6 Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Scratching Post for Your Cats
Choosing a cat scratching post may seem like a simple task, but it is important to get it right for the happiness and well-being of your feline companion. Scratching is a natural cat behavior that helps stretch their body, mark territory, and keep claws sharp. By providing an appropriate scratching post, you can direct this behavior to an acceptable item and prevent damage to furniture around the home.
There are many options for cat scratching posts today, from basic vertical posts to elaborate cat trees with multiple perches, hammocks, toys and scratching pads. When deciding what type of post is best for your cat, consider their size, activity level, preferences and the style of your home decor. Taller posts, around 42 to 60 inches high, give active or long-bodied cats more space to perch, play and stretch out fully. Simple posts may suit less active cats while complex cat trees provide ample spots for play and mental stimulation for curious kitties.
Natural, sturdy materials are best for cat scratching posts. Wood, sisal rope, cardboard and bamboo are excellent choices that satisfy a cat’s urge to scratch while being durable and long-lasting. Wooden posts may last 5–10 years but require sanding and staining, while sisal rope lasts 6–24 months and needs frequent replacement. Bamboo is a durable, natural material that maintains texture well and lasts up to several years. Horizontal scratching pads provide extra scratching spots and rotating them helps prevent matting and damage.
Stability is key for safety, comfort and to prevent the post from toppling over, especially if cats play on multiple perches. Choose a post with a wide base, bolt-in braces or posts, and paw pads for protection at the base. Treat dispensers, catnip, dangling toys and other scratching posts of different materials add enrichment but more maintenance. Place the post in a spot where your cat spends the most time, such as near feeding areas, beds, windows or litter boxes.
Providing cat scratching posts helps direct scratching to appropriate items from an early age. Kittens introduced to posts quickly learn proper scratching technique and preference scratching posts over furniture. Well-placed posts also give shy cats extra territory and spots to observe household activity, helping them feel more included while providing opportunities for play.
With endless options for cat scratching posts, evaluating factors like size, material, stability, extra features and your cat’s preferences will ensure you choose a post they love using for years to come. Keeping them happy and healthy through enrichment, play and scratching paradises is the reward of responsible cat parenting. Do your research and your cat is sure to thank you!