One of the pieces of advice that we often see given to people upset that their cat is scratching on their furniture is to give the cat an alternative item to scratch, like a scratching post. But that advice misses a key piece of information: how big the scratching post must be.
Often, scratching posts are barely as tall as an adult cat. Advertising or product packaging may have photos of cute kittens crawling and scratching on the post, which makes you not think about its actual height. But if you take that same scratching post home, your adult kitty is dismayed to discover that they can’t stretch out while they scratch on it.
Pierre shows that the well-used area of the scratching post is actually above his head when he is sitting next to the post.
The solution is to buy a tall cat tree at least one and one half times your cat’s body height to allow a good stretch while scratching. We cats think the taller the better, and we prefer scratching the 4 foot leg of cat tree rather than the 2 foot leg next to it.
Just keep in mind that the taller the cat tree, the wider or more sturdy the base needs to be to prevent it being wobbly or tipping over. A cat who has a tree fall over on them may never use it again out of fear or mistrust.
A little adjustment to the height of your cat tree can bring a big difference in your cat’s acceptance level of it as a good location to scratch. And your furniture will thank you!