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What Are the Best Materials to Use for a Cat Scratching Post?

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Cats love to scratch, and they will do so on anything that seems interesting and comfortable to them, including the furniture. A good way to keep them from messing up our human belongings is to provide them with a cat scratcher to enjoy. We can buy a cat scratching post from the pet shop or order one online, but making one is a fun way to bond with a kitty and feel good about providing them with the stimulation and interaction that they need for a happy and healthy life.

But what should a good cat scratching post be made of? This is an excellent question that we will answer for you right here. We have identified four awesome materials that you can use to finish the cat scratching post that you built for your feline family members or to refinish one that you purchased. Read on for more information!


Sisal Fabric and Rope

Frisco 21-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post with Toy

One of the best material options to consider when finishing a cat scratching post is sisal fabric or rope, depending on what type of design you are trying to accomplish. Sisal fabric and rope are durable and satisfying to cats. It will not fray or tear apart, and it will not look dull and worn after regular kneading.

Sisal fabric becomes softer but does not fall apart as it gets kneaded, gnawed, and scratched on. It is thick and can stand up to years of cat scratching if properly secured to the cat scratching post. Sisal fabric and rope come in a variety of colors, including blue, red, green, yellow, brown, black, purple, and pink.


SmartyKat Scratch 'N Spin Carpet Post Cat Scratcher with Wands Cat Toy

Carpet works well as a surface for a cat scratching post, although the carpeting will come loose and start to become bare after a great deal of scratching and kneading. Therefore, you will probably find yourself needing to replace the carpet on your cat’s scratching post more often. Still, this is a good option if you don’t mind a few missing swatches of carpet on the scratching post. Thin, micro carpet is the longest-lasting option, as shaggier carpets will be most susceptible to falling out due to wear and tear.


Imperial Cat Dachshund Cat Scratching Board, Large, Black

Cardboard is an inexpensive material option for cat scratching posts. It is easy to come by, holds up surprisingly well to cat claws, and can be conveniently replaced for a low cost when necessary. Cardboard boxes alone make for great cat scratching posts. Many cat scratching posts on the market feature cardboard on at least part of their design. The biggest downside to cardboard is that it shreds and falls to the ground as it gets clawed, scratched, and kneaded, which can create a perpetual mess that you’ll have to repeatedly clean up.


You can never go wrong with a good old piece of wood when it comes to making a scratching post for your kitty cat. Wood holds up well to wear and tear, and it makes the satisfying “ripping” sound that cats like when they scratch and knead. You can simply lay a block of chopped wood out for your cat to go to town on, or make a scratching post by sawing, sanding, and nailing a few pieces together.


Final Thoughts

While the materials listed here are considered the best options to use when creating a cat scratcher post or to look for when buying one, any type of material is better than nothing. Cats love to scratch and knead. Having the opportunity to regularly do so helps optimize their quality of life as they age. What kind of material do you plan to use or choose for your cat’s next scratching post? We would love to hear your plans and thoughts! Leave us a message in the comments section.

Featured Image: Daga_Roszkowska, Pixabay

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.