavior in cats.”

Some Factors That Influence Cat Scratching Can Be Changed, Some Can’t | Pixabay

There are many aspects that affect cats. In addition to environmental factors, it is very important to take care of your daily life. “Having children in the house, High levels of play and nocturnal activity also contribute significantly to increased scratching. Cats described as aggressive or noisy also showed higher levels of scratching. Researcher Yasemin Salgireli explains. One of the main reasons for this damage to furniture in the home is stress. This stress can be conditioned by the presence of children, especially if they are young. However, the researchers point out that more studies are needed to indicate a clear relationship between these two aspects, as Another factor that can be linked to stress is the desire to play, and when cats play for long periods of time and are constantly stimulated, stress levels increase.

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Can these scratches be avoided?

Some factors that encourage cats to scratch cannot be changed. The personality of the cat in question or the presence of children in the home are not modifiable aspects, but others are. Setting up scratching posts in the cat’s usual spots can help change this behavior, and as Salgerli explains, providing “elevated observation areas and plenty of play opportunities” can “relieve stress and get the cat engaged in more constructive activities.” Play sessions should be kept short so as not to overstimulate cats and keep them interested and stress-free.

Another aspect to highlight, according to the researchers, is the relationship between cats and their caregivers. Because “understanding the emotional drivers behind scratching behavior, such as frustration, which appear to be linked to personality traits and environmental factors, allows caregivers to address these issues directly,” explains Salgerli.

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