How to Find the Right Cat Scratching Post For Your Cat
Cats can be fickle beasts. How many times have you bought them something nice and they end up liking the box more? But when it comes to the essentials, you want to make sure your cat will use it. Doing adequate research and finding the best litter box furniture, cat beds, and scratching posts for your cats is the best way to ensure your kitty will use them. A cat scratching post proves to be one of the top contenders for your cat’s health. A scratching post is necessary for your cat’s physical and emotional well being. So, how do you pick the right one for your finicky feline? We will go over a few key requirements every scratching post should include to give your kitty the ultimate scratching experience.
Cat Scratching Posts Can Be Vertical Or Horizontal
Cats like to lounge and scratch in a variety of different ways. This can include both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces, depending on their preference. It’s a general rule that cats will want to fully stretch when scratching, and cats can actually be quite long! You may see your cat stretching and scratching on the sofa or your bed. Oftentimes, these may be the only pieces of furniture that are tall enough for them to fully stretch out. This means you may want to have a vertical scratcher in your home to make sure they can stretch to their hearts content.
Vertical scratchers are great for younger cats who love to climb and explore. As well as for cats who like to have a height advantage if the scratcher has a seat on top. Horizontal scratchers appeal to cats who like lounging and may not stretch out as much when scratching. The horizontal designs can help with any of your cats who like to scratch or dig on the carpet. They can also act as a bed or lounging area for your cat, depending on the style you choose. They may be slightly angled, resting on a wall, or flat and completely on the ground.
Scratching Post Material
The next decision you should make is what the scratching post will be made of. There are many types of materials that are great for cats to scratch, including sisal, rattan, bamboo, seagrass, carpet, cardboard and more. Scratching posts help keep your cat’s nails in optimal health by shedding old claw sheaths and keeping them sharp. If your cats don’t let you trim their nails often, it’s a good idea to pick a stronger material for them to scratch. This will help to maintain their nails easier and for longer. Cardboard may disintegrate and come off of the post in chunks, leaving you with a mess to clean up. Bamboo, sisal, and rattan are typically more sturdy and will hold up to more use over time.
Horizontal scratchers may be made of more cardboard-like materials while vertical scratchers will most likely contain carpet or sisal. There are a plethora of choices out there to suit your kitty’s needs. Keep in mind that a lot of carpet posts may be sending your cat the wrong message. They will most likely not be able to tell the difference between their scratching post and your home’s carpet. This in turn may increase the chances of them scratching on fabrics in your home. Choosing a material that is different from your furniture will help them differentiate better between scratching surfaces and your furniture.
Consider The Look Of The Cat Scratching Post
Of course, this is more for you than the cat, but the look of the cat scratching post is also important. This scratching post will be around for a few years which means you’ll have to look at it. The styles and designs of cat furniture are evolving and becoming more aesthetically pleasing. Your cat scratching post doesn’t have to stick out like a sore thumb. Some posts nowadays are ultra modern and even made to easily blend into your home. The Calypso Everlasting Cat Scratcher from The Refined Feline looks like a work of art and is made of claw-proof faux rattan. There are some scratchers that have a super minimalist design and others that are super cutesy and made to catch attention. Find the one that suits your needs!
Scratching Post Structure & Base
Just as important as the materials used is how the post is constructed. Any scratching post should be relatively sturdy, with a nice weighted base for extra security. Your cat may or may not try to climb the post. If your cat tries to climb it exclusively on one side and it’s not weighted, this may lead to tipping. It’s also a good idea to make sure it’s in a location that can help keep it upright. Most vertical scratchers have a weighted, square base for added security. Some models will weigh more than others, though, so ensure you check the weight of the item before purchasing it. If you have multiple cats or one plumpy kitty, it might be a better option going for the heavier post. Scratching posts may look sturdy online, but a lot of models are manufactured for ease of movement when cleaning. This can end up making them more lightweight than you would think.
Upkeep Of The Cat Scratcher
Another deciding factor is how easy it is to clean and maintain the scratching post. Once your cats take to the post, most of them will get shredded quickly, covered in fur, and overall just plain dirty. A scratching post that’s easy to clean or that features replaceable parts is your best option. Cardboard scratchers are cheaper and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but can be cumbersome to keep clean and won’t last long. A stronger scratching surface like sisal will last much longer and won’t tear up as easily. However, this may mean paying a little more for it.
However you need to accent your home, there will be a design out there to suit your needs. If the choices seem a little overwhelming, you can always start small. Your cat will appreciate anything they’re given. If they outgrow that model in a few years, you can always get something bigger or more elaborate.