Monday 4 December 2023

Cats like to scratch chenille but dislike synthetic leather or waterproof grosgrain

A test with rescue cats in a rescue cat setting showed that the cats preferred to scratch objects covered in chenille but disliked scratching synthetic leather or waterproof grosgrain fabrics. That's all I know! The information comes from a study published on July 19, 2021.

Chenille. Image in public domain.

I think the study is actually interesting but we need more information. I would like to see a full list of fabrics at the top of which would be the fabrics that cats most liked to scratch and at the bottom of which would be the fabrics that they least liked to scratch. This would assist cat owners when purchasing furniture.

I didn't know what chenille really looked like so I looked it up. It is a tufted, velvety, fluffy yarn, used for trimming furniture and made into carpets or clothing. It looks a bit like velvet. I guess that it is a fabric that cats can get their nails into, which feels nice when they scratch it. It is probably effective in sloughing off the outer cuticle of the claw, which is one reason why cat scratch furniture or a scratching post ideally.

We know what synthetic leather looks like. It's sort of plasticky which I suspect is by cats don't like it. Their claws go through it in an uncomfortable way and it might not be as effective in sloughing off the outer cuticle.

Of course, just because cats are less inclined to scratch waterproof grosgrain it doesn't mean that they're not going to scratch the fabric but I guess less so.

By the way, grosgrain is a tightly woven plastic fabric as I understand it. You can see a picture of it below. I suspect that it is too tightly woven for claws to penetrate freely.

Grosgrain ribbon showing the nature and texture of this fabric. Image in public domain.

Study citation: 

Alexandre P. Rossi, Cassia R. C. dos Santos, Caroline M. Maia, Claudia C. B. Terzian, Deisy F. Predebon, Juliana S. C. de Queiroz, Laraue P. M. Pereira, Marina Z. N. Bastos, MaurĂ­cio Choinski, Patricia E. Tsapatsis, Samantha R. M. de Assis & Tatiana M. CorrĂȘa (2023) Rescued Cats Prefer to Scratch Fabrics Commonly Used to Cover Upholstered Furniture, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 26:3, 313-324, DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2021.1949595


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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