A scratch post is not just a piece of furniture to say ‘Hey, I own a cat.’ In fact, this type of misconception is even more dangerous if you are buying one in the hopes it’ll keep your cat from scratching your antique sofa.
Do you want our advice? Consult your cat before an interior designer.
Even in the weird happenstance that said interior designer is also a solid cat expert, they would still tell you that your cat’s view on a good scratching spot outweighs any hooman’s aesthetic tastes.
There are ways to figure this out by just simply observing your cat’s current habits around the house. For instance, we previously showed that the primary reason why cats scratch areas is that it is their way of marking their territory while simultaneously maintaining their claws.
That’s just one thing to consider. Here’s a quick list of more things you cat can be telling you on its idea of the best scratching post:
- Its stretching habits and preferences.
When you catch your cat about to scratch the couch or the curtains, what is its form? Is it stretched all the way up or does it hunch it shoulders? Taking a small note of this can mean big implications on your cat’s personal routine.
Remember, cats are more conservative about their energy and prefer accomplishing several things with one activity. In the olden days, wild cats had tall trees to serve both as a scratch post and also a great way to reach up and stretch their backs when they do.
Likewise, some cats even prefer to climb while scratching! Others prefer just stretching horizontally on the floor. Your choice of scratching aid must reflect these habits.
- The strength and size of your cat.
The only thing that should concern you about your scratch post’s materials isn’t color or fabric. It’s how long those materials can endure your cat’s size and strength.
For example, if your cat is heavy but your tall scratch post doesn’t have a strong base, then there’s a dangerous chance your cat will fall if it tries to climb it! Alternatively, if its fabric isn’t as pleasing to shred as your curtains, then buying it would be an even bigger waste of money.
Go for a scratch post that can withstand all the punishment your cat gives. Again, look back to the trees that its wilder cousins used to claw on. A scratch post should be just as strong and just as satisfying to scratch. One general rule of thumb is to grab one with a very heavy base and materials that make a lot noise (e.g. sisal fabric, cardboard etc).
- The jungle of your household environment.
To extend the comparison with trees, look to how your cat goes about your house every day. A sofa could be like a cliff. A table could be treated like a canopy. Your stairs might be akin to a mountainside.
See how what kind of scratch post fits in this environment and how it could fulfill certain needs of your kitty that are currently not being met.
Do you generally have little room for it to move about? Consider having a strong post with a perch and make use of unused vertical space. Are they a purely horizontal scratcher? Make several scratch boards out of recycled cardboard and put them in strategic places around your flat.
A scratch post might reflect one of your needs as a cat owner (being you want to keep furniture unsullied). But for a cat, a scratch post reflects several. Always pay attention to what these needs are because they are more than just interior decor.