Scratch n All
We all know the torture it is to suffer an itch you can’t really scratch. Humans aren’t alone in suffering that niggling twinge of the unreachable spot. Anyone anywhere who has had to care for an animal, be they furred, feathered or finned, will have a tale to tell of the ingenious lengths animals can go to in order to scratch that itch, often with little regard to the damage caused either to themselves or the chosen object in the process.
From cattle pushing diggers over in fields, sheep shifting trailer off hitches and horses buckling steel gates in an effort to scratch the unreachable itch, to even fence posts being snapped off in the ground we’ve seen our fair share of the unintended distraction caused. It’s annoying at best and can be downright dangerous at worse, some of the worst injuries we’ve had come across our door over the years could be put down to that little itch, from animals arriving to us with eye injuries caused by using sharp twigs to even a horse that managed to slice into ligaments in his neck trying to scratch of a piece of someone’s rusty old outbuilding.
For animals in situations where they have to kept alone, whether for medical rest or for management issue, mutual grooming is the corner stone of social behaviour and group bonding, reducing stress levels and encouraging a healthy mental state. Additionally scratching helps to shed old skin, hair, as well as relieve irritation caused by insects and seasonal changes to the environment.
Reasons to provide a Scratching Surface for your animals:
- Protects your animals from injury by providing a safe purpose-designed space to indulge in scratching;
- Protects your buildings and property from damage;
- Assists animals to shed out old skin and hair;
- Helps relieve skin irritations caused by changes to the seasons and insect activity;
- Allows animals in isolation to simulate social grooming behaviour;
- Creates additional environmental enrichment and reduces stress levels, particularly for animals kept indoors or in confined spaces;
- Offers distraction from negative stress behaviours such as weaving.
In the quest to find the solution to that itch we’ve tried more scratch pads for our animals than we can count hooves and ears in our barns, but all have their down sides. Some are so big you have to faff on with cutting them down to the size you need bending scissors or saws in the process and then you can’t really use the off cuts for anything. Some are so hard that animals risk injury if knocked against them, we’ve seen first-hand the skin splitting damage a too hard scratch pad can cause to the thin skin covering the head. Others while being flexible have lacked durability and worn out in a few months leaving metal fixing exposed and money wasted. Some designs will work for one type of animal but not another and when you want to use more than one you cannot truly connect them, most won’t safely flex round corners and those that do often won’t lay flat on the surfacing allowing them to move about too much, tearing the fixing points. Finding the right scratch pad has been a challenge, but we’re pretty sure we’ve found the solution at long last…
You can see it in action across a broad spectrum of animals in various videos on their site.
For us the scratch n all offers the very best solution. What makes the Scratch n All so great:
- They fit just about anywhere and are small enough to be used with any animal of any size;
- They have a unique curved, overlapping system which means there is no straight joined edge to be exposed to excessive wear as each ScratchnAll pad supports the position of the next;
- You can build up a scratching surface across any size area as desired to meet your animal’s needs,
- They can be used flat or on an angled surface as the specially designed V-notch allows them to sit flush on any angled surface up to 90 degrees making them ideal for use on square posts, corners and building frames. When applied flat the V-notch allows for water to flow through the back of the pad;
- They are available in two options of flexibility allowing you to offer safe scratching even for sensitive skinned animals;
- Built to last being made from high grade elastomers unlike most that are made from either rigid plastics or soft rubbers which corrode over time and use;
- Brighten your animal’s living space with visual stimulation by creating patterns as they come in a variety of colours;
- ScratchnAll pads have a higher number of quills per inch than conventional scratch pads;
- Built in recessed fixing points so that hardware sits lower than the surface of the pad and is less likely to catch on hair and skin;
- Remains stable at very high and very low temperatures;
- Suitable for all animals, from equine to exotics; and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliant for use.
For details of how to correctly fit your Scratch n All please follow the instructions provided on their website.
Remember to always fit your scratch pads onto a structurally secure surface!