Choosing the best scratch post for cats is easy, but the problem is which one to choose ?.
What parameters make a scratch post for cats ideal on all levels.
How do you know whether the scratching post that you decide to go with is what your cats will also like.
So a while ago we created a post on how to stop your cat from scratching your furniture.
And our readers received the post incredibly well and asked us to let them know other methods as to how we can achieve our cats to not scratch furniture.
But another important question that the popped up in the process was, what is it that makes a great scratching post ?
In other words what are the various factors you need to look into when choosing a great scratch post for cats.
As you already know your will or your wish is my command.
And working and being around cats has already made us a butler and we are very happy in fulfilling the demands for cats and cat owners we find out there.
So via this post is we are fulfilling the demands of cat lovers who have asked this question.
Before we go into the entire mechanics of what makes a great scratching post.
If for some reason you are in a hurry, here are our top picks that you can choose closing your eyes.
So just bookmark this post so that you can watch this later and read on.
Scratch Post For Cats : Our Picks
- Conveniently tall for maximizing cat activity and stimulation 22L x 15W x 50.5H Inches
- Sturdy and durable.
- 5 tier construction. Goes well with other furniture.
- Easy assembly
- Sisal rope wrapped supports provides ideal scratching experience.
- Durable 32 inch full length cat scratcher.
- Minimal design. Easily blends in with other furniture.
- Fibrous sisal ensures great scratching experience.
- Easy assembly with 2 included screws.
- Sturdy base eliminates tipping and wobbling
- Perfect for large cats
- Beautiful design and colors that go with any surrounding furniture.
- Sturdy construction with strong base.
- Size : 20-inch L/ 15.5-inch W/ 23-in.
- Easy assembly.
- Perfect if you are looking for an all in one cat condo and if you have multiple cats.
- Structure allows cats to climb, explore, lounge and great scratching experience.
- Does require little bit of construction. But worth it.
- Ideal size : 38-inch W/27-inch L/62-inch H
- Base Board Size : 26 W x 19 L inches
- Size of Condo : 10.5 inch Dia x 12.5 inch H
- Size of Top Perch : 13.25 inch W x 13.25 inch L x 2.75 inch H
Cardboard Cat Scratchers & Perches
Perches and cardboard cat scratchers are more like add-ons rather than a stand alone scratch post for cats.
It is advised to get these in addition to the main scratching posts that we just discussed to increase cat’s interest in scratching.
You will learn more about how to do that as you read on.
For now these are the ones that you can go with.
- Perch cum cat scratcher combo.
- Solid construction, sturdy and durable
- Covered with sisal rope for ideal scratching experience.
- No assembly required
- These handy cardboard scratchers are perfect to increase your cat’s interest in scratchers especially if she is too enamored with furniture.
- Provides great scratching experience
- Place them in surprising places to stimulate cat’s exploratory nature
- Sounds really satisfying when your cat scratches it
- Perfect addon with cat tree that you must have.
Now let’s go ahead and see what are the various factors that we need to look into to get a good scratch post for cats.
As mentioned in one of our previous post a good scratching not only saves our furniture but also provides our cat an alternate expression for its wild nature.
Now the very reason this question is so popular among cat lovers and cat owners is because just like everything else in today’s world the variety is just incredible.
There are just so many kinds of cat scratching posts available.
There are vertical cat scratchers.
So here is the trouble.
Which Cat Scratcher For Cats Should You Get ?
The question is very apt and is something every cat owner and every future cat owner needs to know.
Let me just take away one very important problem that when not tackled on may lead you to choose a cat scratching post that your cat may not even like.
Because getting a good cat scratcher is one thing but realizing that your cat doesn’t even like her new scratcher is a whole different mess..
That can be a big problem isn’t it ?.
So let me just remove that little problem that may lead you over on to that catastrophe.
The first thing that you need to understand is you are not getting the scratcher post for cats as per your liking, you need to get a cat scratcher that your cat likes.
This is very important guys.
I know the very way these things are marketed outside you may be absolutely propelled to get a cat scratcher that looks good.
Or one that goes good with your living room but this may lead to some trouble.
And when I say trouble I mean your cat not liking your new scratching post.
So I just wanted to remove this little doubt from your head.
When you are shopping for a scratcher post for cats, it is your cat’s behavior that you need to keep in your mind.
Not what you think is going to be a great scratching post.
So it is very important to acquaint ourselves with what are the various behavioral aspects that cats exude in general, and also what are the specific likes and dislikes that your cat exudes, so that we can go ahead and get a scratching post that your cat will love.
Now then, let’s start with,
What Is It That Your Kitty Wants In Her Scratching Post ?
Now in the first segment to this post we are going to discuss what is it that every cat irrespective of what kind of breed she belongs to needs in a scratching post.
After this I want you to put a little effort into your brain cells and with your observation of how your cat behaves I want you to come to an understanding as to what is it that your specific cat may want from her scratching post.
It doesn’t need to be an elaborate analysis simple things like how often does she scratch, does she like vantage points etc. would do.
Just keep them in mind, don’t start getting scratching post ideas just yet.
So let’s start first with knowledge base on what is it that cats in general are looking for from a scratching post.
1. Scratcher Post For Cats Need To be Tall
Now this point is really really important.
Height and the general strength of scratching post is really important and I’ll tell you why.
Cats have evolved into domestic life form from wildlife over a span of millions of years but somewhere within them the wild still lives.
Scratching behavior that the cats exude has its root in the wild behavior that is ingrained in your cat’s memory.
Just imagine what would a cat do in the wild ?.
How will they sharpen their claws which are the most essential tools of their survival ?
Trees isn’t it ?.
So what are the qualities that a tree execute the moment you see it ?, rather your cats perceive ?.
Strength, Size and Stability !!.
You see that is precisely what you want in your scratching post.
We want our cat to be wild with it and trees are the best expression of wilderness.
So one thing that is a certain is scratcher post for cats essentially need to be tall.
Tall cat scratchers allow your cat to fully express and relax herself into it.
As I told you this in a previous post that scratching for cats is a very stimulating and relaxing exercise.
Relaxing because you will see that your cat scratches before falling and after waking up from a nap.
She wants to pull those muscles of the back and shoulder which is absolutely important for her flexibility and muscle strength.
And if you don’t give them a long scratching post or a sturdy scratching post the next best thing that they see to express their wildness are your furniture or your beloved sofa.
So your cat is not trying to get back at you by scratching your furniture.
She’s just saying that I am not getting an appropriate place to express myself.
Therefore, having a scratching post that is tall is very very important.
2. Strength & Sturdiness Of A Scratching Post
What are the other qualities you think of when you look at a tree.
It’s study like right, you can’t shake it.
And that is what cats want as well.
They want something they that they can stretch and also something that won’t wobble around because they are relying on it.
They want stability on the scratching surface.
Why do they want stability on scratching surface ?.
Well when it comes to animal kingdom and not just cats, the inherent nature that is involved in the very genetics of animals is the quality of survival and procreation.
Their sensitivity is dictated by this nature.
So anything that they perceive as threat to either of those things they are very sensitive about that.
Now just imagine that you are a cat and you went ahead and wanted to express yourself by scratching the hell out of a scratching post.
And the moment you start relaxing its starts to wobble.
What will you do ?.
Will you go ahead and scratch it again ?.
I don’t think so you would, neither will your cat because she will perceive it as unsafe.
There are even examples of people going with a scratching post that was not sturdy and because of that it fell over the cat and caused injuries.
So when they see a scratching post they should almost feel as if there is sturdy tree.
Therefore, a scratching post must be analogous to a tree in the wild.
Take this point very seriously because if you pick a scratching post that wobbles or in the worst case falls.
That is the last time your cat is going to use the scratching post.
So investing in something that is tall, sturdy and has good material about which we are going to talk next is very very important for your investment and for the sake of your cats liking it.
For a sturdy scratching post that doesn’t wobble pick one that has a strong, extra heavy base, preferably its double thick and has some padding for protection.
Scratch post for cats which has a thin, weak and a lightweight base is a recipe for disaster.
Alright, so we have looked into two very very important factors that you need to look into when choosing a scratching post for your cat.
Physical dimension and sturdiness.
The next thing that we need to put our attention into is the scratching material that surrounds the skeleton of the scratching post.
3. Material Science Behind Getting An Appropriate Scratching Post
I want you to be a cat once more.
It’s fun, it’s so fun being a cat. I mean look at the possibilities.
So I want you to be a cat once more and I want you to then ask why is it that you scratch your claws.
The immediate answer that you are going to give me is you want them to be sharp.
And in order to do that you need to remove the extra husk that gets deposited around the edges of your claws, that is why you scratch things.
So if the scratching post needs to get the job done right, it needs to have the right fabric that supports it.
It also needs to be strong enough so that it can withstand your cat’s scratching.
And there must be a feel good factor associated for your cat when she scratches the scratching post.
In order for your cat to come and scratch the scratching post again and again.
so let’s take those points one by one
Cats like to scratch surfaces that would shred under its claws.
The very reason that a cat scratches on the surface which might include your door, your sofa or your carpet is they want to mark their territory with large claw marks.
So your sofa as of now is a very inviting place. Since it is a primal instinct even if you have just one cat you will see her doing this.
She would scratch you too, if she wants sometimes.
So leaving large claw marks on the territory in which they belong is a mark that they want to show other possible feline members that that is their territory.
i don’t know whether this is scientifically proven or not but I feel that strong large claw marks depict behavior of strength and is like an initial word of warning for all members of feline social community.
So getting a scratching post that I’ll get shredded under the impact of your cats claws will provide that extra satisfaction that your cat is looking for from scratching surface.
It is so fun to see stuff getting shredded under your kitty’s claws.
Yeah, I mean sometimes you don’t like it but has your cat ever shred your notebook or your toilet paper it is very satisfying to watch.
Its terrible yeah. But it’s also fun.
So that is whole reason why we want our cats to have a scratching post that gets shredded under her claws.
Do not get a scratching post that is covered in carpet
I’ll tell you the reasoning behind this.
The very reason why we are getting a scratching post is so that our cat can leave the things that she is scratching as of now alone.
So now we want to give our cats a scratching surface that is better than what she is already subjected to.
i.e., your furniture.
We want to give her a reason as to why scratching the scratching post is better than the furniture that is already covered in carpet.
So we want our cats to scratch on the surface that is better than other material that is in our home which is covered in carpet.
And so if they find the material which is better than the material that is already available in the home.
They are more likely to leave the household products or household furniture alone and scratch on something rather interesting i.e., the scratching post.
Picking a cat scratcher that has carpet will render your cat not understanding why she should not scratch your home furniture which she or he is already familiar with and go ahead and scratch the scratching post which in your cat’s eyes is almost similar to your furniture.
We want to create a clear demarcation in our cats head that this scratching post is better than your furniture.
And we need to give her a reason for this so that is why the material which is covering our scratching post need to be better than carpet.
Plus carpet doesn’t necessarily provide the most satisfying scratching experience.
The carpet is not sufficiently rough and it tends to tangle the claws and the cats don’t like it when that happens.
So the next question that you’re going to be asking me is a what is that material that is better than carpet ?
Sisal Fabric Is The Best Material For Scratch Post For Cats
Everything that we discussed just now is taken care of by sisal fabric.
It is satisfying to scratch, it feels great to cats and it most definitely shreds under their claws in the most incredible way possible.
So sisal fabric is like an invitation for Cats to scratch, relax, feel better and have that satisfying experience.
Sisal Rope Versus Sisal Fabric
I discussed this point with the many cat owners that have owned different scratch post for cats whether one covered with sisal fabric or one with sisal rope was better.
What I found was scratch posts that were covered with rope a posed a little obstruction in scratching.
The idea is cats must be able to scratch along the length of the scratching post for effective scratching expression.
The very texture of the sisal fabric provides for that great scratching motion for cat’s claws and offers minimum resistance.
Now you can imagine very easily how sisal rope will offer interruptions in your cats vertical scratching motion.
Because instead of smooth scratch worthy area she will find valleys between rope spirals.
And the resistance that is being offered may very well leave your cat unsatisfied with the scratching post and she may even lose interest in it.
That’s pretty close to say you watching a YouTube videos and the video starts to buffer.
So that is what is experienced by a cat when the vertical motion of her floors are interrupted by the ridges between the sisal rope.
These little things are very important to understand because we want our investment to yield the best possible result in terms of our cat liking it.
Although, this is not this is not a black or white guideline.
Its not a make or break kind of point that we need to consider.
But because cats are very unique and picky about stuff.
Some may even prefer the sisal rope over sisal fabric but in general with the conversation that have had with the different cat owners, most of them suggest that sisal fabric covered scratching post is far better than scratching post that is covered with sisal rope.
4. Hollow Or Solid : Which Scratch Post For Cats Is Better ?
This is a greater question actually.
And one for which we have had a talk with a lot of cat owners that have owned either one or both varieties of scratching post.
And most agree that a hollow scratching post is far better than the solid ones for certain reasons and they are,
So this may seem like a contradictory point in the sense it may not necessarily appeal to your intuition.
But scratch post for cats that are made of hollow tubes and covered with sisal fabric are sturdy and are preferable to top heavy wooden post that might topple over.
This again is an extension of our understanding of the fact that cats enjoying a post is directly related to its strength, sturdiness and its physical dimensions.
What is very important when going with a hollow scratching post is ensure that the base of the scratching post is extra strong and its double thick so that it contributes to overall stability of the scratching post.
Sound that scratching post makes when your cat scratches it
This one is a weird reason but I think you can see the logic behind this.
Because one of the most important features that will decide whether your cat likes the scratching post or not is if it gives a satisfying experience to her.
Scratch post for cats allows them to express their wild nature and also makes their claws sharp and ready.
Your cat will come back and use the scratching post again and again.
So this may feel like a counter-intuitive reason but the sound that a hollow scratching post makes adds to the satisfying experience a cat.
Therefore, choosing a hollow scratching post with sisal fabric and strong base is of paramount importance.
What About Cardboard Cat Scratchers Are They Worth it ?
Talking about scratching experience.
Corrugated cardboard is another such material which forms an excellent surface for horizontal scratch post for cats.
As a matter of fact, I was discussing this with my sister as to whether we can create a DIY cardboard cat scratcher for our next post.
I will link it here as soon as we have done that.
So you might have seen some of your fellow cat owners owning some of these.
One very good reason of getting cardboard cat scratchers is the satisfying sound that comes out when your cat scratches the cardboard surface.
And it’s not just amazing for us, it also provides for an incredible scratching experience for cats too, which is very similar to what they will experience while using scratching post covered with sisal fabric.
You will find most cardboard scratchers in a flat and angle shape.
Scratching At An Angle
So the first time I saw my cats scratch they were taking it all out on a door mat.
I then decided to make a better use for it.
You too would have observed that your cat likes to scratch in two different positions. Well, technically two but really three.
So sometimes they are taking it out on your furniture and sometimes on your door mats.
It’s not too difficult to understand but they like to scratch in both of these positions.
We don’t need to necessarily go into the details as to what these position offers as benefits to them but it’s safe to assume that we need to look into scratching posts that allows her to express herself in both vertical and horizontal position.
A way to ensure this is to get a scratching post which is hollow and covered with sisal fabric and whose base is strong and wide so that that base can also be used for scratching in horizontal direction.
Another smart way that you can take is getting a vertical scratching post that we just discussed.
And also getting some horizontal cardboard cat scratcher which is angled or flat as per whatever your kitty’s personal preference and tendency might be.
Since cats have very unique personalities & they don’t like to be bored.
They like new experiences so giving her a vertical scratching post and horizontal cardboard scratching post with cardboard inserted in it will provide a variety in scratching experience and leave her satisfied.
So What About Cat Perches & Cat Condos ? Are They Any Good
Oh they are absolutely fantastic.
Let me give you the reason as to why that is so.
Cats like vantage points. Kitchen cabinets, fire place shelves, any high vantage point really.
The reason why cats like vintage points can again be extrapolated to the time when cats lived in wilderness.
They used high vantage points on trees for security, observation and browsing for potential prey.
So giving her a place where she can can not only scratch but also where she can rest is the ideal situation for your cat to express herself.
A good scratch post that is sturdy, tall and covered in sisal fabric and also offers a place for your cat to lounge is a cat paradise to say the least.
It will almost make her feel she is in the nature again where she can scratch, rest, analyse.
And can also look for potential preys that she can have for lunch maybe you.
Cats Like Things To Be Spicy & Full Of Variety
Just like us, cats have a very strong personality and that means they have very strong likes and dislikes.
And they also like variety.
Going with the combination of these two things will ensure that your cat doesn’t get bored and is continuously occupied and stimulated.
Talking about being stimulated, one thing that you can also do is place the cat scratchers somewhere near the window.
Or maybe in a place that your cat likes to visit.
This will not only help her get acquainted with the scratching post but will also start developing its liking towards the scratching post.
What you can do is place these cat condos or mondo in a place where your cat likes to rest.
This will acquaint her with the new cat scratching surface that she’s been gifted with.
And the chances for her leaving your furniture alone is going to increase.
But it is worth mentioning here as well so that you can train your cat rightly in the sense that she can keep her scratching to places where it should be.
Using Your Cat’s Exploratory Nature To Our Advantage
You can add a little bit more variety to the whole scratching experience of your cat by deploying angle cat scratcher for cats at a surprising places.
Let me tell you how this is going to be incredible.
First off, angle cat scratchers provide an angle for your cat to stretch in.
This exercises her muscles and also helps her relax and provide variety.
Plus it is inherent in cats behavior to explore different places.
That is the precise reason why your cats find small places to hide in.
She likes to explore safe places and new places where she can rest on.
Plus one other interesting thing that you need to know is some cats like to scratch backwards.
Which means their front claws they want it to be at the bottom of the angle cat scratcher.
And they want their back paws to be at the the elevated side of the cat scratcher.
So again an elevated cat scratcher provides a different scratching experience altogether that she will most definitely like.
And finding it in surprising places will appeal to her exploratory nature and eventually she will start liking it.
This whole exercise of keeping the cat angle scratcher at different places will aid in her overall development as a cat.
It will also will give her that satisfying experience that she is looking forward to in scratching.