What we looked for when finding the best cat scratching post
Obviously, for a cat to be able to use the cat scratching post, the post has to be strong and stable. We eliminated any cat scratching posts which had reviews saying they can fall over or isn’t secure enough to hold the weight of a cat.
Across the board, we looked for reviews that had used the product for a while and said there was no unravelling or fraying, or general damage to the product. This doesn’t only ensure a quality product, but also a safe product.
A few materials are better than others for scratching posts. Cats prefer something sturdy but which sheds under their claws. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you’ll be buying a replacement every week. It just means they get that destruction feeling. Studies also show they like to leave shredding marks and like the noise which comes with it.
Firstly, the overall build should be something strong such as wood or solid plastic. Many are also made of substantial corrugated cardboard, which is good for being lightweight yet solid but may not last as long. Cats need resistance in order to feel comfortable using the post and to ensure it does a good job. They can only get this from a surface that feels safe, secured and allows them to use their own technique
The actual scratch surface should ideally be something like sisal rope which can fray without coming apart. Sisal fabric is found on flatter, non-post surfaces. We avoided materials such as carpet or felt as if your cat currently uses the lounge floor or your armchair to scratch, they can find it hard knowing why they can use one and not the other.
Corrugated cardboard can also act as a scratch surface. Again, it is a pleasing feeling, but can also be gentler on claws which is good for younger cats or those who are indoors. As you’d imagine, some aren’t great quality at all so it was important to find something strong.
Is it tall or long enough? They like to stretch while caring for their claws, so it is no good getting a tiny post for a cat that is very long. We looked for a range of sizes, but tall post scratchers were important for us to find.
Cats love to stretch and scratch after waking up. Because of this, it is a good idea to place the surface near their bed. Ensure they have enough space to move about freely but still have their own little corner. We looked for posts that will do the job, but not take up too much space for most people. We also looked for space-saving alternatives, such as the pads.
Types of cat scratching post
The traditional form. A tall pole which allows your cat to reach up and manage their claws, which is good for cats who like to stretch to maintain their back and shoulders
Better for any cats who find it difficult to stretch vertically, or younger cats who may not be balanced enough yet. Some pads may also be able to attach to a wall vertically
These are rarer but can offer another dimension to claw care, by giving a more playful surface. They are also usually more balanced so good for cats who like to launch about
Often hang on a door handle or from the wall. Perfect for saving floor space in your home, but are often smaller
A scratcher combined with a bit of a play centre or sleeping surface. They attach to the wall and could be good for cats who like to climb or need something more secure than a freestanding model