Published at Monday, June 18th, 2018 - 00:55:53 AM. . By Noémie Puente.
Cats love to scratch. This is a well-known fact amongst cat owners and can be a source of headache for people who are tired of having their living room furniture destroyed. But why do cats scratch and what can be done about it? Scratching is a natural and instinctive behavior for cats and it serves several purposes. First, it helps to keep the claws in good condition as it helps to remove the dead, outer layer of the claw - think of it like exfoliation for cats. Also, by digging its claws into something, this enables a cat to fully stretch it muscles (which is, apparently, very important after a long, hard day of lying around doing nothing!).
Cats are climbers by nature; height allows them to both avoid or escape larger predators, and give them a better and bigger view of the happenings in their area. Climbing is also good exercise and helps keep their claws in good shape. Cat claws grow continuously, both in length and layers from the center out. It is not unusual to find what looks like a toenail near an area that a cat scratches. It is the shed outer layer of the claw and part of the reason cats are so industrious about scratching.
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