Many cats are picky creatures, especially with their scratchers and scratching posts. If you’re not careful, you might purchase an expensive product that your cat is only going to ignore.
Hence, it’s important to choose the right cat scratchers and scratching posts to satisfy your household feline’s particular needs and wants.
Don’t make the mistake of choosing a scratcher or scratching post that appeals to you. Instead, think about the preferences of your pet, which means you need to choose a product from your cat’s point of view.
Keep reading as we tackle the 12 different types of scratching posts and scratchers to help with your purchasing decision.
Scratching Posts By Direction
1. Horizontal Scratching Posts
Horizontal scratching posts are ideal for vertically challenged cats, especially those who have weight problems. Feline obesity tends to be 20 percent heavier than a particular feline breed's optimal weight because of significant fat accumulation.
These heavier-than-average cats can benefit from horizontal scratchers. With these products, fat felines won’t need to make a significant effort in lifting their bodies to sharpen their claws.
On the other hand, some horizontal scratching post models tend to take up more space in homes than others.
2. Vertical Scratching Posts
Vertical scratching posts can be excellent choices for cats to sharpen claws and leave territorial marks. Plus, if felines stand on their hind legs while digging their front paws on scratchers, they can stretch their bodies.
Stretching is important in cats, considering they tend to sleep 16 to 18 hours per day. This significant amount of time being inactive may reduce the animals’ blood pressure levels.
Cats that don’t stretch frequently can experience lethargy, weakness, and fainting episodes.
Make sure to purchase a scratching post that can accommodate the entire length of your cat’s body. For your reference, the average length of a typical household cat is 46 centimeters (18.11 inches) from the head to the end of the body, excluding the tail.
If you have a household pet with this measurement, a 50-centimeter (19.69-inch) or over vertical scratching post should suffice.
3. Angled Scratching Posts
Angled scratching posts are the middle-ground between horizontal and vertical scratchers. These models allow felines, regardless of their length and weight, to dig into the material to enjoy good scratching experiences.
Additionally, many angled cat scratchers don’t take up a significant amount of space, allowing these products to fit in relatively small spaces. Some variants also offer reversible and replaceable inserts for cat parents on fairly tight budgets.
On the downside, some angled scratching posts tend to be quite small. Certain cat breeds may have difficulty scratching both their front and hind legs when they’re standing on the scratching material.
Scratching Posts By Material
4. Sisal Scratching Posts
Sisal is a group of fibers from the leaves of certain plants such as the pineapple plant and Abaca (also called the Manila hemp).
Many scratching post manufacturers use this material for their products because of its optimal durability, flexibility, and moisture resistance.
Moreover, sisal can be used as a standalone material for scratchers. It can also be blended with other substances like acrylic or wool.
With these characteristics, cats can scratch on sisal scratchers for extended periods without damaging the material significantly. High-quality sisal scratchers can also last for years, which can extend with frequent maintenance.
5. Carpet Scratching Posts
Carpet scratching posts can be great distractions for cats that can't seem to get enough of digging their claws into the carpeting.
Carpet scratchers generally use different materials compared to the typical carpet flooring. In comparison, traditional carpet materials, such as linen, Tencel, and wool, have loops that catch cats' nails.
On the other hand, cat carpet scratchers don’t use the materials commonly used in standard carpeting. Instead, these products use substances that are fine-tuned to help cats relieve their need to scratch on surfaces.
In some cases, you may also install carpet scratchers on cat trees. For more information on the topic, check out our post: What Is The Best Carpet For A Cat Tree?
6. Cardboard Scratching Posts
Many pet parents like to buy cardboard scratching posts for their household felines because of their fairly inexpensive costs.
Although, cardboard tends to have shorter lifespans than the likes of sisal or rope. Still, some cats may prefer the softer texture of cardboard as compared to sisal scratchers.
Special Scratching Posts
7. Wall-Mounted Scratching Posts
Wall-mounted cat scratchers can be excellent options for homes with obstacle courses for their felines. These wall-mounted choices can be placed at different heights across the house.
Many of these variants use reusable sticky adhesives as mounting options that don’t require special tools for installation.
On the other hand, some models may require some tools for a proper setup. Additionally, some adhesives in certain wall-mounted models may ruin paint jobs.
8. Hanging Scratching Posts
Not to be confused with wall-mounted scratchers, hanging scratching posts use hooks or rope to dangle the product on surfaces. Since these products don’t use adhesives, their installation doesn’t pose the risk of ruining paint jobs.
9. Cat Tree And Scratching Post Combo
Cats that don’t get enough exercise may present unnecessary aggression to furniture, plants, and other objects. Get your cat to work out while letting them have fun with a cat tree and scratching post combo.
Many felines like to climb high places because the activity helps them feel secured. As a loving pet parent, having a cat tree with a built-in scratching post helps your pet relish in security, gain sufficient exercise, have fun, and relieve stress at the same time.
Take note that some cat trees tend to be quite tall with some models reaching as high as 304 centimeters (60 inches). Read our post on how big a cat tree should be for more information about the right cat tree height that caters to space requirements.
10. Cat Toy And Scratching Surface Combo
If you want to prioritize play for your cat, you should get them a cat toy and a scratching surface combo. This type of product helps maintain your kitty’s physical and mental well-being.
Letting your pet engage in physical activities, such as playing with toys, can help reduce cognitive decline.
Aside from letting your pet have fun, the built-in scratching surface can be a great way to let your household felines maintain their claws.
11. Cat Bed And Scratching Post Combo
Increase the comfort of your pet feline while thinking about their utmost comfort with a cat bed and scratching post combo. You’ll find models equipped with plush cushions and pillows for your cats.
Plus, some surfaces on the product use materials like cardboard or sisal for your kitty’s scratching needs. These options are great space savers, which can be perfect for households with fairly limited spaces.
12. Unique Design
Cat parents and their pets that want to spice up their living spaces can purchase cat scratching posts and scratchers with unique designs. Choose from a broad range of distinct looks, such as cacti, mushrooms, sunflowers, and event DJ booths.
Take note that the materials used in producing these uniquely designed cat scratchers differ for each product. For example, a mushroom-shaped cat scratcher might use cardboard for the scratching surface whereas a moon-shaped model may use sisal.
Choosing the right scratching post or scratcher for your cat may require some experimentation. It’s important to pay close attention to your pet’s preferences to avoid spending more money than intended.
Plus, if you purchase the correct cat scratching post or scratcher, your pet might find it difficult to keep your cat's claws away from the product. In turn, your furniture will be safe from being ripped to shreds.