Cat Scratching Posts : Do Cat’s Need Them?

Cats scratch for a variety of reasons, such as removing layers from their claws or leaving their territorial mark for other cats. Unfortunately our furry friends sometimes choose furniture and/or carpet to meet their scratching needs. This is where a cat scratching post comes in handy.

There are factors that should be considered before buying a cat scratching post. Some cats prefer to scratch from a vertical position, while some prefer to scratch horizontally. Cats also have favorite scratching locations and textures. If the post provided looks fun, but isn’t effective from a cat’s point of view, then it will most likely sit unused.


Since some cats reach upward and pull down when scratching, a post should be at least half as tall as him to allow him to stretch. The taller the post, the greater the chance of the cat preferring the post over a couch or chair. Cardboard posts that lie flat on the floor should be large enough for the cat to stand on while scratching at the same time.


Like a litter box, a scratch post isn’t one of the most attractive products, when it comes to living with a cat. Although some are fancy, they don’t always go with the decor which leads to hiding it. However, the post should be placed where the cat has been known to scratch. If you would like to retrain a cat who has been scratching a piece of furniture then the post should be placed right next to it. This makes it convenient for your cat to recognize the better option provided for him.


Many cheap cat trees and posts you find in your local pet supply store are covered with carpet. They might be more attractive to look at, as well as soft, but totally ineffective when it comes to scratching. The post should have a rough texture that will allow the cat to rake his nails across the surface. A cat wants to dig his nails into the object’s surface in order to remove the outer nail layer. If a post is covered in carpet, most likely the cat’s nails will get stuck in the carpet loops. That could mean driving him back to scratching the furniture again.


You may want to try these options instead of purchasing a pre-made scratching post:

  • If your cat loves the soft wood of your doorframe, consider making a simple scratching post out of soft scrap wood to keep his interest peaked.
  • Your cat may love to scratch the carpet, but that might also mean that he prefers a horizontal carpet scratcher instead of a vertical post.
  • If your feline really loves the feel of your upholstery, look for a remnant of fabric that is similar in texture and wrap it around a post instead.


Cat scratching posts do not always have to be bought. They can be something as simple as the tree in your yard or even a rug reserved specifically for kitty. If you are handy with tools, you can make your own cat scratching posts. They are usually made of wood and heavy duty fabrics attached to a sturdy base. If the thought of constructing a homemade cat scratching post is too much work you can purchase one online or at a pet store.

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