So we all know that cat scratchers (or cat scratching posts, whichever you prefer) are absolutely mandatory in any kitty-friendly household. However, did you know that there are a ton of different varieties? I mean, just a ton. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of repeat styles out there. With such a vast array to select from, how does one go about choosing? Today, we'll cut through all the clutter and copycats to help you find the best scratchers for your feline friend!
Types of Cat Scratchers
You see them in pet stores, spattered across the internet, and even in roadside stands - the standard cat scratching post! These posts are useful, sure, but there are just a ton of different options out there, each one designed to provide enrichment for a multitude of kitty personalities.
Here's the deal... have you ever hefted one of those things home only to find your fuzzy little buddy just isn't all that into it? The reason for that is simple: every cat is an individual. I know, I sound like a weirdo, but it's true. Just like people, each cat has his own likes and dislikes, and these sensorial preferences can range from tactile to visual, auditory to olfactory. Simply put, some cats like a rougher texture while others prefer smooth; some will be startled by the size or shape of a post, while others will be fascinated. The strong scent of certain materials will both repel and attract, depending upon the cat; while a crinkly material may be enough to scare a kitty off posts altogether.
But this leaves the question, if your friend doesn't care for regular cat scratchers, then what else is out there? Well, there are scratchers that fall in different angles, lean against walls, cover couch corners, and rest on the floor. Others are multipurpose, acting as both a post, and bed or toy. There are scratchers that come with the standard sisal rope, while others have a sisal fabric. Some boast dense cardboard or carpeting, while others bear upholstery fabric or natural woods.
So what is the best type of cat scratcher? There is really no universal answer for that. Pay attention to what your cat seems to favor. Watch him closely and take some notes. Does he tend to stretch out when he's scratching Does he stay closer to the ground? Is he laying on the ground? Notice how he reacts to certain sounds, smells, and materials. Also bear in mind that tastes change, so be sure to notice if he's starting to lose interest in certain things, and keep an alternative on hand to help spice things up.
Cat Scratcher Recommendations
Now that you and your kitty have gotten to know each other a little better, it's time to decide on some cat scratchers! As I mentioned a few times already, there are just... a ton of different options, so I've narrowed it down to some of the best.
If your kitty seems pretty keen to demolish your furniture, and all of your other re-direction attempts have failed, this might just be the cat scratcher for you. Although it's made out of the customary sisal material, it is unique in its contoured shape, which is meant to fit around the corners of your oh-so-enticing couch corner. This post doesn't attach directly to the couch by way of messy glue or destructive hardware, but instead, simply slides under a couch leg. The benefit of this is that although it's meant to protect your furniture, its stand alone nature makes it easy to put just about anywhere in the room. This scratcher comes in a variety of colors, and is backed with a protective layer of soft carpeting. It measures at 24"x10"x10", and weighs about 7 pounds.
Although there are a number of reasons why a cat scratches, getting a good stretch ranks pretty highly in the list. If your furry little friend is something of a yoga-freak, you might want to consider a mountable cat scratcher. The benefit of this is that the post can be adjusted to just about any height, so whether your feline is long and lanky or low to the ground, he will have a good place to loosen up his limbs. This particular post is a nice option, as it is durable, environmentally-friendly, and stands at a decent height even without adjustment. The total height is about 36.6" - the individual poles measuring 14.56" each - while the circumference is about 2.36", and the platform comes in at 11".
So you might be wanting to step away from the whole sisal material thing - understandable, as sisal can be messy and have a strong scent that some cats find unpleasant. If this common material just isn't cutting it for your kitty, you might want to try some natural wood cat scratchers. This particular cat toy is made up of solid cedar. Although it's pretty simple to look at, this unique little number is actually pretty useful. For starters, the rustic cedar material is soft, yet offers enough resistance to make scratching all the more satisfying. Next, the x-style base reduces wobbliness. Finally, this scratcher boasts bungee cord antenna and a decent-sized hold for securing dangling toys. This post measures around 32" tall, 4"x4" wide, and the base is equal to about 24"x24" square. The whole deal weighs about 9.5 pounds.
Cardboard is another great alternative to sisal fabrics, as it is both satisfying and Eco-friendly - though, admittedly, it can be just as messy. If you want to save the environment and don't mind too much about the occasional bit of stray cardboard, this might be a great option for you. The delightful thing about this neat little contraption is that it is incredibly versatile: you can use it as a scratching mat, place it against the wall, or set it up as a corner scratcher that covers both front and back paws at the same time. This post stands at around 12.6”x12”x21.7”, and weighs 2.4 pounds.
Sometimes cat scratchers are just cat scratchers... not so with this item. In fact, it may be one of the most exercise-friendly cat toys on the planet. It might look fairly simple, and in truth, it is. But think about it. Most posts are fairly static. Sure... they may come with a dangly toy... but... eh. This one, though, is a dangly toy. The solid, feather-tipped teaser at the top attracts, the enticingly shreddable rope provides the satisfying "catch," and all the while the whole contraption gently moves and swings. This scratcher is pre-assembled, and easily attaches to any door. It measures at 1.8"x4.8"x29", and weighs 1 pound.
All right, so perhaps you're sick of boring old posts. Maybe you're just looking for something that is both useful and beautiful. If so, this scratcher is a very, very cool option. This curved, solid cardboard piece has a very chic appearance and does double-duty as both a scratcher and a hammock for smaller cats. Although it's rather attractive, what really makes this cat scratcher special is its versatility. There is the usual sisal side; however, the vast majority of the curve is covered with a thick, satisfying carpet. It addition to being a functional scratching post, this groovy thing can also be a comfy bed or hiding spot. This option weighs around 2.5 pounds, and stands at around 19.2"x6.5"x11.1".
So, it goes without saying that a cat scratcher is essential for keeping your kitty healthy and content. But just because it's obligatory, doesn't mean it needs to be dull. There are a thousand options available, many of them strikingly similar; however, you don't have to settle! As you've seen today, there are plenty of interesting, exciting choices on the market. So have at it, already!
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