Every cat owner knows that their beloved pets aren’t just lazy sleep-eat-poop machines. Whenever they’re taking a break from their usual life cycle, they get busy with interior design. They will decorate your sofa with torn stitching, make your new wooden door look like a 60-year old antique or even relieve your carpet from boring old-school patterns.

The problem is that most cat owners do not share the same opinions as their pets in design matters. They yell at them and call them bad kittens, which really confuses cats – is that how humans repay for their hard work?


Why Do Cats Scratch Your Sofas?

Jokes aside, cats really don’t scratch furniture just to get under your skin. They do it because:

● They need to remove the dead outer layer of their claws from time to time. Just like we humans trim our nails when they are regrown, cats use scratching as a natural prophylactic procedure.

● Cats being lazy means only one thing: when they’re actually doing something, they’re doing it with maximum efficiency. That’s why scratching isn’t just about scratching – most cats do it in vertical position or with their butts sticking out so they get a good stretch and to flex their feet.

● While scratching, your cat leaves a scent which is stored in their scent glands (under paws). Combined with the visual damage of your furniture, scratching is an outstanding technique for marking territory. Watch and learn, dogs!

● Scratching is fun! And cats need a bit of fun from time to time to stay healthy and happy, so don’t get overly mad at your kitten for cheering herself up.


Give Your Cats Something to Scratch On

These arguments should be enough for every cat owner to realise that scratching isn’t something cats do for no substantial reason. That’s why you don’t want to prevent your cat to stop scratching altogether. Instead, you want to redirect your cat’s scratching needs where they belong.

You guessed it! There isn’t a better solution rather than giving your cat a scratching post and helping her develop a habit of using it. Some owners might think, “Well, if the only “valid” reason my cat scratches the sofa is ‘cause she needs a nail trim, I’ll give her a nail trim”.

You can do it, but why not give your cat the tools do take care of her own hygienic and instinctive needs? Plus, trimming a cat’s nails requires some knowledge, too. Make sure you know what you’re doing, otherwise you might cause harm to your pet.

However, if you’re going to buy a scratch post, consider buying a cat tree scratcher to get the most out of your money. Scratching trees are larger structures made out of multiple scratch posts and include one or several “lounges” where your cat can rest. Let’s take a look at a few cat trees and scratchers we’d recommend.

If you consider your cat to be a little larger and heavier than an average cat, this funhouse is probably one of the best cat trees for big cats. Cats don’t actually differ that significantly in terms of size, but some felines are much heavier than others. That’s why the idea behind big cat tree scratchers is to be steady so they don’t fall over with your cat being on top.

Weighing at 17 pounds, this is one of the heavier models on offer, providing great stability even for the heaviest of cats. We think it’s a great buy considering with the fact it’s also one of the cheapest cat trees on the market.

However, if you’re looking to fit into a certain budget, this elegant cat scratcher-lounge is one of the best options in terms of price-quality ratio. What you get is not only an excellent cat scratcher that your cat will enjoy to sharpen her nails and to sleep in, but also a neatly looking piece of furniture, which should fit nicely into a modernly decorated house.


Teaching Your Cat to Use the Scratcher

However, just getting a tree scratcher for your cat isn’t enough. What you’ll need to do next is to make your cat understand that this new structure is the go-to place for scratching, and the sofa is a no-no from now on. How do you do that? Here’s a short step by step tutorial:

1. Firstly, you’ll need to identify which pieces of furniture does your cat like to scratch. They don’t usually scratch everything – there are a few surfaces in your home that feel good on their paws and nails and those probably suffer the most.

2. The next step is to make those beloved spots not so attractive for your cat anymore. In most cases, a dislikeable scent will make your cat stay away from the sofa or the carpet. Luckily for us, all cats dislike the smell of citrus and menthol. Try attaching perfumed pieces of material (e.g. cotton balls) to the problematic place at your house, or simply rubbing the spot after applying the smell to your palm.

3. If that doesn’t help, you could always try to make the surface dislikeable for the cat’s paws. Cats choose surfaces that their nails can grasp firmly, so covering the spot with duct tape or foil will most likely solve the problem. While furniture covered in foil isn’t exactly featured in the latest interior design magazines, a sacrifice like this could be a start for your cat’s scratch habit’s re-learning process.

4. Lastly, you’ll need to actually show your cat where she should perform her scratching deeds. Cats love to have a satisfying session of scratching and stretching right after sleep, so a good idea would be to put a scratching post near their sleeping spots (if you buy a cat tree scratcher, you’ll do both). Also, it might make sense to place a cat scratcher near the entrance: since your cat will probably be asleep while you’re not at home, she’ll want to greet you first and do the stretching right after. As a means of last resort, you could rub some catnip to the scratching post to make it more appealing.


Build a Cat Tree Yourself

However, what if you don’t want to buy a cat tree scratcher at all, and instead want to make one yourself?

If you truly want to engage in cat tree DIY activities, you’re in luck. Not only because it’s relatively easy and much cheaper than buying a pre-made cat tree, but because so many things can become a cat tree.

You can build cat trees out of pretty much anything: old closet drawers, Ikea pieces, decorative cylinders or even actual wood sticks. One of the best things about building a cat tree yourself is that you get to design it so it fits the design of your room. That’s a luxury you won’t get with most of the pre-built cat tree scratchers.

Have you ever wondered how to build a cat tree out of cardboard? Here’s one of the simpler step-by-step processes:

1. Fold 3-4 cardboard boxes of increasing sizes

2. Cut out holes in the “floors” and “sides” of each box, wide enough for your cat to fit through

3. Place the biggest box in the corner of your room and put smaller boxes on top of one another in descending order, with the smallest one on top (the corner support of two walls adds stability to a super light cardboard house)

4. Watch your cat go nuts

Remember, there are literally thousands of cat tree DIY ideas on the Internet, so if you’ve got the time, make sure to check them out. Even if you’re wondering how to build a cat tree out of specific materials or of particular design, chances are you’ll find a lot of help online.

Our Top 10 Best Cat Scratching Posts 2017

1. AmazonBasics Cat Tree with Scratching Posts


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

The AmazonBasics Cat Tree is the most basic of majority of cat scratching posts that are available in the market. Pictured above is the largest of the cat trees, but they also come in small, medium, and large – depending on how much space you have in your house. The post comes in tiered platforms so that your cat can eventually climb to the top. The top platform is a rounded cat bed for your pet to rest comfortably.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

Since this is cheap cat tree scratching post, the materials holding the post together may wear off over repeated use. The force from which cat climbs the tree and/or weight of the cat may cause the post to tip over. If not put together properly, the post may wobble and fall over.

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2. Armarkat Cat Tree Condo


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

This cat tree model is multi-level with a small house in the mid-level section. There are three scratching posts that hold this cat tree together with three main levels along with two separate square bases.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

The top two square platforms are small in size, so only small kittens or medium sized cats can comfortably rest on the top platforms. Not suitable for large cats.

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3. Cat Tree Scratcher House Condo


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

Once again, this cat tree scratcher model comes with a 4-base post with two small houses. The two small houses are of varying sizes with multiple entry holes. There is a padded stair ladder that gives easy climbing access to the cats for higher platforms. There is also an attachable string with mouse toy that your cat can enjoy swatting at.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

The cat tree scratcher requires at least 40 minutes to an hour of assembly time because of lots of parts. Be sure to follow assembly instructions so that the cat tree is not wobbly.

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4. Go Pet Club Cat Tree Condo


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

The Go Pet Club cat tree condo is very much similar to the previous cat tree scratcher, just has beige coloring with visible white scratch posts at each tiered level. There is multi-level padded stairs for ease of cat climbing and two ample sized cat houses for them to lay. At the top, three small resting platforms with small surrounding wall with opening to allow cat easy exit and entry. Once again, a string with mouse toy tied at the end of cat play.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

The Go Pet Club has more of a premium price, and is not as cheap of cat tree as AmazonBasics brand. Also the cat tree is sized for small kittens and cats and may not be suitable for large cats.

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5. Go Pet Club Cat Tree Leopard-Design House


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

This Go Pet Club cat tree house has an interesting design set-up that is quite different from other cat scratching posts. First off, the design of the covering is leopard print, for those who are looking for cutesy outer design. The bottom of the platform has a scratching roll for cats who want to scratch from the ground. The second tier is shaped like a lounger and then the third tier held up by two scratching posts is a circular tube tunnel with side hole along with two openings at each end. There are two furry play balls for cat play.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

Once again, this cat tree house is suitable for small to medium sized cats, and may not be suitable for large cats.

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6. Vespar Cat Scratching House


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

The Vespar cat tree house overall design look and feel almost has a minimalistic feel resembling Ikea furniture. The cat house portion is cube shaped held up by two scratching posts, while there are three other tiered platforms for cat to rest. The platforms are made from wood, with small mat placed on top of the second and third tiers for cushion under cat. One side of the top platform has string hooked with three balls for cat to play.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

Cats may find it difficult to jump into the cube house, as well as jumping from one tier to the next due to height. This may not be suitable for small kittens, but would be ideal for larger cats who have higher jumping capabilities.

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7. Go Pet Club Multi-Level Cat Tree


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

This Go Pet Club cat tree has an interesting set-up with multi-level “full” platforms. The first level can be reached by scratching post stairs. On the second level has a side “bed bag” along with a hole that cat can drop into and lay on a cat hammock. The third platform is simply a full resting place while the fourth tier has walled in resting zone with a circular tunnel attached beneath it.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

Not too many cons with this model, simply  because the cat tree can be multi-use with small to large cats. The different platforms would be suitable for small cats such as the second and fourth platforms, however, the third platform has ample space for a large cat. So it would be mult-purpose use for all types of cat sizes.

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8. Lolipet Cat Tree Scratching Post


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

The covering for the platforms is made from soft synthetic fabric material for cat comfort. The base is wider than all of the combined tiered platforms so this helps keep the stability of the entire tree house without it wobbling. The estimated time to assemble this cat tree house vs. other mentioned tree houses is less than 30 minutes, so significantly easier than the more complex cat tree scratching posts.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

The cat tree house is suitable more for small to medium sized cats and made be tight squeeze for larger cats.

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9. Furhaven Cat Tree Scratching Post


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

Like all of the other cat tree posts, the Furhaven model has many tiers with interesting nooks and holes that cats could jump into and play with. What makes this model stand out is the Cat-IQ Busy Box located at the base of the scratching post. Inside has two jingle balls that roll around inside the box with many cut out holes around the box. This allows for cat-and-mouse play and entertains your cat.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

The cat tree house is suitable more for small to medium sized cats and made be tight squeeze for larger cats.

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10. FirstWell Cat Tree Condo


Why It’s Great for Your Cat (Pros):

This cat tree condo is much smaller in size than the other cat trees mentioned in this review roundup. Ideal for small cats and for small house/apartment spaces.

Where It Comes Short (Cons):

Not ideal for large cats. Small cats may have trouble jumping from one tier to the next, depending on their jumping capabilities.

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