Helping Your Cat Express Its Creativity Through Scratching

Most cats enjoy scratching, there's no question about it.

And indoor cats are no different. Just because a tree is not available, it does not decrease their desire to "leave a mark on the world" by scratching. From a cat's point of view, chairs, sofas, and even the woodwork can serve as a good substitute. But cat owners often take a different view. They see scratching as a destructive behavior, and seek to redirect or stop it. In many cases, a scratching post can be a good compromise.

But even better, why not help your feline pal create original pieces of art you will be proud to display in your home or office?

Ever since he was a kitten, my cat Henry has always loved to scratch. He soon grew tired of the scratching post I bought him and went on tocreate interesting textures on the living room sofa and chair. I was determined not to have him declawed. So what was the answer?

I remembered hearing that a friend's cat liked to scratch a piece of carpet she had nailed onto the wall. So I went to the surplus store and bought a few pieces of carpet remnants.

It did not take Henry long to catch on. Almost as soon as I nailed the carpet up on the wall, he discovered that he really enjoyed scratching it. He was very pleased that it didn't turn over with him like his old scratching post sometimes did, and he enjoyed working with the
texture.

A few months later, when Henry had nearly scratched the carpet remnant to pieces, I decided to replace it with another strip of carpet. But instead of throwing the scratched carpet away, I decided to put a hanger on it and display it. After all, it looked like a modern piece of fiber art. It had long, fluffy loops of all lengths, and it looked like someone had spent a great deal of time creating it. (Actually they did -- only the "someone" happened to be feline!)

Last summer when I was exhibiting some of my own fiber art at the Bangor Public Library in Bangor, Maine, I decided to include a few pieces of Henry's work. The library patrons enjoyed viewing it, and were surprised to learn that a cat had created it! Within a few
months, Henry and his work were also featured in the Bangor Daily News.

If you would like to help your feline friend express their creativity, all you need are a few nails or screws and a strip of carpet that's at least 5-6 inches across and at least a foot long. Make sure that the carpet does not have loops that are cut, or your cat will only be able
to pull out clumps of fiber, and cannot make the beautiful loop-covered wall hangings he or she would like to create. Nail it securely to the wall, and watch what happens! If your cat needs a little encouragement, you can always rub the carpet remnant with catnip, or spray it with catnip spray.

Who knows what wonderful masterpiece your cat might create!

Anita Louise McCormick is a writer, editor, artist, and Reiki Master. She is also the agent and personal assistant of a very creative cat, Henry the Feline Fiber Artist! You can visit the website Anita created for Henry at http://henrythefelinefiberartist.wordpress.com to read his story, see a few of the wall hangings he created, and view a short video documentary about his work. Anita also has a website about her writing at http://www.angelfire.com/biz/AnitaMcCormick

Cat Playpens
Kitten Playpens

Dog Containment System Importance

Looking after your beloved dog at all times is your responsibility, and in cases when your canine’s behavior becomes uncontrollable, the use of dog containment system can be very useful. Leaving your dog unattended might cause troubles inside or outside your house. You can crate train your dog or put him in dog crates but it will not give him the freedom to roam around.

Besides pampering your dog, it is equally important to give him the necessary freedom and space where he can play and enjoy the beauty of the outside world while ensuring his safety.

Here are some of benefits of using dog containment devices:

With the help of pet containment systems such as dog exercise pens and dog kennels, leaving your canine alone will no longer be an issue! Dog containment devices can either be wireless, electronic or motorized that are installed in traditional fences or under the ground. They are generally portable and can be set up in a few minutes. Many pet containment systems available in the market these days are battery-operated and comes with a training collar that is placed around the dog’s neck. The collar has a receiver that detects when the dog is getting near the wire. Within this boundary, the collar will give a signal to your canine by discharging static stimulation.

Other systems are wireless and have constant radio signal to create a “safe zone” for your pet. Having said that, the primary benefit of using dog containments is that they have the ability to teach your dog to behave properly and stay only within specific locations. Electronic dog containment is also a lot cheaper than setting up traditional metal or wooden dog fences.

You can also prevent your dog from running away or stepping outside the house if you install dog containment devices. This can be particularly effective for controlling aggressive dogs that can destroy your neighbor’s property or attack passersby. You can also keep you dog away from valued properties and causing damage to the flowers, shrubs and other things in your garden or backyard. Dogs, especially puppies, are highly prone to getting lost when they venture out. In order to avoid such incidents from happening, dog owners must install dog containment devices.