what type of scratching posts do cats prefer?

The Ideal Scratching Post For Cats: Cat Approved

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Modern Furniture For Cats

Kitty cats need and love to scratch. This tendency is a natural instinct in all felines, including indoor cats. This post is all about the ideal scratching post for cats: cat approved.

Having access to scratching apparatus is an important requirement that should be filled in order for felines and owners to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Scratching posts are by far one of the most popular types of cat scratchers available to cat owners. The reason?

Easy.

Cats love them.

One of the most effective ways to keep your feline from shedding that favorite chair or new couch is to provide her with scratching posts.

What Type Of Scratching Posts Do Cats Like?

You might think that all posts are the same, but not so!

There is a science to the scratching post!

A method to the madness!

A checklist you need! (And don’t worry; I totally have you covered, in cat hair, on this one)

Cat Scratching Post Vertical Wall Cat Scratcher
Sisal RopeCardboard
32" High or Taller20" Tall (add height with space from floor to get 32" when you hang)
Ball or toy on top of postNA
Catnip or Silver VineCatnip or Silvervine
Kritter Kommunity Vertical Cat Scratcher Checklist

You may remember the dedicated engineers who were relentless in uncovering the anatomy of a cat tongue? Bringing to the Internet a video of a cat’s tongue in slow motion (that of course went viral) and all the important and magical purposes for the prickly tool.

Well much like the dedicated tongue evaluators, there are scientists who ran an intense study among household cats.

The results are staggering.

“Scratchers in an upright form covered with cardboard or rope may be suitable for adult household cats and the application of CN or SV can be helpful in increasing the use of scratchers.”  

Applied Animal Behavioral Science

*CN stands for catnip and SV stands for silver vine.

As a male cat owner, I find it especially interesting that the male cats in this study greatly preferred the upright cat scratchers and poles.

“This preference for the standing cardboard was significant with neutered male”

Cat Scratchers Reviewed: Scientific Results 

what type of scratching post do cats like?

In another cat scratcher study conducted in Italy, similar results emerged!

“Our results emphasize the importance of having the option to use or have access to a scratching post: when a scratching post is located in the cat’s environment, the animal is likely to use it. Several suggest giving the cat access to a scratching post as part of a permanent environmental enrichment, and our data seem to confirm this finding.”

So with real scientific data and cats around the world showing us on the internet, we cannot deny cats need scratchers!

And sisal rope poles or cardboard verticals are preferred, thank you very much!

What Height Should A Vertical Cat Scratcher Be?

Experts also agree that sisal rope poles and vertical cardboard cat scratchers should be at least 32” high. This gives felines the ability to have some stretch during their scratch as they lean on their hind legs to push their paws into the surface. 

It is important for your kitty cat to have the chance to sharpen his claws, mark his space and express his natural feline attributes.

If you would like to learn more about the anatomy of your cat’s claws, our blog post The Anatomy Of A Cat Claw goes into great detail.

Having multiple cat scratchers and poles in your home is ideal. Providing your pet with what he needs will make him happier and will prevent furniture shredding.

Great cat furniture is a win win for everyone.

Speaking of great cat furniture, if you would like tips and ideas on how to design your feline friendly space, check out our other posts:

Furniture Solutions For Cats In Small Apartments

Fading Indoor With Outdoor Using Furniture And Animal Lover Decor

BOHO Bedroom Guide: Complete With Cat Furniture

Cat Furniture Your Feline Friendly Home Can’t Do Without

How To Beautify Your Home With Modern Cat Furniture

So knowing your cat needs a vertical cat scratcher, I found a bunch I love. A few based on my own experience and a few that I have on my own wish list to get next. I’ll be honest, not all of mine have hit the mark of 32” tall, but I am committed to do better.

The shorter scratching poles are definitely better than nothing, however there is no denying; bigger is better.

And the taller ones are harder to find, but they are available!

Here they are in no particular order.

Qucey 32” Sisal Scratching Post

The Qucey is available on Amazon and it shows a 4.5 star initially but digging deeper there are some complaints on quality. I decided to list this one because the price is good and there are many positive reviews too.  It is only $21.99 and available on Prime. This one looks good for the price! 

The complete specs are as follows:

Height: 32 inches from top to ground
Size of Bottom: 15.7” * 15.7”
Diameter of Sisal Post: 3.1 inches
Package Included: 1 folding base, 1 sisal posts, 1 sisal posts with plush ball, 1 connect board, installation manual, screws and allen key
Item Weight: 5.8lbs

click the image to take you to the buy page on Amazon

SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post

This is the only I will be getting soon! SmartCat puts out great products. The height meets the mark of 32” and the reviews are consistently good!  The price is $52.34 and it seems to me, well worth it.

One thing I will be adding is a pouch of silver vine on the bottom and top to entice Finnegan to start using it right away. It will also serve as a reward for using the post (not my couch!).

click the image to buy on Amazon

Wall Cat Scratchers

I prefer as much cat furniture on the wall as possible. Not only do I love the aesthetics, it just makes sense. Freeing up precious floor real estate is so nice with furniture that can be assembled on the wall. Cats love to sit up high so including shelves above a wall cat scratcher seems to me to be purrrfect! I am so convinced that I am literally designing a cat wall for Finnegan. I will let you know how it turns out!

The Ruby Road is already in my shopping cart. I love the color, it has great reviews, it meets the requirements and shelving can be incorporated above it.

The length is 21". By placing it about 10" high from the floor, your cat will get that stretch he is longing for. This image is a perfect way to see how it fits the height requirement. I think I might even add a little more height just so Finnegan can stretch up completely. Better yet, having two of them staggered in length side by side so he as options is what I will probably do.

DIY

What type of scratching post do cats like?

The ones you make for them!

If buying a cat scratcher that is vertical, with catnip or silver vine is not an option right now there are ways to make them yourself!

I gotta' say, some crafty projects are much more expensive then shopping for something new. If you are on a budget and do not have sisal rope laying around (neither do I) you might go with cardboard.

Here is a video that is step by step for a DIY cat scratcher. I like this one because it is so tall! And you mostly just need cardboard, so hopefully you have lots of boxes. You can also gather some up from other people too. They call for a wooden dowel which I have also seen at the Dollar Store very cheap!

Concluding Thoughts

There are more than several studies that constantly reveal a feline's need to scratch. The preference also consistently leans toward a vertical one. Cardboard and sisal seem to be the preferred material in a cat scratcher.

I know I will be more selective as I pick Finny's next round of cat supplies up.

Happy pet, less visits to the vet!

Lisa bio photo

Lisa Illman

Lisa is the owner of Kritter Kommunity and the inventor of the @KritterKondo cat enclosure. She is owned by her mischievous and adorable kitty cat, Finnegan. He has his own Facebook too.

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