Dear Dr. Schelling,

Is one scratching post enough for my cat?

– Marco in New York

Dear Marco,

You can never have too many scratching posts. Most cats appreciate being able to scratch on a variety of different materials, and on a mix of upright posts and flat or inclined scratching pads. As a result, they scratch more, which exercises their bodies, reduces stress, and provides multiple other benefits. If you place various types of scratching furniture in your cat’s favorite locations, you’ll have a happy scratcher. To learn more about multiple scratching surfaces read my article on THE BENEFITS OF MULTIPLE SCRATCHING SURFACES.

Click here to read full article

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How do cats manage to squeeze into such small places, and why do you all apparently like to do this so much?

- Dan (with two tuxedo cats)

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Dear Dan,

The short answer to both parts of your question is "Because we can."

Here's the slightly longer answer. Our skeletal system allows us to be quite flexible. We have no rigid collarbone like you humans, so we have much greater range of movement in our shoulders. In addition, the vertebrae (segments) in our backbones can twist and turn in ways that human vertebrae cannot. All in all, we're built to sneak into some mighty small places.

Why do we seem to enjoy squeezing through narrow spaces, not to mention stuffing ourselves into boxes that were clearly designed for a pair of shoes, not a pair of cats? Well, we are curious – we want to know what's behind every door, and we want to see if we can fit into any structure that's new to us. Also, cats, like humans, get pleasure from doing things they're good at; we're good at contorting our bodies and at being stealthy, so naturally we're attracted to hiding places.


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Questions? Email me at

PURRFECT VIEW: The Purrfect View is a wonderful mini-complex of "just for me" stuff. First, it's scratchable in all sorts of ways: The floor is that woven sisal material that feels so great when I dig my claws through it. I can do a full vertical scratch on the two posts. And the sisal-covered tunnel is the indoor version of a hollow log, perfect for a hearty scratch any time. My humans use the Purrfect View when we're playing: They hide catnip mice in the tunnel, or drag a wand toy up and over the posts. But where I spend the most time is on the super-comfy perches; the top one is just the right height for gazing out the window.

If you're looking for me, and I'm not relaxing on some important papers or the keyboard, I'm probably hanging out at the Purrfect View.

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GO-CAT-GO BUTTERFLY BALL: The Butterfly Ball moves in unpredictable ways that keep me guessing. That's what makes it so irresistible. Trying to figure out where it's going to go next exercises my keen wits and improves my agility. Of course, I always win in the end, but the challenge of the chase is so fun!

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The average house cat can run
up to 30mph when at top speed.
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.  Cats have never forgotten this.
Purrfect View Go Cat Go Butterfly Ball