Question by Tammy: Observations..cats and scratching behavior?
I was just sitting here watching my cat. She comes over, puts her front feet on my chair, and proceeds to do that scratching thing….as in, what they normally do ON THE SCRATCHING POST…….(d*mmit ‘Wire!!!). I’ve been watching this behavior for years and I’m thinking I’ve overlooked something until now. Are they truly scratching in order to sharpen the nails or are they maybe stretching the toes, the feet and maybe the front legs?
I ask because ‘Wire has her toe nails dug into the padding of my chair completely, isn’t retracting them or removing them from the chair padding, and is rocking back and forth as if she’s doing cat pilates or something. Yes, I checked to see if she was stuck…she’s not. Also, I’ve noticed that she runs to the scratching post to scratch when she’s wound up and in “go” mode and then she scratches furiously. She does this other thing only when she first wakes up. Think this could be the equivalent of us stretching when we wake up? Something akin to the cute lil thing where they first lift the back and and then the front end or hunch up like an inch worm?
I was just curious to know what you think it’s purpose is….and save your breath…I know I’ve got WAY too much time on my hands!!!! (back injury…observing them is one of the only things I’m allowed to do right now…LOLOL) I highly recommend it..it’s like Discovery at home channel!!
Answer by Kia
You have made an excellent observation!! Cat DO indeed stretch their back, arms and shoulders when they scratch, their claws help anchor them and help them stretch!! Scratching has all sorts of benefits to the cat. It helps them stretch, also it marks their territory, they have scent glands in their paws that they mark with. A clawed cat is a VERY happy cat!!
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