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A cat scratching post is essential if you are a cat owner, providing somewhere for your cat to stretch, sharpen their claws and mark their territory.
There are a huge number of cat scratching posts available, in all different shapes and sizes and we provide more detail in our reviews below.
However, if you are in a hurry we have summarised our favourite models in this handy table.
|Ancol Acticat Fat Boy Scratch Post, 70 cm, Chocolate
|DIVCHI 31" Tall Big Cat Scratching Post 80 cm, Natural Sisal Pole and Carpet Covered Heavy Base,
|LIKEA Cat Scratcher, Incline Scratching Pad Post with Catnip
|PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post
|Europet Cat Scratcher High Post, 90 cm, Light Grey
Why do Cats Scratch?
Cats scratch, it is just one of the things they do and it is normal, instinctive behaviour.
There are a number of reasons why cats like to scratch and why you need a good place for them to do it.
The first of these is that cats use scratching to have a good stretch and get some exercise. They like to dig their claws into the scratching post while stretching out their back, shoulders, legs and paws - often after a nap much like humans!
Cats also use scratching to remove the dead outer layer of their claws while keeping them sharp and clean.
Another reason is that it is just part of a cat’s instinct. It makes them feel good and they enjoy doing it so you should always provide at least one place for them to indulge.
The more places for scratching the better in the house (you could also look at cat scratching barrels and cat trees), otherwise your furniture or wicker baskets are likely to be used! You can even buy posts in special designs such as flower cat trees or cactus cat scratching posts to create a talking point in your home.
Features of a Good Cat Scratching Post
There are plenty of things to consider when selecting a scratching post for your cat, including factors such as the size, the price and the materials that your post is made from.
No matter which type of cat scratching post you buy, it is always worth buying one made with good quality materials.
As your cat will be using the post several times a day, it is important that the post or scratching area is able to withstand heavy use.
The most common type of material used on cat scratching posts is sisal rope, which comes from the Mexican sisal plant.
Sisal rope is ideal for scratching posts as it shreds very well and it is strong and durable.
Cats also love to scratch on surfaces such as wood, which is why they will often use trees and fence posts to scratch when outside.
For this reason, several scratching posts such as the Pet Fusion 3 sided cat scratching post will use cardboard instead of sisal rope as an alternative surface for your cat to use.
It is never worth buying a very cheap scratching post made from basic materials, as it will almost certainly disintegrate after a few deep scratches and stretches from your cat.
Size and Height
Cat scratching posts come in all shapes and sizes, from small and basic posts to extra large posts, scratching barrels and even large cat trees with multiple scratching areas.
The height of the scratching post is especially important to consider, as if the post doesn’t allow your cat to enjoy a full body stretch they may well ignore the post in favour of your furniture.
In general, most cat scratching posts are between 60 - 90cm high, and a good post won’t dominate the room but it will be large enough to be stable and tall enough for your cat to stretch fully without reaching the top.
You should also consider which room and where in the room you are going to put your post.
There is no way that you can stop your cat from scratching, so she will need to have her own special place in the house where she feels comfortable and can scratch to her heart’s content.
It is best to place the scratcher in a part of the home that is used by all of the family rather than in a dark and distant corner, as this will encourage her to use the post and she will make it her domain with the special scent in her paws. It is also a good idea to have the post close to where your cat sleeps, as she will love to stretch out and scratch soon after waking up.
How to Train your Cat to Use their Scratching Post
Even if you buy the perfectly sized post for both your cat and your room, made with the best quality materials you will still need to make sure that your cat enjoys using their post!
By their very nature, cats are wary of new things and changing their behaviour, so it may take some work on your part to get your cat to use the post.
You should encourage your cat to explore the post by playing with her near the post and making sure she is aware it is there!
You can also gently lift her claws on to the post and make a downwards motion - once she gets the feel of the post she is then more likely to do it herself.
Cat Scratching Post Reviews
There are a huge number of cat scratching posts available, so we have reviewed some of our favourite models incorporating a number of different styles and sizes.
Ancol Acticat Fatboy Scratching Post
The Ancol Acticat Fatboy scratching post looks strong, sturdy and tough and it is all of these things!
Although it is not as tall as the Europet or DIVCHI posts, it is still a generous 70cm tall which means that most adult cats will be able to use it for a good stretch.
This must be the toughest cat scratching post on the market, with over 60 metres of hard wearing sisal rope which means that it should be able to withstand the sharpest of claws.
Also infused with catnip, the Fatboy post has a width of 24cm and a strong and sturdy base so if you get one of these it will be a feature of your home for a while!
DIVCHI Tall Cat Scratching Post
As mentioned in the detail above, it is important that your cat scratching post is tall enough for your cat to fully stretch without reaching the top of the post.
The DIVCHI Tall Cat Scratching Post is 80cm tall, so this should be large enough for most adult cats to scratch and stretch comfortably.
It is made from quality sisal rope and includes soft material on the base which is comfortable for the cat’s feet.
A very good quality basic cat scratching post that won’t dominate your room but that your cat should enjoy using.
Petfusion 3 sided Cat Scratching Post
This 3 sided cat scratcher has a unique design which provides numerous scratching and stretching angles.
It is made with recycled cardboard which provides a surface which cats enjoy scratching, and also includes premium USA catnip to make the post attractive for the cats to use.
The design enables the post to be used for either horizontal or vertical scratching, and it also provides an area for your cat to play as well. Most cats will also love to hide in the cubby hole in the middle!
A great product that will look good in your home as well as providing plenty of scratching areas for your cat.
Europet 90cm Cat Scratcher
The Europet 90cm Cat Scratcher is one of the tallest cat scratching posts on the market and is suitable for the largest of cats.
It provides plenty of space for them to have a really good stretch, and the 40cm x 40cm base means it is also strong and sturdy.
LIKEA Incline Cat Scratching Pad
Our final recommendation is the LIKEA Incline Cat Scratching Pad.
This product features an incline design so it can accommodate both uphil and downhill scratching, with plenty of space for the cat to stretch out.
It is made from recycled cardboard which is a surface cats love to use, and also features a cubby hole for your cat to hide away and play
A good quality scratching post will make a big difference to your cat’s quality of life, so it is very important to choose one they will enjoy using.
With such a wide range of posts available there should be a product that will suit your cat and fit in with the design of your home.