If cats lack a proper place to scratch, they’re going to choose the surfaces that are most convenient to them. Usually, this means your furniture and your carpet.
These surfaces are not only easy to dig into, but they’re sturdy enough to stay in place while your feline does their thing. You might get annoyed with them for doing this, but marking territory is an essential instinct that any animal is going to practice in their home, so it’s up to you to show them where they can.
The easiest thing to do is strategically place scratching posts around your home. How many you have is going to depend on how many cats you have and how much space is available, but there are a few different things you can do to help your cat stay happy and healthy.
Read on to learn all you need to know about purchasing scratching posts for your furry friend.
What Should You Look For?
When it comes to picking out a tower for cats, it can be hard to know exactly what’s best for them but still friendly for your wallet. Here are the essential qualities to consider when you’re beginning your research.
The first thing to figure out is just how much you’re willing to spend on your cat’s tower or scratching post. Taking price into consideration when you’re learning about what your cat may or may not need can help you learn about what is and isn’t acceptable for you and for them.
While some features are nice to have, is your cat going to use them all? Is there something closer to your price range that’s just as nice but includes things you know your cat will use?
It’s also smart to decide just how much you’re willing to go over your budget. Is spending an extra $30 going to be worth it for a better material? Are you sure you can actually afford that extra $100 because you like the color better?
As you continue to read, you’ll find things you are and aren’t willing to compromise on, and this will become an easier decision to make.
Size and Weight
Here, size matters. It’s important to have a post tall enough to allow your cat to stretch up fully so they can flex their back and shoulder muscles. If the post isn’t tall enough, they’re not going to use it.
The same goes for stability. While it can be tall enough for your cat to stretch on, is it heavy enough to not fall over? If it begins to wobble, then they’re going to know it’s unsafe and feel less inclined to use it.
Texture and Direction
Cats enjoy a surface that shreds under their claws, not something that’s going to catch and tug when they simply walk on it.
They also enjoy vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces. If you find them scratching at your furniture or the carpet, it’s because they lack a proper place to stretch their muscles and catch their claws.
So, you know that cats enjoy surfaces that shred under their claws, but what materials allow that to happen easily? The easiest ones to source are sisal and cardboard.
Carpeted scratching posts are best to avoid when possible. The loops tend to annoy your cat since they get caught on their claws and end up tearing rather than shredding.
Sisal fabric is ideal because it’s heavy-duty, doesn’t leave a mess, and is going to keep your cat satisfied. Cardboard is another great option, but it can come with cleanup as your cat tears it up.
A good mixture of material to have is a solid base with a hollow tube as the scratcher — especially if it’s covered in sisal fabric. It’s less likely to topple over when your cat uses it, and it’s going to be louder than solid options, which your pet will love.
Types of Cat Scratchers
Now that you know what to look for in a cat scratcher, it’s time to start considering your options. Here are a few to choose from.
Scratching posts are typically going to consist of a carpeted platform base and a pole your cat can use to scratch. They come in a variety of colors and even other styles, so it’ll be easy to find an option that matches your home.
Some can even come equipped with platforms that allow your cat to jump and reach high places. If you’re tight on space, scratching posts like this can make it easier for your cat to find height, along with a good place to scratch.
Like scratching posts, cat trees or a cat tower can usually be tall but still provide optimal space for them to stretch out and relax.
Some even come equipped with wheels for them to run and play in. Cat trees are a great place to give your cat stimulation.
A cat condo usually implies relaxation. While this tower provides surfaces to scratch on, there is also ample opportunity for your cat to perch, hide, or even cuddle up by themselves or with other furry friends in your household.
Cat condos can serve to function well, but they can also be used for decoration. Some shelves come with discretely placed beds for your cat to hide away in if they enjoy sleeping in quiet spots.
Some condos even come with hammocks and other unique places for your cat to perch.
Mat scratchers are purely for utility and play (though some cats will perch on their mats).
Some mat scratchers are made from cardboard, and others are made from sisal, but it’s important that the bottom is always solid and weighed down. Often, your cat will simply weigh the mat down by sitting on it and stretching from there, but if the mat doesn’t have a solid base, then it’s simply going to rise up in their face.
Giving your cat a heavy-weight, horizontal place to stretch is going to work out well for both of you in the long run.
A climbing tower is perfect if you want to find something that can be wall-mounted. Not only do cats love to scratch, but they also love to climb and jump from place to place throughout your home.
Giving them a wall-mounted place to climb can provide the perfect opportunity for them to adventure without getting into trouble. It’s also a great place for them to keep watch over their domain.
Where Should You Place the Cat Tower?
This placement is going to depend on what you end up purchasing for your companion.
If it’s a cat tower or tree, then it’s likely to be tall, and it’s going to serve more than one purpose for your cat. It’s a place for them to scratch, keep a lookout, play, and even rest, so it should be placed in a spot where they can see a lot of your home.
It’s also ideal to place it next to a window so they can look outside or even lay around in sunbeams if that spot in your home sees them. This place is often the living room, your kitchen, or even in a hallway.
Cat scratchers, however, are a bit different — especially if that’s the only purpose they serve. Cats use scratchers to not only sharpen their claws but also to leave traces of their scent and to show other animals they’ve been there.
That’s why it’s best to place these in spaces they already pass through a lot. If they like to scratch at the couch, place a scratcher near it. If they walk through certain hallways or in a certain room, then place the scratcher there.
No matter where you place either object, it’s important to not completely isolate your cat. Don’t shove their things into a far corner nobody ever interacts with. Though they can be solitary, your feline friend still needs and enjoys social interactions.
Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy
When it comes to scratching posts, the options you have to choose from are truly endless. It’s important to remember that what works for one cat, though, is not necessarily what’s going to work for another cat.
Be sure to conduct plenty of research before you make your final decision. Take everything we’ve already talked about into account and maybe even conduct some trials with different heights, types, and materials.
Once you’re ready to look at scratching posts for your cat, you can get started with us.