Last updated: August 19, 2021

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For us, the companionship a pet offers is one of the most priceless things in life, and we're sure it is for you too. It's no surprise, then, that we want to pamper them and give them everything they need to keep them happy. For this reason, today we will talk about cat scratchers.

There are countless reasons to choose a cat as a pet, including its independence, its hygiene, its silence... and its tenderness! and their tenderness! However, despite being domesticated animals, cats certainly retain wild instincts, so it is part of their nature to want to scratch and claw things.

So that you can give your feline the best option for fun, while preventing them from messing with your furniture or clothes, we've created this guide to cat scratchers. We'll show you how to identify the features that distinguish them and the most important buying factors. We'll also show you the best models on the market.




Summary

  • A cat scratching post is an accessory for feline entertainment. Its main purpose is to give the cat a suitable and appropriate surface to scratch on, as cats instinctively do this to mark their territory. This prevents them from scratching other impermissible objects, such as furniture and clothing, and at the same time provides fun.
  • There are three different types of cat scratching posts: simple post, furniture and tower. The pole consists of a simple tubular section supported by a base. The cabinet consists of a single surface, which can range from a bed to a 'hammock' type structure, and the tower has different levels, accessories and toys.
  • In choosing the most appropriate cat scratching post, it is important to consider the scratching material and the strength of the structure. It is also worth taking into account the breed of cat, as some cats are very calm and will require no more than a simple post. Equally, it is worth considering whether the scratching post includes catnip.

The Best Cat Scratchers: our picks

Buying Guide

If after reading our ranking of the three best cat scratchers you can't wait to get one for your cat, read on! Below we'll take an in-depth look at this great accessory that keeps your pet entertained and your furniture intact.

A cat scratcher will keep your pet entertained and active for hours (Photo: Alena Stalmashonak/123rf.com)

What is a cat scratcher and what are its advantages?

A cat scratching post is an accessory that provides domestic feline cats with a scratching surface, which prevents them from scratching other household objects, such as furniture. In addition to this function, many scratching posts include toys and multiple levels that allow cats to entertain themselves, reduce stress and rest.

Cats are predators with pointed, retractable claws that they use to hunt small prey. Although there are many docile domestic cat breeds that are not used to hunting, they certainly all retain many of their wild instincts. Cats are very territorial, and scratching is their way of marking their territory.

To satisfy this need, cats often turn to fabrics, with clothing and sofas being the most vulnerable. Cat scratching posts have surfaces that cats enjoy most, plus they are commonly impregnated with catnip, so if you have one at home, your cat is more likely to prefer it.

Advantages
  • Prevents the cat from destroying furniture and household objects
  • Keeps the cat entertained
  • Reduces the risk of obesity by keeping the cat active
Disadvantages
  • They are unsightly
  • Can take up a lot of space
  • Eventually wear out from scratching

Simple cat scratching posts, furniture and scratching towers - what should you look out for?

Although the function of all cat scratchers is essentially the same - to provide the cat with a scratching surface, thus preventing them from damaging household objects - there are different formats of scratchers: posts, furniture and towers. Some of these have additional features to keep your feline entertained and happy.

Simple posts: The simplest of all. They consist of a simple section of post lined with scratching material and anchored to a base. Some have toys hanging from the end, giving the cat an additional option to keep busy.

Furniture: Usually designed to allow the cat, in addition to scratching, to lie down and rest. They come in many different formats and designs, which can range from a simple bed to a 'hammock'.

Towers: The most complete and versatile options. They have at least two levels, so the cat can be kept extra active by climbing up and down. They also often have features such as hanging toys, baskets, compartments and tunnels.

Post Furniture Tower
Levels One One At least two
Pieces Two (post and base) Usually one More than two
Scratching surfaces One One At least two
Suitable for lounging No Yes Yes

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of cat scratchers

In this section we will review the most important factors to consider when choosing a cat scratcher. There are some important points to consider to ensure that your choice is the right one for your feline friend (and for the well-being of your furniture!).

  • Material
  • Cat Breed
  • Catnip
  • Firmness

Material

It's important that the cat scratching post covering material you choose is of high quality, and not prone to 'splintering' or shedding small pieces of itself that could hurt your cat. Below we look at the most common types of materials, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Sisal rope: The most common and universal material for cat scratching posts. Sisal is a material derived from the Mexican agave plant, whose properties include strength, durability and hardness. Its wear and tear is delayed.

Sisal cloth: Also derived from sisal. Although less common and universal, it can certainly be considered safer because, unlike rope, the sharp fibres will not lift over time, making it less likely to injure your cat.

Carpet: Many cat scratching posts are lined with soft carpet. While this is a material that cats enjoy, as their claws tear through the material easily, it can be counterproductive to opt for it because it might confuse your cat into thinking it's OK to scratch other similar surfaces (such as your sofa).

Sisal rope is the most common covering on cat scratching posts. (Photo: Anna Yamikova / 123rf.com)

Cat Breed

Some cats are more active and energetic than others. Therefore, not everyone requires the same amount of options to keep them entertained - some will find a simple post more than enough, while others need a tower with lots of add-ons. In the table below we look at the most common domestic cat breeds:

Persian Siamese Bengal Ragdoll
Energy Low Low Medium High
Ideal scratching post Simple post Furniture Tower Tower

Catnip

Catnip, also known as catnip or catnip, is a plant with a scent that is particularly attractive to cats. It is safe to use and is endorsed by veterinarians. As a result, many people use it to attract their cats to certain surfaces, keeping them away from others.

Many cat scratchers include catnip, either impregnated into the material or separately. If this is the case, we recommend that you make sure it is organic, as many types of industrial catnip contain substances or chemicals that can be harmful to your cat. If the catnip is organic, it will be marked on the packaging.

Firmness

This factor is particularly important with tower scratchers. If the scratching post is not sturdy, it could collapse or fall over. While this is not likely to hurt your cat, as cats are dexterous animals that are adept at falling, it may cause your cat to no longer want to play with the scratching post.

It is very easy to determine if the structure of a scratching post is not firm enough. To do this, you can hold one part of the scratching post with each hand (e.g. the base with one hand and the spine with the other), and apply bending force. If the structure lacks firmness, the joint between the parts will feel loose.

It is best to choose a scraper that comes in pieces that you can assemble yourself, rather than a pre-assembled one. Pre-assembled scrapers can lose firmness during shipping and handling, whereas with a scraper that comes in parts, you can make sure that all the pieces are well supported.

Cat scratchers come in all shapes and sizes (Photo: Oksana Kuzmina/123rf.com)

(Featured image photo: Famveldman/123rf.com)

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