You may think that shopping for a scratching post is easy – just look for a pole covered in carpet or sisal and have it shipped out. But the truth is, you might just be throwing your money away if you don’t keep some basic “cat scratcher” shopping suggestions in mind. Here are a few things to consider before purchasing your first scratching post.
Scratching posts come in two primary designs: Vertical and horizontal. Vertical scratchers are the ones that are secured in on a platform of wood (and might be a cat tree or hang from a doorknob). These are great for younger cats who love to explore, cats who love to climb, and cats who have their claws. Vertical scratching posts are wonderful for cats who love to stretch on trees.
Horizontal scratchers are ideal for declawed cats or any cat who loves to lounge on unique surfaces. These may rest against a wall, or just lay flat on the ground. In most cases, you can easily switch out the covering which helps preserve the life of the scratcher. This brings us to the next point – choosing a covering.
When you’re shopping for a scratching post, you need to look at what is covering it. There are plenty of options in coverings for scratch posts.
Carpet is an absolutely fine choice, but, the thing you’re teaching your cat when buying a carpet-covered scratching post is that it’s perfectly acceptable to destroy your living room carpet. After all, how is a cat to determine which carpet is acceptable and which is not? You might also want to consider cardboard, sisal, seagrass, bamboo or any one of dozens of other options.
Cats are pretty light on their feet, but the first time a scratching post tips over on them is the last time they will use it. When shopping for a scratching post, consider the weight of the item and the construction. Cat trees are not always designed not to tip. A sturdy cat tree will be heavy, which may impact your shipping cost. Look for a large base that will hold the post even if your cat climbs on one side.
Design can impact weight. Some scratchers are lightweight and simply designed for flexibility in moving them around. They are also incredibly sturdy and give you plenty of room to build out as you get more cash or add more cats to your residence.
Ease of Cleaning
Your cat post is going to get dirty. Your cat will shed hair all over it, claw it up, remove the outer covering and shred it. After all, that’s the point of having a scratching post! So you’ll want to make sure your new post is easily cleaned and parts are easily replaced.
Is this a scratching post that you want to look at for the next few years? An elaborate cat tree is great fun for a year, but then it gets tattered or covered in fur and you’ll have a giant, difficult to repair cat tree in your living room. There are thousands of designs, from modern to classic.
You can even pick up sizes and shapes that you wouldn’t expect – from ultra modern to real-life tree houses. Take your time when shopping for scratching posts. Start small and work your way up. Your cats will appreciate you changing them out frequently and you’ll have something new to look at every few months.
Our Top Pick
When we considered surface, covering, ease of cleaning, and aesthetics one cat tree kept coming up at the top of the list every time. The Vesper collection of cat trees and scratchers is not only stylish and attractive, but it’s incredibly reasonably priced. What’s more, it wipes clean and all the pads and scratchers are removable and washable. We use and highly recommend them!
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