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How to Decide What Size and Shape Scratching Post to Buy

Your cat's scratching post should fit him and the space.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to scratching posts. You can get a standard, straight one, an extra tall, straight one, a post with a bed on top, a flat or angled scratcher, or a tree with an additional platform. But how do you know what size and type your cat will do best with?

There are more exciting things to scratch than your leather furniture.

First, Choose the Right Material

Cats don't like to scratch materials that catch their claws and pull on them, like carpet. They prefer scratching a rough surface without any material that can catch a claw but that makes a nice sound and visible scratch to mark their territory. The two best cat scratching materials are sisal fabric (not rope) and heavy corrugated cardboard. Learn more: "Sisal Fabric: The Best Material for Cat Scratching Posts."

There's room for two in the Purrfect Post Command Center

Next, Choose the Right Height

Cats like to scratch in various positions. It helps them get a good stretch throughout every area of their body. They stretch to scratch high and also like to hunker down and scratch hidden areas as well. Scratching posts with multiple scratching surfaces in different planes are great for cats.

When you choose a scratching post, make sure it's tall enough that your cat can stretch his body up along it completely. The longer the cat's body, the taller the post will need to be to accomplish that. Don't forget, you'll need to add length for when your cat is standing on his hind legs and stretching his front ones up as far as he can. In the wild, cats choose tall, sturdy things like tree trunks and fence posts to scratch.

If you have a big cat, like a Ragdoll or a Maine coon, it can be hard to find a scratching post tall enough to accommodate him. That's where the Mondo comes in. It's 39" tall, making it perfect for big cats.

And don't forget, a tall post must also be completely sturdy. If your cat leans on it and it topples over, he's unlikely to ever try and scratch it again.

Decide Where You'll Put the Post

Look around your home and decide the best places to put your cat posts. Cats want to scratch in areas that are highly visible, where lots of human and pet traffic flows through to see their territorial marks. If your cat is currently scratching at something inappropriate, it can help to cover it with double-sided tape or a heavy blanket and put a scratching post right next to it.

Learn more about why cats scratch and how to choose good post placements related to those reasons here: "Why Your Cat Needs a Good Scratching Post," and "Helpful Tips."

Once you know the spots you want to put posts, consider those spaces and determine the best type of post for that area. If it's in front of a window, for example, a post with a bed on top is a great idea. Your cat will love to climb up, lie down, and watch what's going on outside.

If you have several cats that like to use a post at the same time, a tree with multiple platforms is a great idea. If they like to snuggle together, choose a tree with a large bed.

Variety in your cat's scratching environment is a good thing. Try to have a few different types of posts, so he has multiple angles and surfaces to scratch. Angled scratchers that can even lie flat are great for small spaces, under the bed, or even at the base of a bigger, straight post to add variety.

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at PurrfectPost.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.