What are some tips for selecting a quality scratching post or tree for my cat?

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There are many types of scratching posts on the market. You can even make your own. They come in various sizes, materials and prices, but choosing one will really come down to your cat’s preference.

First, you should know that cats don’t scratch out of destructiveness but, rather, instinct. They scratch when they stretch, which is frequently, and it’s also the way they trim their nails.

That said, here are some types of scratching posts:
• Carpet: This is probably the most common. A carpet covered scratching post is easily made, easy to work with, and can be attached to many different surfaces and shapes. It isn’t, however, as durable as some other materials and it can shred and lose some nap; it also requires an occasional vacuuming.
• Sisal: This is very tough and durable. Sisal scratching posts are excellent choices for cats who prefer to claw and scratch rough surfaces. It’srelatively inexpensive, but not very easy to incorporate catnip into it to make it more attractive to your cat.
• Cardboard: By far the least expensive alternative, these kits are also refillable. You buy it once, and then just buy the inserts that the cat scratches. Since it has a lot of holes, cardboard posts can easily accommodate catnip to make it more attractive, but it does shred very easily. Some cats also like to chew on cardboard, which is not good due to the chemicals present in cardboard.
• Wood: Probably the closest thing to what a cat in the wild would use, a wooden post is the most durable, even more so than sisal. It does not lend itself to hosting catnip, but it also will not retain dirt.
Horizontal or Vertical?
One thing to think about is whether or not your cat prefers vertical or horizontal surfaces. Some cats like to rear up and pull down, while others like to stretch way out along the floor and pull. The best thing you can do is observe your cat

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