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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Do cats need a scratching post? Quite simply, yes. Because it is in the nature of our cuddly domestic tigers to want to scratch objects, outside on trees and the like. But what should a species-appropriate cat tree look like? This and other questions are explored in this article. Enjoy reading and learning. 

Why do cats like to scratch so much?

Scratching is a basic need of cats and you should never try to stop it. If your cuddly tiger scratches again on the expensive new living room furniture, your cat needs more scratching opportunities or something to do. So make sure your pet is offered alternatives, such as a scratching post or other scratching opportunities.

But why do cats like to scratch? It is a natural behaviour to sharpen their claws and mark their territory. There are many scent glands on their paws. In addition, cats can stretch their entire backs through the scratching movement and it is simply fun for them. 

What is a good cat tree?

With the variety of scratching posts available, it is sometimes not so easy to find the right one for your pet. But one thing is certain, not every cat tree is species-appropriate. What makes a good and species-appropriate scratching post?

Stability: The be-all and end-all of a species-appropriate cat tree. If you have ever observed cats jumping and climbing up the tree with such speed and strength, it is quite understandable to choose a stable and hard-wearing cat tree. A wobbly and unstable cat tree will be avoided by most cats, or it can be quite dangerous if it tips over.

Material: Natural materials are definitely preferable, as cats not only like to scratch on scratching posts, but also love to nibble and bite on them. A scratching post made of natural wood is not only particularly stable, it can also have a positive influence on the indoor climate. 

In places, the tree should be wrapped with the natural material sisal, which is particularly tear-resistant and robust. Materials such as banana leaves or water hyacinth leaves are also popular. 

Equipment: Most cats love several levels, climbing and scratching possibilities, caves and cosy relaxation and sleeping places. Depending on the preferences of your darling, the scratching post should also be suitable. Older and weaker animals as well as kittens benefit from stairs and/or ramps for climbing up and down. 

Design: Play and fun are of course also among the favourite pastimes of our graceful housemates. You can “decorate” the cat tree with your cat’s favourite toy and attach ropes made of natural materials here and there. 

Height: A tall cat tree is preferable for two reasons. Firstly, cats love to watch what is happening from high up. Secondly, they can stretch their entire backs. The scratching post, or at least a part of it, should therefore be at least as high as the elongated cat standing on its hind legs. 

High scratching posts are particularly popular with our beloved cats, as they give them an optimal overview of everything and they feel particularly safe. 

Location: The scratching post should always be easily accessible. Furthermore, a place should be chosen that is close to their sleeping place, because cats like to stretch and stretch after their beauty sleep. A location by the window also gives our pets a good view of the outside. Avoid rooms with strong smells (smoke, scented sticks, etc.) and draughts.

Tip: A scratching post or similar can also provide relief next to objects that cats have loved to scratch. can also be a remedy. If your cat regularly attacks your furniture, i.e. scratches wallpaper, doors or other things with pleasure, offer him an alternative at his favourite scratching places. 

Green Rubin - Naturkratzbaum Single

  • Holzart: Holunder

  • Bodenplatte: Buche

  • Maße (B/T/H): 40 x 40 x 132 cm

  • Sisalstärke: 10 mm


Do outdoor cats also need a scratching post?

Even if your pet spends most of his time outside in nature and rarely comes home, he will be happy to have various scratching possibilities within your four walls. Your pet will love coming home that much more. 

Do I need several cat trees for several cats?

Some cats are very social and have no problem sharing their things and toys with other cats, but most are not quite so altruistic. For this reason, one scratching post per cat is recommended. It’s best to check whether all your cats can use the scratching post in peace or whether you have one or two troublemakers with you who are trying to keep their fellow cats away. 

Where should the cat tree be placed?

Place the scratching post so that your cat has a good view of the room. Some cats also appreciate a view from the window. Be careful to avoid very noisy or strong-smelling rooms, because cats like it quiet and do not like intense smells.

Does your cat scratch furniture, the carpet or the wall? Then offer her alternatives. Put a scratching post next to the sofa, a scratching board on the carpet and scratching walls over the wall. This way she can do what she wants without damaging your furniture.

What alternatives are there to the cat tree?

There are also other scratching possibilities. The assortment is very large in this respect. 

  • Scratching planks  
  • Scratching paperboard
  • Scratching columns
  • Climbing and scratching walls
  • Scratching fittings

In principle, your cat should have the possibility to scratch in a stretched position as well as to sharpen its claws while standing, i.e. have a scratching board on the floor. This way, your carpets are also more likely to be spared. 

cat sits on scratch board


Scratching on trees and objects is a need for our cherished cats and not only for reasons of claw care. Offering scratching opportunities is not only part of species-appropriate husbandry, but also spares the beloved furniture. But not all cat trees are the same. There are a few things that a quality cat tree or similar should have.