Welcoming a cat into your home is not always easy (see previous article on adoption). They will instinctively prioritize their safety so don’t be surprised if they are apprehensive the first time you take them home.
The adjustment period can be even tougher on adopted felines who may have had rough experiences in other households previously. Thrust into an unfamiliar locale, your new adoptee may just stay in one place and refuse to budge.
Just like with us, moving to a new home can be exciting but also stressful for cats. It’s on you as the pet parent to help them get used to their new surroundings faster.
One thing that can help is allowing them to scratch.
Why Cats Like Scratching
If you’ve owned or even just been around a cat for an extended period of time, you probably know all about their fondness for scratching things. You can see them scratch pieces of furniture, bags, and even the bannister on a staircase.
That kind of habit seems odd to us, but for them, it’s just part of their nature. The Humane Society even notes that scratching is “normal, instinctive behavior” for our feline friends.
Okay, so why then is scratching considered normal behavior for our furry companions? There are two main explanations for that.
Animals like to mark their own territory and scratching helps your pet do that.
They have scent glands located on their paws. After they scratch something, their distinctive scent will be left behind.
The scratch marks themselves are also indicators of a feline’s presence.
Both the scent and the scratch marks are designed to keep other animals from invading your pet’s territory.
According to Meowingtons, scratching is also a form of stress relief for animals in the feline family. The feline brain releases positive hormones after scratching and those aid in relaxation
Scratching also removes the outer layers of your pet’s claws and that similarly helps improve their mood.
As you can see, scratching can help your pet feel more at home and more relaxed. It’s no wonder why they like to partake in that activity so much.
If you have an adopted cat that is struggling with his/her new surroundings, try to encourage him/her to engage in appropriate scratching. It could wind up making a huge difference.
Folks out there looking to adopt a new pet can turn to Purrfect Pals for assistance. They work tirelessly to send the animals in their care to loving homes and you can help them out by adopting. Find out more by contacting them today.
When TAILored Cat Services provides vacation care for your cat, we like to know if he/she is newly adopted so we can look for signs of anxiety. To schedule service, call 425-923-7791 or complete on-line form.