Bringing a kitten into your home is an exciting venture, but it comes with its own set of challenges. One such challenge is dealing with a kitten's natural instinct to scratch. In this article, we’ll go over what to look for in a scratching post for a kitten and give you our picks for the best kitten scratching posts.
Here at tuft + paw, we are cat experts. We're intimately familiar with the scratching post features that are most important to cats and cat parents alike. This article is based on consultation with a veterinarian, cat behaviorist, hundreds of online reviews, and our own experience as cat parents to determine which scratching posts offer the best overall performance.
Tip: See our more detailed lists of the best scratching posts and the best modern scratching posts for further product recommendations and tips.
Do Kittens Need a Scratching Post?
So do kittens really need a scratching post? Absolutely! Scratching is an innate behavior in cats, and providing a designated area for them to indulge this instinct is crucial. Not only does it save your furniture from tiny, razor-sharp claws, but it also promotes healthy habits and prevents behavioral issues down the line. Think of it as giving your kitten their personal gym, where they can flex their muscles and maintain those adorable, yet sharp, little claws.
What to Look For In a Kitten Scratching Post
Kittens are bundles of energy, and their scratching post should match their enthusiasm. Look for a post that is easily accessible for a tiny feline explorer. The lowest scratching surface should be no more than a few inches off the ground so even the tiniest kittens can get a good scratch in.
Kittens are known for their boundless energy and mischievous antics. Choose a scratching post made from sturdy materials like sisal fabric or high density carpet. These materials provide an ideal texture for scratching and can withstand the fervor of a playful kitten.
A wobbly scratching post can be a real turn off for kittens. Opt for a post with a wide and stable base to ensure it stays upright, even during the most vigorous scratching sessions. Stability is key to a safe and enjoyable scratching experience for your kitten.
Enough Height to Grow Into
Kittens grow at an astonishing rate. Select a scratching post that allows them to stretch and grow into it. This not only accommodates their current size but also ensures that the post will be a suitable size as they mature.
Best Kitten Scratching Posts
Pros: tall enough for any cat, durable sisal fabric, sturdy plywood construction, wide base for stability, easy assembly, stylish design
Materials: premium plywood with ash or walnut veneer, woven sisal fabric
Size: 36"H x 18"W x 18"D
The tuft + paw Zip Scratching Post is our top choice for the best kitten scratching post. With a perfect blend of height, durability, and style, this post is tailor-made for your growing feline companion. The premium plywood construction and tightly woven sisal fabric ensure a satisfying scratching experience, while the sleek design adds a touch of elegance to your living space.
Pros: tall enough for most cats, reasonably priced, durable sisal fabric, wide base for stability, easy assembly, neutral design
Cons: mediocre build quality, some accounts of wobbliness, mixed reviews on fabric durability
Materials: sisal fabric, engineered wood
Size: 32"H x 16"W x 16"D
For budget-conscious cat parents, the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post offers a solid option. While it may not match the premium features of our top pick, it provides a good balance of height, durability, and affordability. The sisal fabric encourages healthy scratching habits, and the neutral design ensures it blends seamlessly with your home decor.
Pros: vertical + horizontal options, sturdy plywood construction, durable carpet, wall-mount available, very space efficient, easy to clean, no assembly required, stylish design
Cons: expensive, not super long
Materials: premium plywood, carpet, aluminum wall mount
Size: 28.5”L x 6.5”W x 1.5”D
The tuft + paw Tab Scratching Board is a versatile choice for kittens with varying scratching preferences. Whether your kitten likes to scratch horizontally, vertically, or somewhere in between, this scratching board has you covered. The premium materials and space-efficient design make it a winner, albeit at a slightly higher price point.
Pros: tall enough for any cat, reasonably priced, sisal rope, wide base for stability, easy assembly, swappable post sections increase longevity
Cons: recent quality concerns, mediocre material quality, faux fur base sheds + wears out quickly, bulky design
Materials: cardboard tube, sisal rope, faux fur, engineered wood base
Size: 41"H x 19"W x 19"L
The Midwest Feline Nuvo Cat Scratching Post offers height and stability at an affordable price. With a swappable post design, it ensures durability by allowing you to rotate sections, extending the lifespan of the sisal rope. However, recent reviews suggest that, while budget-friendly, it may not match the longevity of premium options.
Kitten Scratching Post FAQs
What is the best material for a kitten scratching post?
Sisal fabric or sisal rope is widely recommended for kitten scratching posts. It provides a satisfying texture for scratching, is durable enough to withstand kitten antics, and promotes healthy claw maintenance.
How tall should a scratching post be for a kitten?
The scratching post should be tall enough for the kitten to fully stretch, usually around 24 to 36 inches. This allows them to engage their muscles and encourages a natural scratching posture.
Are there scratching posts suitable for both kittens and adult cats?
Yes, many scratching posts are designed to accommodate kittens and grow with them into adulthood. Look for tall or adjustable posts that provide an ideal scratching experience for cats of all sizes.
Can I train my kitten to use a scratching post?
Absolutely. Encourage your kitten to use the scratching post by placing it in a prominent and accessible location. Applying catnip or using positive reinforcement when they use the post can also reinforce the behavior.
How do I clean a kitten scratching post?
Regularly vacuum or brush the scratching post to remove loose fibers, fur, and any debris. For deeper cleaning, consider using pet-friendly detergents or wipes, ensuring the post remains inviting for your kitten.
Investing in the right scratching post for your kitten is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it preserve your furniture and promote healthy habits, but it also provides endless entertainment for your kitten. Whether you opt for the elegance of tuft + paw's Zip Scratching Post, the budget-friendly SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post, the versatile Tab Scratching Board, or the affordable Midwest Feline Nuvo Cat Scratching Post, your kitten is sure to thank you with hours of playful antics. Choose wisely, and let the scratching adventures begin!