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What Is the Best Kind of Rope for Cat Scratching Posts?

If you’re a cat owner, you’ll know that they love to scratch and that this is actually an essential and instinctive behavior. Rather than try to discourage your cats from scratching, the best solution is to provide plenty of opportunities for your cat to do so. But instead of letting your cats use your furniture, it’s far better to invest in a few scratching posts and enjoy watching your cat have fun, while also keeping your furniture intact.

If you’re wondering what kind of rope or material is best for cat scratching posts, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know!


About cat scratching posts

Different cats will appreciate different types of surfaces on their scratching posts. You may find that your cat has a clear preference for one type of material or another. It’s worth trying a few different materials to find the one that your cat likes the most.

white cat scratching
Image Credit: Pixabay

Why do cats scratch?

Scratching is an instinctive behavior for cats, and it’s not something that they can stop doing. It serves a few different purposes for our feline friends, including:

  • Removing the old outer layer of their claws
  • Stretching their muscles
  • Relieving anxiety, stress, and frustration
  • Marking their territory with scent glands on their paws

In the wild or even for domestic kitties that spend time outdoors, they will select trees to meet their scratching needs.

Tree bark shreds satisfyingly under your cat’s claws and offers enough resistance for them to get a good stretch while also being tough enough to help remove those outer layers of their claws.

Cats will choose a variety of trees with different textures and angles. This can help them exercise a range of muscle groups, leave their pheromones as a signal to other cats, and get those claws nice and clean!

cat on the scratching post
Image Credit: Pxfuel

What do cats want in a scratching post?

What your cat is looking for in a scratching post may be quite different from what you’re looking for. You might choose a scratching post based on how it looks and whether it matches your home. Your cat will be looking for:

  • If they can sink their claws into the material
  • If it shreds under their claws
  • A post that’s sturdy enough to support their entire weight
  • A post they can stretch their full body height against

A post could be made of your cat’s preferred material, but if it falls over when they lean against it, they won’t use it again! So, it’s worth spending the time making sure the post you choose covers all the above points, and you should be good to go!

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5 Types of material for cat scratching posts

There’s really only one type of rope that’s suitable for cat scratching posts, and that’s sisal rope. Before we dive into what makes this such a great material for scratching posts, let’s take a quick look at other materials that are also used and their pros and cons.

1. Corrugated cardboard

Cat Scratching Floor
Image Credit: Amazon

This is a popular choice for scratching posts and is often used for horizontal and sloping scratching surfaces. It’s cheap and available in a wide range of styles, but it doesn’t last as long as some other materials, so it will need to be replaced more often.

  • Inexpensive
  • Most cats love them
  • Need replacing quickly
  • Can leave shredded paper on the floor
  • Easy to knock over
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2. Carpet

cat in the scratched carpet
Image Credit: Maliflower73, Shutterstock

Carpet is a popular choice for cat scratching posts. If you have a house without any other fabric, then they can be a good option, but one major problem is that they can encourage cats to scratch other carpeted areas too. After all, your cat can’t necessarily tell the difference between the carpet on their scratching post and the brand-new carpet that you just had laid in your bedroom!

  • Easily available
  • Comes in many colors
  • Cheap
  • Can catch in cats’ claws
  • Can encourage scratching of other carpeted areas
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3. Wood

wood scratching post
Image Credit: Pixabay

Most cats love the feeling of scratching wood; it’s the material that they’ll choose when outside so it can make a great choice for an indoor scratching post too. Wood isn’t a common material for commercially available cat scratching posts, so you may need to make your own DIY version.

  • Natural material
  • Looks attractive
  • Long lasting
  • Shreds nicely
  • Untreated wood may have bugs in it
  • Not usually available in shops
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4. Sisal fabric

Two devon rex cats are sitting on the scratching post
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

Similar to sisal rope, sisal fabric has simply been woven into a sheet rather than needing to be wrapped around a post or other surface. Some cats prefer sisal fabric because they can pull their claws through the weave rather than them getting caught in the lines of rope.

  • Appealing texture for cats
  • Available in many colors
  • Good value for money
  • Not as durable as sisal rope

Now that we know more about the different types of material available for cat scratching posts, let’s take a more detailed look at the most popular material out there: sisal rope.

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5. Sisal Rope

cat scratching post
Image Credit: EbneRol, Shutterstock

This rope comes from the agave plant, which is also sometimes called the American aloe.

  • Hardwearing
  • Durable
  • Cost-effective
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy to replace
  • Comes in many colors
  • Appealing for cats
  • Biodegradable
  • None that we can see!
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Featured Image Credit: Zzzufa, Shutterstock