How to Choose a Scratching Post

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Original Source: Romeo the Cat

The staff has been in an uproar lately because Pug has been scratching up the windowsills and female staff’s prized sea grass laundry hamper. And, every time the staff buys a new scratching post for us, it goes unused. I understand her frustration but humans aren’t always smart about cat products. In this instance, there are some things the staff needs to understand about choosing a scratching post.

Here’s the thing: a scratching post isn’t just a fun toy for a cat. It’s actually a very critical tool that will keep your resident felines happy and healthy – and your windowsills and hampers safe!

Scratching is an ingrained feline behavior and cats scratch for lots of different reasons.  According to the Indoor Pet Initiative at the Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center, cats scratch sharpen their claws, streeeetch, shed cuticles and to leave their scent.

And, even if you don’t like it, these are all very good reasons for a kitty to scratch so you might as well work with your cat to find an acceptable solution.

Here are some things the staff is considering while finding the right scratching post for the Pugman:


There are a variety of materials available in scratching posts but coarse, rough surface that kitties can shred is best, says the article, “Scratching” by the Indoor Pet Initiative.

Cardboard and carpeted scratching posts are other effective materials but make sure the carpet is rough and tightly woven so your buddy’s claws don’t get stuck in the material.


The posts should be in a convenient location and, if your little buddy is already scratching your furniture and rugs (or windowsills, Pugsley, ahem), the Indoor Pet Initiative says to place the posts near these items or areas.p;

Also, if you have more than one kitty, offer more than one option. In our house, there’s only one true scratcher but I could get into it if I had something fun to scratch.  The Indoor Pet Initiative recommends a few scratching posts, both vertical and horizontal, in various hot spots throughout the home, near congregation spots and along “routes” to food, water and litter boxes.

Scratching Post Direction and Size

Your cat’s fave scratching position should dictate what type of post you get.

If your guy likes scratching carpet, a horizontal scratcher is probably a good option. If he targets furniture legs, the walls or curtains or, like Pug, windowsills, hampers and I forgot to mention he also likes the ottoman, then you have yourself a vertical scratcher.

Also, if your cat likes the up and down scratch, make sure the vertical posts are tall enough so he can get a good old stretch in there. If your post is too short, your stretcher-scratcher is going to go back to the place that gives him all the benefits….and if that’s your furniture, you ain’t gonna be happy.


So, there are plenty of flimsy posts out there on the market. Don’t go cheap! Get something sturdy (there’s a reason some cats choose furniture…it doesn’t move!) that isn’t going to fall over when your cats really gets going.

So what this all boils down to is if you have a scratcher on your hands, take some measures to find him something you won’t mind him scratching up.

We’ll let you know how Pug’s new scratching options turn out!

Readers, any scratching insight you want to share?

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On July 18, 2014

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