Many people gave up their indoor cats or began allowing them outside because the cat was scratching their furniture, carpets, walls, and other surfaces, and the owner was tired of the expense of replacing the items. In each of these cases, often the owners had not a cat scratching post or cat tree in their house.
You can’t assume a cat will simply give up an instinctive behavior just because her owner has not made the appropriate resource available.The cat will find her own resources—in other words, she will scratch whatever is available and seems appropriate. You know your cat needs to scratch. The trick now is to make sure your cat knows where to scratch and where not to. In other words, you must redirect your cat’s natural instincts from the inappropriate area to an appropriate one. To do this, you must first provide the cat with something that suits you both.
Cat scratching posts and trees come in almost as many shapes, sizes, and colors as cats do. Finding a cat scratching post or tree to fit your home shouldn’t be difficult. The key is finding ones that suit your cat’s scratching tastes. Every cat is different and each has her own preference for scratching surfaces. Buying a cat scratching post or tree your cat refuses to use (for whatever reason) is a useless exercise. You might as well not have one at all.
When you’re shopping for a cat scratching post or tree for your cat, keep in mind your cat’s particular desires, preferences, and personality. Ask yourself several questions: Where does your cat like to scratch and what surfaces seem to be her favorites? Where does your cat spend most of her time and in what room does she do the most scratching?
In addition to these questions, base your buying decision on common sense and the innate behavior of all cats. As mentioned earlier, cats scratch for several reasons, and these reasons should be kept in mind when you’re shopping for a tree or post for your cats to scratch.
First, cats scratch to slough their claws, and for this they like a scratching surface they can really dig their claws into. Therefore, you need to buy a tree with a surface your cat prefers. Some cats like to scratch the carpet. Carpeted posts are the most common and come in a variety of colors that can match your furniture. Some cats like the rough surface of the back of carpeting. Sisal rope trees and posts, with their rough surface almost like that of the back side of carpet, can sometimes be an acceptable alternative. Tightly woven fabrics, hemp, bark, and even corrugated cardboard are all good surfaces that a cat can dig into and not only remove the hulls from her claws, but also get in a good stretch.
Scratching is also a form of territory marking, your cat’s way of saying, “This area is mine.” This innate behavior is an important one to consider when deciding where you will put the tree or post. Where your cat prefers to do her scratching should be where you place her scratching furniture. Most cats seem to prefer the living room furniture, but I some other cats who like the walls, and even the kitchen table. If you place the tree or post in one room when the cat does most of her scratching in another room, you’ve just wasted your money. She may use the post or tree on occasion, but she will also continue to use your sofa, or whatever other surface she prefers, in the room she prefers to be in.
Cats love to look out the window. A tree with tiers for the cat to rest on, placed in front of a window, will ensure its use. A window with a view of bird feeders will raise the chances of the tree being in almost constant use.
Last, and definitely not least, is the fact that cats stretch when they scratch. A cat will not use a tree or post that is going to tip over or move whenever she digs her claws into it and pulls. Buy a cat scratching post or tree with a good, solid base. The base should be larger in diameter than the top or the largest part of the main area of the tree or post.
It is also important to take into account the cat’s size when fully stretched out. A post that is too short won’t do the cat much good, since cats like to stretch to their full length when scratching. The average cat scratching post is usually too short for this, look for one that is more than three feet high.
Although most cat trees are more expensive than a simple post, they are also more widely preferred by cats, for obvious reasons. If you are worried about expense, weigh the price of one really good cat tree against the price of periodically replacing your sofa, and you will see that the benefits outweigh the cost. In the long run, you will save money and you and your cat will be happier.
In addition to cat scratching posts or trees that are set on a base, there are also many types of scratching pads and hang-off-the-door scratching furniture available commercially. Some are impregnated with catnip to draw the cat to them. Most are made of corrugated cardboard (which some cats will scratch, others will ignore), and there are even carpeted pads available that you can attach to the wall. Some cats may be just fine with these, but often they are not enough. Either they are not stable enough and tend to tip or move, or they are not large enough for the cat to use to full advantage. If your cat will use these, great. But if they are all that’s provided, often a cat will use them along with your sofa. Usually it’s better, for you and the cat, to buy a good-quality cat scratching post or tree that meets all the cat’s needs.
For all the reasons mentioned, scratching trees that are made of two or three different materials are best. Usually you can find posts that are made all of carpet; trees made from carpet, wood and rope; and a variety of other combinations. The more choices you give your cat, the better the chance that she will prefer her post or tree to your furniture.
Here, we decided to do a search for some of the best cat scratching post, tree available based on their design and customer reviews. If you’re in the market for a new cat scratching post, tree or just adopted a new cat, hopefully one of these will be right for you: