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6 Important Reasons Why Cats Need a Scratching Post

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Gray cat lying down a cat tree with scratching post

6 Important Reasons Why Cats Need a Scratching Post

A scratching post may seem like an unnecessary purchase for your cat, but this cat-friendly device is actually critical for keeping your cat happy and healthy. Plus, scratching posts help to keep the rest of your home clean and free from your cat’s claws.

As though protecting your furniture is not a good enough reason to invest in a scratching post, here are six reasons why your cat needs a scratching post for their own health and wellness.

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The 6 Reasons Why Cats Need a Scratching Post

1. Scratching Posts Fulfil Your Cat’s Need for Territory Marking

Cat scratching post sisal rope
Image Credit by: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

Just like their close cousin’s panthers and lions, your housecat is territorial over its space. As a result, house cats have a natural instinct to mark their territory. One way that cats do this is by scratching items they claim.

Although you can’t see them, your cat’s paws have scent glands, and whenever your cat scratches an item, its unique scent is spread over the area, creating a territorial marker that other cats can detect. Likewise, the actual scratches mark the territory too.

By providing your cat with a scratching post, you provide your cat with an area to live out its natural instincts. This keeps your cat healthy and happy since it is healthily fulfilling its natural instincts.

2. Scratching Posts Keep Your Cat Entertained

If you have a kitten or young cat, you know just how hyper these creatures can be. Even though cats sleep a good portion of their day, they get bursts of energy and whenever these outbursts happen, they are liable to destroy your home.

Since your cat is naturally drawn to scratching items, they will gravitate towards the scratching post whenever they are looking for entertainment. This can help wear your cat’s energy out without destroying your home.

3. Scratching Posts Provide Your Cat With Exercise

Scratching posts are great for making sure your cat exercises. In addition to scratching the post, most cats like to climb around it and jump on top. Since many cats are so prone to obesity, it’s great to encourage playfulness and exercise in as many forms as possible.

Image Credit: MarinaTr, Shutterstock

4. Scratching Posts Help Trigger “Feel-Good” Hormones

Just like us, cats have a number of chemicals and hormones that are released based on environmental factors. Whenever your cat is scratching, certain feel-good hormones are naturally released. These hormones help your cat to feel happy and healthy.

Whenever you encourage scratching through a scratching post, your cat is more likely to experience these hormones frequently since they have an area to scratch safely. As a result, you could expect your cat to be happier all around with the scratching post.

5. Scratching Posts Help Groom Your Cat’s Claws

It can be really difficult to trim your cat’s claws. One way to keep your cat’s nails in good health is with a scratching post. A scratching post will naturally remove the outer layer of their nails, keeping your cat’s nails clean and healthy.

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Keeping your cat's paws healthy starts with keeping their nails trimmed. A great set of clippers like the Hepper Cat Nail Clipper Set can help you safely and easily do this at home. This set includes two sizes of clippers with stainless steel blades, built-in safety guards, and comfortable handles, along with a nail file and a storage pouch. Get ready for easy nail trimming!

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6. Scratching Posts Help Cats Socialize

tony and cheetah playful kittens on the hepper hi-lo cat scratcher
Image Credit by:

If you have more than one cat, a scratching post is one of the best ways to help them socialize with one another. Both of the cats will be drawn to the area when they want to scratch and play. This encourages a socialized bond with the cats.

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Tips For Getting Your Cat a Scratching Post

If you are searching feverishly for a great scratching post, there are some factors to consider for the purchase. Studies have even been performed to find out which scratching posts are appreciated the most by cats. Here are some factors to think about before you make your final decision:


Cats prefer being high up so they have a good vantage point of other predators and prey. If you want the best scratching post around, make sure that it is over 3 feet tall. Most scratching posts do not meet this height requirement, unfortunately.

Most cats prefer a scratching post with two or three different levels. Your cat’s age may impact whether or not a multistorey scratching post is a fun and feasible option.

If you do not have enough space for a scratching post of this size, try to get as large of a scratching post as possible that fits in the area. This will allow the cat to enjoy the scratching post and be able to stretch out as much as possible.


There are a variety of materials used on scratching posts. Carpet, rope, cardboard, and wood are the most popular materials, but most cats just love to scratch whatever they’re not supposed to.

Additional Features

Look for additional features that match the cat’s unique personality. For example, young, active cats will often like a multi-story scratcher with dangly items. In contrast, elderly cats will probably only want a small scratching post and a hide for sleeping.

Additional features can also refer to the shape of the scratching post. Most scratching posts are vertical for additional height. If you have a senior cat, you might want to look for a specifically horizontal scratching post so the cat can actually get on top.

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Cats use scratching posts to stay healthy, fit, and happy. These posts naturally fulfill the cat’s desire to scratch and mark their territory. All the while, it will help keep your home safe from your cat’s destructive claws.

Whenever it comes time to purchase a scratching post for your cat, select an item that is tall and made from rope. Look for additional features to match your cat’s personality. Senior cats may need a unique scratching post designed specifically for them.

Featured Image Credit: husnerova, Pixabay

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