What are some ideal materials to use in scratching posts?

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Cats scratch for several reasons: the action helps them remove layers of worn outer claws, revealing new, sharper claws. It is also a way to mark their territory and warn other cats not to trespass. Finally, scratching helps cats to stretch their muscles and get a little exercise on a regular basis.

Most cats have a preference for the type of surface they like to scratch. Think about the places your cat likes to scratch in your home. Some cats prefer to scratch upright objects while others like horizontal surfaces. They may like the roughness of your upholstery, the plush carpet, or the soft wood of your doorframe.

Try these options instead of purchasing pre-made scratching posts:

  • Does your cat love the soft wood of your doorframe? If so, try fashioning a simple scratching post out of soft scrap wood.
  • Most cats love to scratch the carpet, but this might also mean that they prefer a horizontal carpet scratcher rather than a vertical post.
  • If your cat really loves the feel of your upholstery, look for a remnant of fabric that is similar in texture, and wrap it around your cat’s post.

You may need to use two or three different kinds of scratching posts, depending on your cat’s favorite surfaces. Different cats also like different things to scratch, so keep that in mind if you have more than one cat in the home, and remember that felines can be territorial. Make sure each cat has access to a post of his very own, in the event that one cat won’t let the other use his post.

Whether you buy or make the scratching post, make sure that it’s always sturdy and stable. If it falls over, or your cat falls off, he may end up afraid of it and you’ll have to start all over again to find him the right kind of material. Be patient, and with a little creativity and experimentation, you can create your cat’s new favorite places to scratch.

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