Do you keep noticing that once you get home, your cat runs to their scratching post and starts scratching? Ever wondered, “Why do cats scratch post when I get home?”
Why Does My Cat Run to the Scratching Post When I Come Home? It is their way of communicating with you.
This behavior is actually quite common in a lot of cats. However, we, cat owners, often seek to know what such behaviors mean, so we know how to deal with our cats in the best possible way.
This is why I’m here to discuss this particular issue. But before we get down to it, there’s something we must understand first:
Why Do Cats Scratch at All?
Usually, cats’ scratching isn’t done randomly. Cats scratch for a number of very important reasons. Some of them are even related to their hygiene. In fact, vets strongly warn cat owners against stopping their cats from scratching even on furniture and suggest other ways to deal with such problems.
Some of the reasons cats scratch are:
- To Mark Their Territory
To cats, scratching is a way to mark the place as their territory. They do so by leaving their signature scratch marks on the post or wherever else they’re scratching. Their scratching also leaves a unique smell produced by the sweat and scent glands in their feet.
Thus, scratching is a way of sending a message to other cats. It’s also a way for the cat to feel at home, like they own the place.
- To Maintain Nail Hygiene
Scratching can help bring out a new, sharp claw layer.
When a cat scratches from the top to the bottom of the post, they remove the claw’s outer husk. By that, they make way for the new surface.
Moreover, scratching, specifically on scratching posts, trims cats’ nails. By trimming their nails, your cat is, consciously or unconsciously, doing a check-up for diseases and injuries in the claw area. Moreover, by trimming the nails, your cat’s nails wouldn’t get snagged on surfaces.
- To Exercise Their Muscles
Scratching by lying on the floor and pulling their weight along it is a form of exercise for the forelimbs and spine muscles.
This is the reason why you’re always advised to get a scratching post strong enough for your cat’s weight. The stronger the scratching surface is the better the exercise.
- To Release Anger
Some cats tend to have behavioral issues. Scratching is a way for them to release any anger, tension, or anxiety they’re feeling. It can also be a way to communicate their irritation to you.
Why Do Cats Run to Scratch Once I Get Home?
You’re probably thinking, “If these are the reasons cats scratch, why do they do it specifically when I arrive home?”
I’ll be honest with you, there aren’t many studies on this particular subject. However, this seems to be a common behavior among cats.
So, it is believed that cats run to the scratching post once you get home in an attempt to communicate something to you.
Think about it: if scratching is a way for cats to release anger, it can probably be a way to express other emotions like excitement. And this is probably how your cat feels when they see you.
After a long day alone, your cat has got to miss its friend. So, when you come along, they want to communicate their feelings to you.
What Can My Cat Be Excited About, Exactly?
There are many reasons why your cat is excited you’re home. Some of which are:
Excited to Be Petted
Like most of us, cats sometimes just want to be spoiled and cuddled with by their owners.
Excited to Play
Many cats, like mine, depend on their owner to play with them; they don’t like playing alone. So, by scratching, your cat can really just be asking you to play with them.
Excited to Eat
If their food has run out, your cats’ scratching might be excitement that they’re finally going to get a refill.
Please, though, don’t disregard this reason if you find they still have food. My cat often decides he’s bored with the food he already has, and waits for me to feed him something else.
What Should I Do About the Scratching?
Since it’s happy scratching, you don’t really have to stop it or anything.
All you have to do, however, is give your cat what they want. Cats have a preference on the types of materials they like to scratch.
Try to figure out what that scratching is for, and answer your cats’ wishes as soon as you can. Pet them, play with them, or feed them, whatever it is. All you have to do is show them some love and care.
I recommend, though, that you never ignore your cat’s excitement. All they know in the world is you, and by scratching, they’re trying to show you that.
What Other Affection Gestures Might I Be Missing?
There are many ways our cats show us affection but we don’t realise it. Some of the gestures you might be missing or misinterpreting are:
Purring can actually indicate two things. A cat might purr because they’re happy with what you’re doing and don’t want you to stop. On the other hand, your cat might be purring out of pain or fear, and wants you to stay close. It’s up to you to differentiate.
Unlike what’s commonly assumed, cats don’t often meow at each other; they meow at humans.
Some people believe cats only meow at humans they love. However, it is more probable that cats meow for many different reasons. Unfortunately, though, no one but you can help you figure out why your cat is meowing.
You know when your cat is looking at you then slowly closes their eyes? If your cat does that around you, your cat loves you mate!
Blinking, or closing eyes around humans in general, is a sign that your cat feels safe and comfortable around you.
Fun fact: you can also slowly blink at your cat to show them you love them back.
While most cats groom only themselves and maybe other cats, some cats groom their owners. This gesture means they love you so much, they want to mix both your scents together. That way, they also get to mark you as family.
Rubbing Against Your Legs
Typically, cats rub against their owner’s legs so as to mark them as their territory. I find this one of the cutest signs of affection. Moreover, if your cat rubs against you when you return home, they might be expressing how they’ve missed you.
Showing You Their Belly
Cats don’t do that around everyone. If your cat shows you their belly, it means they’re happy to see you. This also means that they trust you and are comfortable around you. However, good luck trying to resist the urge to squeeze that cute, little belly of theirs!
In short, you don’t need to worry about your cat greeting you everyday by scratching; it’s actually a good thing!
Cats try to communicate with us in a lot of different ways. Scratching is one of them. Your cat basically just wants you to know they’re glad to see you. You only have to figure out what they need.
And let me tell you something: no matter what your cat actually wants, when you see your cat running to scratch the post when they see you, pick them up and give them a good hug. This love they’re showing is a true blessing.