Cats need to scratch to keep their claws sharp, exercise/stretch their muscles, mark their territory and communicate. By roughing up the bark of a tree (or the leg of your favourite chair) your cat is letting other cats or people know where he is and what he is up to. Without providing an acceptable area for your cat to scratch, your carpets, furniture and wallpaper may get damaged. Once your cat finds an attractive area to scratch he will always return to it! Scratching posts come in all shapes and sizes and are an essential addition to your home. They often include upright wooden posts covered with thick sisal twine or carpet together with platforms, beds, hiding/sleeping boxes and dangling toys for the more energetic individuals.
Before you choose a scratching post for your cat, consider these criteria:
- Make sure the post is rigid: your cats needs resistance when he scratches to do the best job.
- Make sure it’s tall enough for your cat to scratch at full stretch. If you buy one for your kitten, you will need to change it when he grows up.
- Make sure you offer opportunities for your cat to scratch both horizontal and vertical surfaces.
- Especially the taller scratching posts need to be ‘wobble-free’. You don’t want it to fall over when your cat launches himself at full speed, or worse, to fall on top of him!
There are a number of ways to ensure your cat makes use of any available scratching post. It would be most attractive to your cat if it were placed near a window in a room he particularly favours, especially if it is one of the larger designs that incorporate platforms and beds. Cats like to stretch and scratch when they first wake up so it’s always beneficial to have an acceptable scratching area near your cat’s bed. Do not encourage your cat to scratch by grasping his paws and showing him what to do or pay particular attention to the scratching post when it first arrives, as this may well put your cat off from going anywhere near it! If he doesn’t show any interest, try sprinkling a little dry catnip over the base, or play a game with your cat with a ‘fishing rod’ feather toy round the post or panel to encourage a connection between claws and the scratching surface: this often promotes scratching. You could even try placing a small handful of dry food on one of the platforms to encourage your cat to jump up and explore.
At Cat Hotel Stoney Creek we discovered that the ComfyPet ‘KatAttacK’ cat furniture is top quality and we and all our guests just love it. We have eleven ‘San Fran’ tall scratching posts: one in each individual room and two in each communal room. They are fully carpeted two-level trees with a cubby house, memory foam mattress and sisal uprights. We will soon order some steps for our older guests to help them get up in their unit: also perfect to have at home to place by your sofa or bed! The link to their website is below, or we are happy to email you their retail pricelist and take orders, and you can pick up your cat’s new scratching post from our Cat Hotel.
The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ fits perfectly with the KatAttacK cat furniture. Every one is hand made with real wood products and arrives fully assembled. ComfyPet is so confident of these products that you will have a 10 year structural warranty and the ability to replace damaged carpet – in fact, they love it when units come back for recovering because they know the unit has done the job, a service we have used several times already in our Cat Hotel. The furniture is made with 100% sustainable New Zealand radiata pine, cut pile carpets (loop pile will catch your cat’s claws) and marine quality sisal – the toughest on the market – that is hand-wound onto uprights using industrial staples. All cat trees are pre-assembled in their factory and are guaranteed ‘wobble free’.