When you get your new kitten a scratch post, there are a few options to consider. It’s extremely important to ensure that your cat has multiple appropriate scratching options. There are many different scratch posts and cat gyms available on the market, as well as DIY options online, but it’s important to obtain or make one that is suitable for your cat’s needs:
- The vertical scratching surface must be long enough to allow your cat to stretch out to her full length.
- Some cats also enjoy horizontal surfaces, and these should be provided as an alternative option. Corrugated cardboard scratch pads are cheap and easily available for this purpose. And don’t throw out any suitable branches when you’re trimming the trees in your garden – place them in outside areas as a natural scratching pad.
- It must be stable, as a wobbly post could startle a cat.
- Texture is also important, and sisal is a commonly used material which most cats find tempting, and it is also effective at keeping claws healthy. Carpet materials are not as effective, as cats can get their claws stuck in carpeting.
- The position of the post or gym is a vital factor. Keep scratching options in high-traffic cat areas. Putting a post in a dark corner of an unused room is unlikely to attract your cat’s attention.
Katherine Brown, behaviourist