Having cats at home is therapeutic. After all, these pets are adorable since you can tickle, cuddle, and play with them. However, having cats also has its downside as you can be dealing with multiple scratches and damage on furniture like the couch or dining chairs as well as the rugs, carpets, and walls. One way to prevent such from happening is to purchase a scratching post. But what is the best material for cat scratching post? Here is a rundown of what you need to know before buying one.
Buying a Scratching Post: Why Cats Love Height
Before we discuss the preferred material of your cats, let us first take a good look at what to consider in buying a scratching post.
Height is one of the factors a pet owner must consider. Cats, after all, want to stretch their bodies to its full extent when scratching. Hence, it is essential to get a scratching post that is high enough so that the cats can stretch out fully while pulling back their shoulder and back muscles. Scratching in this position is also a good exercise for this animal as they do this activity for their flexibility and overall health.
Additionally, having a short scratching post has its downside as the cats will not be able to get the full benefits from this routine and may cause them discomfort. Sometimes, these animals become disinterested. This is why some scratching posts are left alone by cats after several tries.
Best Material for Cat Scratching Post: Choose Wisely
Choosing a scratching post is no rocket science, but it can also be a confusing and daunting task. One can end up purchasing several posts that the cat will refuse to scratch. When this happens, be prepared to see your pet go back to its favorite scratching item which could be your pricey upholstered pieces of furniture like a sofa or dining chairs. Do not get confused and think that the cat dislikes scratching post per se. On the contrary, the cats can enjoy scratching posts just not the one you bought because the material and design might be unappealing.
A common mistake that cat owners make is choosing a scratching post that they like. They tend to forget that humans have different preferences from cats. As such, when buying a scratching post, one has to think of the cat’s choices mainly on the material. So, what is the best material for cat scratching posts?
Scratching posts come in different designs, sizes and materials and the number of available choices can be quite confusing. Many of these items are aesthetically appealing to humans, but unfortunately, the cats do not favor them.
Research has shown that cats want materials that are sturdy as they shred them apart with their claws. This is because cats are also territorial and love marking their territory. Keep in mind that shredding is a fun activity for these pets and scratching on not-so-sturdy materials are not challenging enough for them.
· Material not found at home
There are scratching posts made from carpet and you buy them remembering the times when your pet has scratched the carpet back home. But when buying a scratching post, pet owners must remember that it is wise to get one that does not duplicate the material found at home. The reason for this is simple: your cats might get confused why he or she is allowed to scratch the carpet in the post but not the one lying at home. Plus, this home accessory does not have the roughness that cats love.
· Sisal Fabric or Sisal Rope
When buying a scratch post, you may want to get one that is made from sisal fabric as this material makes for a wonderful scratching surface for your pets. It is a heavy-duty material that cats love as it wonderfully shreds under their claws. These pets, after all, find satisfaction in scratching surfaces and sisal fabric gives them this sensation.
You may notice that scratching post is either made from sisal fabric or sisal rope. But what is the difference?
Sisal fabric gives a better scratching experience than sisal rope. This is because cats can draw their claws on the material while having a good grip on it. The sisal fabric has both the resistance and texture that your pet desires. On the other hand, a sisal rope does not give as much pleasurable scratching experience because cats are not able to do the vertical shredding movement they like. The ridge found in between the various layers of the rope interrupts the scratching process. The cats end up scratching, bumping and stopping, which arguably does not equate to an exciting scratching experience.
Other Factors to Consider
Now that we know the preferred scratching material of the cats, it is best to start learning about the other factors to consider when buying a scratching post.
Aside from height and material, a kitty owner must also look for the stability of the product. After all, it is not much of a challenge or great experience to scratch a post that can be toppled easily.
A base and a sturdy board is a design choice that provides stability to the scratching post. There are products on the market that has a wooden base that weighs heavy enough to keep the post from falling easily when the cat starts scratching on it. The base must be made from durable material to provide stability for the entire post. Also, one has to check if the board has enough traction so that the post will not slide off easily. After all, cats might end up being frustrated if the scratching post keeps on moving as it will interrupt their exercise.
You may also want to buy a product that has a cat perch as a bonus for your beloved pet. Think of this add-on as a mezzanine to your cat’s condo. There are plenty of manufacturers that provide bonuses for the products as it has its virtues. The cat can look around its world through this “mezzanine.” Plus, it gives the cat a sense of ownership as no other living things stay on this perch. Keep in mind that cats are territorial animals and having a place of their own where they can lounge or rest is indeed a great treat.