Finding the right cat scratcher can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t know what your cat needs. There are a lot of options when it comes to buying a cat scratching post, and you have to do some serious research in order to buy the right one. You can always ask others what they’ve bought for their cats, but you’ll have to make the decision yourself.
Why Is a Cat Scratcher Useful to Have?
Although cats have been domesticated for a long time, they have still retained some of their wild, hunter-like instincts. That includes constantly having to sharpen and maintain their claws in order to keep them ready for any “intruder” that might attack. And they do this by scratching various things around the house. Usually, if they can’t get outside and use a tree or something like that, they will use whatever they can find around the house. That usually means that they will scratch up wooden furniture, drapes, sofas and other surfaces they can stick their claws in.
This is why it is so important to get your cat a cat scratcher as soon as you take her in. They have to be taught early on that they are only supposed to play and train with that specific thing. Otherwise, they will develop bad habits that can be quite hard to break later on. Some people may think that when cats are small, they don’t really understand the purpose of a scratcher and will go for the furniture anyway. That may be, but it is better to have it and get the cat to gradually grow accustomed to using it, than to buy it when you already have torn drapes and scratched up chairs.
Also, a cat scratcher is very helpful when you need to make your cat feel safe. Rescue cats especially can have a hard time adapting to new surroundings. A scratcher can help them find a safe space where they can let off steam and distress. They can make their scratcher their own, and always know that they are able to use it in order to feel at home. Also, you can outfit the scratcher with various accessories, in order to make it more appealing to them. For instance, you can have different dangling toys attached to it. Your kitty will certainly appreciate it.
But Doesn’t It Promote a Bad Behavior?
Some think so. But having a scratcher around the house also can be used in order to train your cat. For instance, you can train your tabby to always know that he can only use it instead of any piece of furniture he sees around the house. Also, you can try and teach them to do tricks, like catch the toys dangling from the scratcher, in order to get treats.
When Should You Buy the First Cat Scratcher?
There are a few “schools of thought” on this matter. Some say that you should already have a cat scratcher when you bring your cat home for the first time. This way the cat will associate the scratcher as always being a part of the house. Also, if you move it around, the cat will know what to look for if you change its position. But you shouldn’t move it around too often. That’s because you can confuse your cat and she might not understand why something that has her scent is getting moved around so much.
Other believe that you should buy a cat scratcher only after you have a cat, and even then you can wait a while before actually buying it. This way you don’t have to take up unnecessary space with it, and you can train the cat to see the scratcher as a treat. But if you do so, you might not be able to teach the cat to use it. If the cat gets a taste for ripping up the furniture, then you might have a very hard time teaching her that that isn’t ok. The best way to do things is to buy a small scratcher, just in case, when you bring your cat home, and then move up from there, as need be.
Where Should You Buy a Cat Scratching Post?
You can simply go online, do a quick search and buy the first cat scratching post you find. But that doesn’t mean that it is the bets. That’s because there are a lot of places that sell scratching posts, but they aren’t always “up to code”. For instance, handmade scratching posts, which are very popular among hipster cat owners, can contain dangerous elements and materials. These can, in time, hurt your feline friend and make them not want to use the post anymore. Then, even if you buy them a new post, they might be afraid to use it and can return to scratching up the furniture.
The best way to buy a cat scratching post is to firstly do some research about what is available on the market. And that usually means checking out the pet stores that sell them and comparing them. sure, you can do that online. It is the simplest and quickest way. But in order to really get a feel for what you want to buy, you should make some time and go in an actual pet shop and see a scratcher first hand. Then you will know what you are looking for exactly.
Can I Ask My Vet?
Sure. This is maybe the best course of action. That’s because veterinarians can make recommendations specifically for you cat. They know what you cat needs the most and what kind of materials and toys you should look for when buying a scratcher.
How Much Should You Spend on a Cat Scratching Post?
It really depends on the type of cat scratching post you want. For instance, if you just want something simple, that you can lay on the floor of a room or up against a wall, then you are looking at something that isn’t more than a couple of tens of dollars. But that might not be enough for your cat. Cats need to be constantly entertained. And that goes for their toys as well. If you don’t come up with something new and fun for them to use, they might get bored and start scratching whatever they can reach again.
A fancier cat scratching post can go up to even a few hundred dollars, if not more. It all depends on what you want it to have. Some have toys, bells, ledges, balls and even little platforms where they can have some quick cat naps. Granted, you’ll need a lot more space if you are planning on investing in something like that, but it will be worth it in order to keep your cat happy. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it. After all, it is just something that your cat will use to scratch up on.