Cats Sharpen Claws for More Than Just Destruction

Cats Sharpen Claws for More Than Just Destruction

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    Cats have claws for the obvious reason of self-defense and climbing to escape predators. While the destructive power of cat claws is known for tearing at flesh and furniture, it also serves as a tool for other key cat purposes. Cats are territorial and have many parts of their body with extra oil to spread around for marking territory. The paws and claws are a good example of a tool that serves multiple purposes, including marking territory.

    Visual and Scent Signs from Claw Marks

    When cats scratch surfaces, they are leaving visual indicators that show other cats their territorial presence, but there is also a smell that is released from the rubbing of paws and claws against the surface.

    In the great outdoors, you might see a tree with cat marks on it from one cat that sharpened its claws while marking its territory, but later see another cat spray on that same location.

    The spraying works to cover up the scent of the other cat and attempt to usurp its territory. This is one cause of why cats begin to fight when they smell the usurper within range.

    Stress Reliever and Stretching

    You might find that after a nap your cat stretches out a lot to wake up. Sometimes your cat will take the trouble of going to the scratching post to stretch and scratch, but frequently it will be the carpet that is the convenient location. Sharpening claws can be a stress reliever as well for your cat. You might notice that sometimes if your cat becomes frustrated that food is not being served in a timely manner or a new guest or cat arrives, there will be a lot more sharpening of the claws.

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