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Ginger cat sitting on a scratching post next to a young boy.

What Is The Best Scratching Post Or Object For Cats?

If you are an admirer of feline friends, you’ll know that cats often enjoy scratching different objects. It helps to keep their claws in good condition, stretches their bodies, and is a great way of cat-on-cat communication. We also know that there is a large range of options to choose from when it comes to selecting the best scratching post for your cat. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide, so please read on to find out more.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Firstly, it is important to start with a background on why cats need to scratch. 

Scratching is a normal and instinctive cat behavior, like a human’s need to stretch after waking up in the morning. 

If there are cats in your area with access to the outdoors, you may notice scratch marks on trees, fence posts or gates. Did you know that these are points where a cat has marked its territory within that area? 

Territory marking is a common reason why cats scratch and is both visible and invisible. Invisible marks of territory come from the scent glands on the pads of their paws, leaving a mark that only other cats can perceive. 

Indoor kittens also have the same need to scratch. Without a scratching post present, you just might find this happens on your furniture! For more information on how to stop your cat scratching your furniture, check out our guide here.
Tabby cat scratching a scratching post.

What Makes A Good Scratching Object?

It is easy for humans to pick a scratching post that we like the look of without remembering what is best for our cat! But now that you understand the importance of a cat’s need to scratch, you can decide on a good cat scratcher for your feline friend.

Every cat will have individual preferences, so as you build your relationship together you can discover exactly what they like. Saying that, here are a few tips on what to look out for in the best cat scratching post.

  • Height: Most cats like tall scratching posts, as this allows them to fully stretch their body.
  • Sturdiness: The best scratching post should also be sturdy. A wobbly post can be off-putting or can startle your kitten if they are trying to enjoy a good scratch.
  • The Right Material: Most cats will warm to posts made from materials that easily shred when scratched. Be wary of materials that could catch their nails as this will cause discomfort and prevent your furry friend from using the post again. We recommend items with a heavy-duty sisal rope or cardboard as they are commonly available and are popular among our kitties.
Angles: As most cats like the combination of stretching up vertically, as well as scratching horizontally, you may look to purchase a cat scratching tree or a cat scratching mat. These will cover different angles, and with more scratching opportunities available, your cat will be a happy scratcher!
Bengal cat playing with a scratching post.

Things To Consider About Scratching Posts 

You may be wondering when you should replace your cat’s scratching post. We recommend getting a new post when the material is shredded and no longer provides resistance for your cat’s nails. Some scratching objects will need to be replaced, and others and be refilled with another layer in place of the worn-out material.

So where is the best place to put your cat scratching tree or mat? We recommend popping them close to your cat’s resting places or near where they already scratch, depending on your kitten’s normal scratching habits.

One important thing to remember if you live in a multi-cat household is that you should try to have at least two scratching posts, pads, or mats per cat available. This just allows them to scratch in peace and without any arguments! Cats can be private creatures. They will feel comfortable scratching in a place where they won’t be disturbed! The general rule we follow is to have one per cat plus another just in case!

Why Is My Cat Scratching Other Objects?

If this is your problem, you are not alone! This is something a lot of cat parents face from time to time. First of all, you have to assess the reason why your cat is scratching. Are they insecure? Anxious? Hungry? All are reasons they could scratch a different area of your home. 

If your cat is scratching because they are feeling insecure or stressed, consider if there have been any major changes recently that you can help and support them get used to. Help them feel more serene by plugging in FELIWAY® Optimum where they spend most of their time.
If you are not sure what may be making your cat feel insecure, or you need help making them feel less stressed, we advise you to speak to your vet who will check for any underlying medical issues, or a qualified behaviorist can help you work out how best to help your cat feel more at ease.
Grey cat sharpening claws on a cat scratching mat.

If you want to discourage your cat from scratching a piece of furniture, we recommend cleaning the area and spraying FELIWAY® Classic to help your cat feel more comfortable and at ease within your home. If you are unsure of how your furniture will react to the spray, we recommend testing an inconspicuous area of fabric first, with a scratching post, pad or matt nearby to redirect your cat’s attention.

Scratching is a good form of relief for your cat, and by encouraging this behavior on appropriate objects within the home, you will find yourself with a very happy kitty.

Are you interested in more information on how to keep your household cat-friendly? Check out all our other blogs! You can also stay up to date with all the latest updates from FELIWAY® by signing up to our newsletter.

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