Scratching posts also known as cat trees is a wooden or plastic structure covered with a strong material that cat owners provide for their cats to scratch their claws on and climb over. It is natural for all cats to scratch as they remove old material from their claws and is an action to mark their territory from the scent released from their paws. This natural scratching urge will be directed at anything they can dig their claws into, like your beautiful lounge suite or your brand new bed spread, so a scratching post or cat tree is a must if you’re thinking of getting a kitten, and especially if your cat will kept strictly indoors.
Cat scratching posts come in an endless variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Some are a very simply designs with a square bottom and a single upright and others, sometimes referred to as cat trees, are huge ceiling height structures with multiple levels, built in sleeping holes or beds and dangling play toys. Most posts or trees will come covered with heavy duty carpet, rough fabric or sisal rope etc, which is perfect for when your cat really gets busy with scratching or playing
It is important that the chosen scratching post is stable, as an un-stable post or tree could wobble or worse topple over during scratching which may put the cat off from using it. Many cat owners will also experiment with a variety of different materials that cover the scratching post in order to find one that their cat will most reliably scratch. Experts do say however that cats prefer sisal rope or corrugated cardboard material. A much simpler way of providing your cat with a scratching area is by using an upside down piece of carpet, or flat surface of sisal hung from a door knob.
Cat scratching posts or cat trees can be bought new from specialty pet stores, online pet shops or if you’re handy you could try building your own. They can also be found second hand in your local classified or online on ebay etc. Prices range from around $50 for a smaller one to as much as several hundred dollars for a larger more extravagant model.