Five of the best cat scratching posts and trees of 2021.  A guided exploration into your cat’s scratching preference.

How many scratching posts should a cat have?  What is the best scratching post for my cat?  If you are struggling to answer these questions, then you have landed in the right place.  Today, we take you on a journey that will help you avoid buying posts you do not need or one that your cat will ignore.  Before we begin, it is important to choose a starting point.

Primarily, what you should look for in a feline scratching post or cat tree are.  One, the height of the scratching post should be tall enough for the cat to use comfortably.  Two, the scratching material must be appealing to the cat without needing too much clean-up.  Three.  The tree or scratching post must be stable enough to handle your cat’s weight and everything you put on it.  Also, the ideal place to locate your cat scratching post is near or in the way of their favourite scratching position.

 In a previous article, we talked about how to train your cat to use its scratching post and how to discourage it from damaging furniture without violence.

For this article, we start with a simple question.

What is the best Scratching Post for my Cat?

It is easy to pick products at random and add “the best cat scratching post-2021,” and leave it there.  But considering the number of similar-looking products on the market, it is important to consider your cat’s preferences when buying a scratching tree or post.

So, we ask, why does your cat need a scratching post?

Scratching, stretching, climbing, play, and hunting.  These needs are instinctual, meaning, your cats need to do all that for better health and stress relief.  Therefore, it is vital to select a feline tree or scratching post that helps your cats meet said needs.

Your cat’s scratching needs and why you need a high bed scratching post

Scratching is normal healthy behaviour for cats and kittens.  Cat’s love doing it because it feels good and scent glands in their paw pads mark territory when scratching.  Consequently, you must make sure that the scratching post you purchase provide territory that your cat wants to claim.

When a cat claims a territory, instinct will keep them patrolling the area at the same time each day.  That is why you want your cat to claim a scratching post or tree.  How can you tell marked territory?

 You will notice scratch marks, and fights may break out when other cats or your dog invades the territory.  Some cats mark territory with urine.

Why do I need a high bed scratching post?

If you own a small apartment or do not have space for a full-size cat scratching post, you need an item that is out of the way and comfortable for the cat.  A high bed scratching post such as the Kazoo High Bed Scratching Post will keep your cat from damaging furniture without taking up too much space.  What makes it attractive to cats?

Strong sisal and a comfortable bed.  But that is not enough, the true beauty of this item is that it provides both vertical and horizontal scratching without taking up too much space.  It is perfect for kittens and adult or senior cats that fear heights.

The playful ones need a scratching tree

Playful cats curve out a larger territory in your home, for that reason, you need a scratching tree that provides entertainment, distraction, and comfort.  If you own a playful kitty or full-grown cat, we recommend going for a scratching tree. A scratching tree is different from a scratching post in that the item encourages multiple feline activities such as scratch, perch, climb and play.

The recommended item in the link above is great in that it was constructed considering different cat play and stretching poses.  Therefore, it is both a playset and purpose-built device that your cat will enjoy spending time in or on.  Furthermore, the materials used are a healthy mix of rough and smooth making it perfect for all types of cats.

That said.

When choosing a cat tree for a playful feline, you should make sure that:

  • The item provides a raised area for the cat to keep away from the ground.
  • A place of refuge.  Such as a condominium (for the cat to run into when you turn on the vacuum cleaner), or a place of rest.
  • Choose a scratching tree that matches your cat’s “energy”, the more playful, the larger and more toys the item should feature.
  • Some cats prefer dark colours while others prefer dull colours.  Choose a colour that matches your cats’ preferences (hint: check your cat’s favourite resting or hangout area).

If you have multiple cats, pick a multi-platform cat scratching post

Cat conflicts can be brutal, especially if you have one or two territorial cats.  Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that there is enough space on the cat tree or scratching post for all your cats.  Multiplatform cat scratching posts allow multiple cats to rest, play, or stretch without getting into too much conflict.

We recommend that you go for an item that features multiple resting areas, scratching sections, and toys -without it being too big for your house.  A 141 cm cat scratching post should be sufficient for the average owner of one to three cats.

Vertical versus horizontal cat scratching posts

Your cat’s stretching needs are not always the same, sometimes it needs to stretch horizontally and other times vertically.  The difference between these two types of scratching trees or posts is that horizontal cat scratching structures mimic tree branches.  This design feature helps your cat to strengthen its back and shoulder muscles.

Vertical cat stretching structures, on the other hand, help to strengthen your cat’s hindquarter muscles through squatting and stretching.

What Type of Cat Scratching Structure Should I Pick?

We recommend an item that serves both kinds of stretching.  That is vertical and horizontal stretching such as this 92 cm Cat Scratching Post. What is great about this item is that it is sturdy and wide enough to serve as a vertical and horizontal scratching structure without taking up too much room in your house.

Alternatively, you may go for:

We highly recommend the two products above because -one.  Both items do not feature protruding “limbs” that require a larger footprint.  Two.  Both items provide a play area, scratching structure, and rest area without being too bulky.

What kind of scratching post is the best?

The best scratching post is one that meets your cat’s stretching needs without interfering or overwhelming your home’s aesthetic.  You want an item that can be part of your home, not a cat post that interferes with flow.  To that end, what you should look for in a cat scratching post or tree is:

The appropriate height

Without the tail, the average feline measures 45 cm.  Consequently, the ideal cat scratching post should measure anywhere from 30 to 32 or more inches tall.  This height allows your full-grown cat to stand on its hind legs and stretch.  What about kittens?

Cats grow up fast.  Meaning, if you buy a smaller scratching station, the cat will quickly outgrow it.  Because of that, it makes more sense to buy a larger scratching post to neutralize the need to buy another when your cat gets bigger.

The shape and size

Choosing between extra tall, standard straight, structures that have additional platforms, and so on can get convoluted.  Therefore, stop thinking about the structure, instead, think about functionality.  The rules here are very straightforward:

  • Pick a material that does not catch the cat’s claws when it pulls on it: we recommend sisal rope, cardboard, uncovered wood, and so on. 
  • The structure should be sturdy and well-balanced to avoid or lessen the possibility of accidents.
  • If you have multiple cats, pick a cat tree that features condominiums that have an entry and exit to avoid cats getting trapped.
  • Pick a cat scratcher that features both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces.
  • If your cat is unsocial or shy, pick a post that has condominiums or hidden compartments to make her feel safe.
  • Some cats hate heights, if yours does, pick an item that is close to the ground.

What Types of Cat Scratching Posts are Available in the Market?

In general, you have five options:

  • Flat cat scratchers: you install this kind of structure on a flat surface for vertical stretching or scratching.
  • Vertical and horizontal cat scratchers.
  • Cat trees: these are structures that mimic tree limbs and trunks.
  • Scratching posts: may feature a bed and condominiums.
  • Scratching towers.

You may find all variations at our shop here.

A zero-budget solution to cat scratching

If your budget is zero, it is not that difficult to fashion a DIY cat scratcher using sisal rope and a sturdy frame.  You may also place cardboards strategically in your home.  We recommend placing cardboards in areas where your cat frequently sleeps or scratches.

Cat Scratching Posts Buying Guide Quick Take

The cat scratching post market is saturated with competing designs, but the truth is, only three things matter to your cat.  That is.

One, your cat needs a comfortable space to sleep and play.

Two, the design and shape of the scratching structure are not that important, what is important is that the item serves its purpose.

Three, the item should not mess with your home’s aesthetic or take up too much room.

If the item meets all these conditions, the next part is to ensure that you get the right height, material, and size.

What do you look for when buying a cat scratching post?  Or do you have one that you love and would like to share?  Tell us in the comments and do not forget to visit our shop for more cat and dog products.

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