British Shorthairs are beautiful cats with a calm temperament. Although British Shorthair kittens are hyperactive, British Shorthairs as adults are very polite and only care about their business. This feline rarely scratches furniture and other things. However, scratching has many benefits and you should encourage the scratching habit of your British Shorthair. For that, you should buy a scratching post that your British Shorthair will love to scratch and play with.
One of the major mistakes that you might make is choosing a scratching post that only appeals to you. See, you should consider what your British Shorthair will love.
The ideal size of the Scratching Post depends on how long your British Shorthair is. However, the larger the scratching post is, the better. The size should be 2 times the length of your British Shorthair including the tail.
If you are buying a kitten British Shorthair, then buy an even larger scratching post, as the kitten will grow big in no time. A tall and vertical Scratching post is better as your British Shorthair can stand on their hind legs and jump up, climb, stretch, and be active.
A large horizontal scratching post is also good for them. Moreover, the horizontal post should be able to fit your shorthairs’ entire body comfortably even while stretching.
I won’t recommend a small size scratching post because your British Shorthair has no area to stretch and instead it brings stress to your British Shorthair. It’s never a bad idea to get a large-sized scratch post. A cat tree house with scratching posts is even better!
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is the more area, angles, planes, and platforms you give your British Shorthair to scratch in, the happier she will be.
Today, I will tell you about what kind of scratching post your British Shorthair needs. You will even get to know how to encourage your British Shorthair to scratch the post. I’ll also try to answer other queries that you might have.
Why Does Your British Shorthair Scratch?
Like normal cats, British Shorthairs also have reasons to scratch. You can read the reasons below.
Marking Visual Territory
British Shorthairs might get territorial. This is seen in male cats more than females.
Your British Shorthairs leave scents on their cheeks, urine on their territory. Likewise, your shorthair will mark an area of your house visually by claw marks too.
This is to warn other cats, animals, and even humans that the scratched area is your British Shorthairs’ territory.
To Sharpen Claws
Like your nails, your British Shorthair also has claws that grow throughout their life. Thus, Scratching serves as a way to remove the overgrown claws.
It might be just natural instinct for your British Shorthair to remove the worn out claw and sharpen their inner new claws.
You can trim their nails to remove worn-out claws. However, British Shorthairs are independent kitties and can take care of this matter by themselves. You just need to buy your shorthair a scratching post.
Some British Shorthairs are playfully aggressive by nature. They might spend all their saved up energy on scratching your furniture just for fun. Moreover, it might just be an exercise for them to stretch out and scratch your furniture.
British Shorthairs are very sensitive. Any changes in their environment, may it be from people, places, or new pets, will make them anxious. This anxiety and stress might convert into scratching.
British Shorthairs have immense love for their owners. If you come home after a hard day of work, your British Shorthair will be very excited to greet you. This excitement can burst into scratching your furniture.
What is the Best Scratching Post For British Shorthair?
Choosing a scratching post for your British Shorthair might sound like a difficult task. But, if you understand your British Shorthair properly, it will be an easy task. You should understand what your British Shorthair needs and cater to their needs.
Initially, you can buy a cheap scratch post. Then, move on to some expensive ones after you are ensured that it will be the best one for your shorthair.
There are a lot of scratching posts you can choose from. For example, straight ones, extra tall ones, hollow and tubular ones, vertical and horizontal ones, angled scratch posts, cat tree house with sisal ropes and scratch bars, etc.
I have listed the dimensions of the scratching post that will work the best for your British Shorthair. Read below to find out.
Size Of Scratching Post
The size of the scratching post for your British Shorthair should be 2 times larger than the length of your shorthair. The length of your British Shorthair is calculated from the front legs to as much as your shorthair can stretch to their hind legs. Include the tail too.
Just make sure that your British Shorthair can stretch comfortably on the scratching post. You can start with a 40-inch tall scratching post for your adult British Shorthair. For kitten British Shorthairs, a 20-inch tall scratching post is better. But, since kittens grow tall soon, buying a 40-inch tall scratching post will be your best option.
If you get a tall scratching post, it leaves a lot of areas to stretch for your British Shorthair.
A larger area of scratching post around the base of the tall scratching post i.e, horizontal scratching post also leaves a lot of area for your British Shorthair to lie down and scratch.
However, small Scratching posts do not give your British Shorthair a good benefit of exercise. your shorthair needs to crouch down and it can get really uncomfortable in a small scratching post. Moreover, your shorthair cannot stretch those muscles and get circulation.
That is why I will recommend you to get a larger and taller scratching post as you possibly can. You can never go wrong with a tall vertical and wide horizontal scratching post!
Structure Of Scratching Post
The best scratching posts structure is with many platforms (like a cat tree house) and planes. So that your British Shorthair can choose any position she likes to stretch out and exercise.
There are hollow and solid scratching posts for your British Shorthair. The hollow ones are better because:
- The hollow ones are sturdier because it cannot topple on top of your shorthair. Even if it does topple, it will not hurt your British Shorthair.
- The hollow scratching post will make more noise. This noise will be pleasant for your shorthair. Moreover, if your shorthair is mischievous, the noise might add to the satisfaction. Because your shorthair might think she is destroying the post.
A cat treehouse is also better. This treehouse structure incorporates the living area as well as the scratching area for your British Shorthair. Furthermore, your shorthair will have a lot of platforms to stay on and scratch.
In addition, the cat tree house offers a view of their surroundings. British Shorthairs are excellent observers. Thus, the cat tree house might serve as a way to navigate their environment. This will make your British Shorthair comfortable.
Nowadays, people are buying a scratching post that blends in with the design of their house. Such scratching posts are called scratching lounges. Instead of buying a cat tree house, people buy lounges.
Actually, the structure of the scratching posts comes in a variety that you can choose.
Material Of Scratching Post
After you have decided on a large scratch post for your British Shorthair, it’s time to select a good material that your British Shorthair will love to scratch.
Your British Shorthair will love to scratch a sturdy material that shreds while scratching. This will create a scratch mark on the material and urges a territorial instinct in your British Shorthair. Moreover, this visual marking will create a sense of comfort in your shorthair.
Outdoor cats have a habit of climbing trees and scratching the wood. See, you can use wood for your British Shorthair but it just creates a mess in your house.
Moreover, British Shorthairs are indoor cats. That’s why you need scratching materials that work best indoors.
Sisal Rope And Fabric
Sisal is a great material for scratching. It is made from the Agave Sisalana plant native to Southern Mexico.
Sisal is also very strong and rough. Your British Shorthair will feel like she is scratching a tree. It just feels natural to scratch a Sisal.
Although a bit expensive, Sisal is biodegradable and lasts for a long time. However, you may be confused about keeping a sisal rope or fabric. Bear with me.
I prefer Sisal Fabric over Sisal rope. This is because Sisal fabric becomes softer on scratching. While the sisal rope becomes sharper and it might hurt the claws of your British Shorthair.
Sisal fabric is easy to shed smoothly and leaves a territorial mark on it. While the sisal rope is interrupted by bumps and it isn’t a satisfying experience for your shorthair. That is why even you should use Sisal fabric!
Moreover, sisal scratching posts have a different texture compare to your furniture. Thus, you can easily train your British Shorthair to scratch rough sisal than your smooth furniture.
You can buy a scratching post entirely covered with sisal (including the tall parts and the parts around the base). Your British Shorthair will love it.
Corrugated Cardboard works as a cheap scratching post. Moreover, your British Shorthair will love the pleasant feeling of dragging the claws on the cardboard post. The noise while scratching is also very pleasurable for your shorthair.
Since cardboard scratching posts are inexpensive, it can be your perfect starter for scratching posts. Especially if you are trying a scratching post for your British Shorthair for the first time.
There are high-density cardboards as well which come in a variety of shapes on which your shorthair can lie comfortably.
Cardboards come on flat surfaces or angles. Some even come with toys attached to them. However, it gets destroyed quite easily.
But, for a first try, cardboards are not that bad.
I don’t prefer carpet as scratching posts for many reasons.
First, the texture of the carpet scratching post resembles the texture of your furniture. It will be confusing for your British Shorthair to differentiate the texture and your shorthair might end up scratching everything that resembles a carpet.
Another thing is carpet doesn’t give a satisfying feeling to your shorthair. The carpets don’t shred and leave any mark. Instead, the carpet catches the claws and pulls on your British Shorthairs toes which is very painful.
Vertical Or Horizontal?
I recommend the size of the scratching post to be both as tall vertically as it is wide horizontally. This is so that your shorthair has an ample amount of space to stretch and be comfortable.
Some angle on the scratch post is also very beneficial. Angled scratchers allow your British Shorthair to work more muscles. It is essential to remember that the more planes and platforms you provide, the more entertaining it is to your British Shorthair.
Some British Shorthairs prefer to lie down in a crouching position and “dig” the scratching post. They might feel like they’re unraveling a burrow of a mouse in this position.
Some cats prefer to sort of stay on the ground and reach the scratchable surface with their front paws. And, some cats prefer to stand on all four paws and climb on a scratching post.
The horizontal scratching post should be wide enough for your shorthair to stand on, stretch, and scratch comfortably. If the scratching post is too small, then your shorthair might kick the claws of hind legs and destroy the floor unknowingly.
The tall scratcher should be tall enough to accommodate your British Shorthair climbing and stretching. British Shorthairs are avid climbers and their love for climbing is unmatched. That’s why vertical scratching posts work best for your British Shorthair.
Stable Scratching Post
I think that stability is even more important than the material for your British Shorthair.
your shorthair uses a lot of force while scratching. A scratching post with a light base easily topples over due to this force. If the scratching post wobbles a lot and topples over, it’s not a good idea to keep it with your shorthairs. Because your shorthair might jump and climb on it. This causes injuries.
Furthermore, this will cause your British Shorthair to never look at the scratching post ever again.
Outdoors cats prefer trees because trees are stable. Your British Shorthair scratches your chair, desk, and furniture because furniture is stable. Overall, a sturdy scratching post is favored by your shorthair.
That is why you should use a scratching post with a strong heavy base so it has less chance of toppling over. Using a hollow scratching post is also a lot better than dense and heavy scratching posts.
Where Should You Put The Scratching Post For British Shorthair?
This might be the most important thing to keep in mind. You should keep the scratching post in a location where your British Shorthair spends a lot of time.
You can keep the scratch post in an area that your British Shorthair has claimed as their own territory. Generally, a cat scratches an area that is visible to everyone to claim territory. If you have an idea of where your British Shorthair scratches, you have an idea of where to keep the scratching post.
Considering that British Shorthairs are avid climbers and love high places, it is also better to use a high cat tree house that has scratching posts attached. I recommend you to keep the scratching posts near a window where your British Shorthair can look at birds and insects.
Moreover, your British Shorthair will love the warmth of sunshine on their scratching post. I sometimes think that British Shorthairs are like cellphones that get charged by sunshine. That’s why keep the scratching post in an area with lots of sunshine.
British Shorthairs are like dogs. These felines will greet you on your doorsteps when you’re back home from work. So, in the excitement of seeing you, they scratch furniture. You can keep scratching post near the doorsteps so that your shorthair can vent up the excitement on scratching the post.
Moreover, British Shorthairs love food and can do anything for food. Food excites them. Thus, you can keep scratching posts near their food bowl.
If your shorthair likes to hang out in more than one place, then it will be better to buy more scratching posts and keep it in their favorite hanging spots.
A mistake you might make is keeping the scratch post secluded in a storeroom or away from the usual place where your shorthair sits. This will discourage your shorthair from scratching the post.
How To Make Your British Shorthair Use the Scratching Post?
First of all, you should keep the scratching post at a good location as I described above.
Even after doing that, your shorthair might not use the scratching post. There may be reasons like the smell of the post is appalling (especially the glue on the post). For that, you can use catnip sprays or calming sprays on the scratching post. This will encourage your British Shorthair to scratch on it.
Moreover, you can attach cat toys like fish poles and sisal ropes to the scratching post. This will encourage the playful aggressiveness in your British Shorthair.
You can even gesture your shorthair into scratching the post by dragging your hand on the post. British Shorthairs are very intelligent and might understand what you are gesturing. They might start copying you after some days and start scratching the post.
However, don’t forcefully drag your shorthairs’ paws on the post. It is annoying to your British Shorthair.
Furthermore, feeding your British Shorthair around the scratch post might increase the importance of that area. In no time, your British Shorthair will start using the scratch post as a mark of their territory.
Benefits Of Using Scratching Post For British Shorthair
There are only benefits of using Scratch posts which I’ve listed below:
- Scratching Posts helps your British Shorthair to shed out worn-out claws and sharpen new claws.
- Your shorthair can vent anxiety, frustration, excitement, and all emotions on scratching posts. Instead of being aggressive, your shorthair can scratch the post. In a way, it is like therapy for your shorthair.
- Scratching Post acts as an alternative to furniture. So, your shorthair scratches the post instead of your precious furniture. In this way, you save your furniture.
- Scratching serves as a great way to exercise and stretch your shorthairs’ muscles. Stretching improves the circulation of blood flow and benefits your shorthairs’ health greatly.
- British Shorthairs are calm cats. But calmness also means laziness for them. This laziness is especially seen in Old British Shorthairs. Thus, scratching posts can act as a great way to stretch and exercise to improve the health of your old lady/gentleman.
- British Shorthairs are friendly cats. It’s only sometimes that they get aggressive. And they are ready to share the scratching post with their family. If you have multiple British Shorthairs, a scratching post can be a great place where British Shorthairs can meet and play.
Should You Make A Scratching Post By Yourself For British Shorthair?
Making a scratching post from home is cheap. A homemade DIY Scratching post will also tailor to your British Shorthairs’ needs.
You can create the desired size of the scratching post for your British Shorthair. But, it takes a lot of work to make a hazard-free scratching post.
If you have lots of time on your hands, I’ll say go for it. However, buying a scratching post is easier and safer than tangling yourself in this hassle.
The nails should be hammered in well. Otherwise, it might pierce your shorthairs’ paws and cause severe injuries. DIY scratching posts also need to be sanded down on the edges. If your shorthair chews on it, it will hamper their health.
Furthermore, your British Shorthair has a strong sense of smell. The smell of glue and tarnish is very appalling for your shorthair. That’s why your shorthair might dislike the scratching post. This will cause a waste of money, effort, and time.
Moreover, I don’t think a homemade scratching post will last as long. That is why you shouldn’t entertain the idea of making a scratching post by yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Scratching Post Should You Get For British Shorthair?
A single British Shorthair should have multiple scratching posts. This is so that it instills a habit in your British Shorthair to scratch furniture. Make sure to keep the scratching posts at their favorite spot though.
If you have multiple British Shorthairs, then each one of them should have access to their scratching posts. This is because British Shorthairs might get aggressive when other cat tries to invade their territory (a scratching post).
Moreover, you can buy a cat tree house with multiple platforms and multiple scratching posts. If your British Shorthair is friendly, they won’t mind sharing the cat treehouse.
Does Scratching Post Trim Nails?
Like human nails, British Shorthairs also have claws that grow throughout their life. Your British Shorthair removes the worn-out claws and brings out new sharp claws by scratching. Thus, to help your British Shorthair in removing their worn-out claws, you should buy a scratching post for them.
Trimming means cutting the worn-out claws using a claw-cutter. For this, you need to dedicate your time and effort to cut your shorthair’s claws. And trust me when I say that British Shorthairs hate trimming their nails. That is why it is a lot better to buy your British Shorthair a scratching post to blunt their worn-out claws than trimming the worn-out claws.
In simple words, a scratching post will help your British Shorthair to shed the worn-out claws. It will also save you time and effort!
How Tall Should The Scratching Post Be For British Shorthair?
The taller the scratching post is, the better! For starters, a 40-inch long scratching post for your adult British Shorthair will be good. For a kitten British Shorthair, you can buy a 20-inch tall scratching post.
Remember that the scratching post should be tall for your shorthair to stretch comfortably. The tallness should be 2 times the length of your shorthair’s body when it stands on all four paws!
How Long Do Scratching Post Last For British Shorthair?
The longevity of the scratching post depends on the material it is made of and the number of cats in your house. It also depends on how much your shorthairs use the scratching post.
If you have multiple British Shorthair kittens, don’t expect the scratching post to last for more than 6 months.
However, for an adult British Shorthair, it may last for 2 years.
For multiple adult British Shorthairs in the household, the scratch post might last for a year.
Perhaps the most important thing is the material and quality of the scratching post. Sisal Scratching posts are really durable and last for months and even years. Whereas, if you use carpet and cardboard, I don’t think they will last as long.
Scratching posts with wood as a base are also long-lasting.
How To Make your shorthair Not Scratch Your Furniture?
Firstly, cover the furniture that your British Shorthair scratches with a heavy blanket or double-sided duct tape. Then, keep a scratching post near the furniture. Chances are, your shorthair will start using the scratching post instead of using the furniture covered with unsatisfying covering.
Moreover, British Shorthairs are highly sensitive to smell and you can use this to your advantage.
Make a solution of lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, and water. Then, spray it on your furniture or any place that you don’t want your British Shorthair to scratch. Although this smell is good for you, your British Shorthair will hate it.
I hope you understood the size of the scratching post needed by your British Shorthair.
Your British Shorthair needs a tall vertical scratching post because they are avid climbers. You can even buy a large horizontal scratcher. Angled scratcher also works well. Just make sure to get a scratching post containing many platforms and angles to make your shorthair as comfortable as possible. You should also ensure to get a large scratching post.
I hope this article was helpful for you to choose a scratcher for your lovely British Shorthair.