Cat Tree vs Scratching Post: What is Better for Cats?

Cat Tree vs Scratching Post

Feisty little tabby kitten testing out its claws on its brand new rope scratching post indoors at home

Cat Tree vs Scratching Post: What is Better for Cats?

Scratching is an essential need for our cats. Not just purely domestic cats, but also cats with free rein have to sharpen their claws to shed excess horn tissue. What's more, cats mark their territory by scratching. These visible marks send a clear message: I live here. Both through the scent glands located on the paws and wellbeing hormones, every cat leaves behind its own individual mark.

When a cat enters your home, one thing is particularly important along with food bowls and a cat toilet: a proper scratching area. If your cat doesn't have the opportunity to properly satisfy its urge to scratch, it will have to switch to furniture and upholstery. This isn't a protest from your cat; it simply has no other opportunity to act upon its innate instincts!

There are lots of different scratching apparatuses on the market, from simple scratching boards to scratching mats, posts and trees of all sizes. What's best for cats though? In short, it's important that your cat can satisfy its urge to scratch. All types of scratching apparatus have advantages and disadvantages.

How can cats play?

Cat lovers with small homes often doubt whether cats can be happy in a small space. The good news is that the pure number of square metres isn't crucial to keeping a cat in a species-appropriate manner, but rather the use of the space available. Large cat trees can offer cats a so-called “third dimension”: many platforms give cats the opportunity to make the most of the full height of a space. Beyond scratching, cats can play, snooze or observe the surrounding area. Large cat trees are perfect for feline families and more active cats! Smaller scratching apparatuses give cats less opportunities to let off steam. Many scratching posts come with a platform, though cats can't climb quite as high as with many floor-to-ceiling cat trees. Many scratching mats and scratching boards can be fixed to a wall and give your cat chance to stretch out and scratch at leisure. However, there is no possibility to climb and observe the surroundings from above with these products.

Saving space

Scratching mats and scratching boards need much less space than most cat trees. This makes them particularly suitable for cat lovers living in a small space. Although your cat can't climb up, space-saving scratching apparatuses can nevertheless be an integral part of a species-appropriate cat home combined with further play and viewing opportunities! For instance, you can set aside a shelf for your cat and set it up with a cosy cushion as a place for cuddles and rest.

Cat Tree Design

Perhaps you have invested a lot of passion and financial resources in setting up your home and a scratching tree doesn't fit the design whatsoever... No problem: there are lots of modern scratching trees, boards, posts and mats that fit in with every home.

Scratching board, post, mat or tree? The decision depends entirely on your personal preferences and those of your cat. Is your four-legged family member particularly active or rather tranquil? Does your cat like climbing or does it prefer napping? It often helps to take a close look at your home environment: are there currently unused areas that could be a good spot for a cat tree? Should the new scratching apparatus be integrated into the available space or should it be very much space-saving?

We wish your cat lots of fun scratching, climbing, letting off steam and snoozing!

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