“ Brand: Pets at Home / Type: Scratching Post „
When my cat was a kitten I tried to get him using a scratch post....but to no avail. He just wasn't interested, despite me spending time on the floor with him, trying to demonstrate how to use it by scratching the post with my fingernails. Fast forward six years, and the arrival of a new sofa was the motivation I needed to try once more to get my cat to sharpen his claws on a scratch post instead of our prized possessions.
After spending ages (and I mean, it took me longer than when I went shopping for my own wedding dress) perusing the options in Pets At Home, I decided on this one. The reasons were three-fold:
1 I didn't want to spend too much on an all-singing, all-dancing activity centre as such, in case he still didn't use it. I wanted to start with something basic so that if he used it, I could progress to a more complicated version
2 As far as basic scratch posts go, it was slightly taller, meaning he could have a good stretch without running out of post space
3 It had a pom pom hanging off the top, which I knew would catch my cat's attention, as he loves chasing after that kind of thing
The scratch post was so easily constructed, I managed to put it together myself. It literally has a diagram showing which piece goes where, and is simply a matter of screwing everything together with the screws which are built into each piece. There is the base, and the post itself is made of two different pieces to achieve the full height. Hence the fluffy bit in the middle, this is where the two pieces join.
I was looking for something that wasn't too garish or intrusive, and this one just blends into the background in our dining room. The base of the post and pom-pom are made of a black furry material, and the post itself is off-white. This isn't too offensive, and I hardly notice it's there.
Admittedly, I did have to con my cat into using this to begin with, by frequently spraying it with catnip to arouse his interest. At first, this seemed to cause him to rub against the post, but after a while (and a little coaxing) he started chasing the pom-pom and realised that in doing so, his paws landed on the rough scratch post material. His eyes lit up as he went for it, tearing the post to bits. RESULT!
Although he doesn't use this every day, nor as often as I like, I do hear him having a good go at it every few days. This seems to be enough to keep him happy with his claw length, and so he has so far (touch wood) left the sofa alone. This is a great result for us, as he had practically destroyed our previous (leather) sofa, although I think it's partly to do with him not liking the fabric material. Either way, he uses the scratch post and I think this has to help in some way.
The best bit about the post is that it doesn't take up much room, yet is still tall enough for him to have a good stretch while using it. I know cats will often arch their back to stretch a lower scratch post (I see my mum's cats doing it), but mine is quite lazy so I feared if it was too short he would lose interest too quickly. I can't find the exact dimensions online, but I would estimate it at being around 60cm tall. The only downside is that the base isn't overly heavy, so sometimes it wobbles as he's scratching it. This can sometimes make him jump as he's a bit of a wimp, and so it stops him mid-scratching which is annoying as I'd like to encourage him to scratch as much as possible. I imagine most scratch posts would be the same, however, unless they have a lead weight at the bottom!
==Price and Availability==
I bought this from Pets At Home, where it cost £13. However, I would say the value of not having your cat destroy yet another sofa is priceless.
(Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)