Which scratching pad for cats is best?
Scratching pads for cats sit horizontally rather than vertically like scratching posts do. If your feline friends tend to scratch the rug or the couch cushions, a scratching pad is the best choice to keep them happy and keep their claws out of your soft furnishings.
It’s no secret that cats can be picky, so it’s worth considering all the features of a scratching pad to make sure you buy one your pet loves. The CatGuru The Infinity Scratcher is a durable choice.
What to know before you buy a scratching pad for cats
Cardboard vs. sisal
Most scratching pads are made from either corrugated cardboard or sisal. If you’ve had a scratcher that your cat didn’t use, give one made from a different material a try.
- Cardboard: Cardboard scratchers have a soft texture that many cats love, as it’s similar to soft roots and trees cats’ wild ancestors would have scratched. However, its soft texture is also a disadvantage, as cardboard scratchers usually only last a few months.
- Sisal: Sisal is a plant fiber that’s much more durable than cardboard, so sisal scratchers last significantly longer. While some cats love it, you’ll find others that don’t like the firm texture.
Flat vs. curved
You can find scratching pads that are both curved and flat. Some cats strongly prefer one over the other, while others are happy with either.
- Curved: Some cats prefer the tactile sensation of scratching a slightly curved surface, plus scratching pads of this shape are more comfortable for cats to lounge on.
- Flat: Within flat scratchers, you have two types: one is raised an inch or two and is perfect for use on the floor and another is completely flat, like a mat. The latter is great for covering a spot your cat usually scratches, such as on the floor or on a seat cushion.
Cat scratching pads come in various sizes, from small to XX-large. It’s worth checking the exact dimensions to ensure any scratcher you’re considering is big enough to fit your cat or cover the area you want to protect. Ideally, a scratcher should comfortably fit your cat, with a spare room in which to scratch.
What to look for in a quality scratching pad for cats
Cardboard cat scratching pads are often reversible, so when one side wears out, there’s another your cat can use. This extends the pad’s lifespan, so you won’t need to replace it as soon as you would otherwise.
You can find a handful of scratching pads designed to hang over the arm of a couch or armchair and down the outside. This is perfect for protecting soft furnishings from cats that scratch where they shouldn’t.
Some scratching pads are sold in packs of two or more. This is an economical option if you have more than one cat or want to position scratchers in several places around your home where your cat tends to scratch.
How much you can expect to spend on a scratching pad for cats
The most affordable pads start at around $10-$15, while larger and more durable versions cost as much as $50.
Scratching pad for cats FAQ
Do cats need scratch pads?
A. Scratching is a natural and instinctive behavior for cats. They scratch to mark territory, to remove dead parts of their claws, as a form of exercise and to express emotions, such as stress or excitement.
If cats aren’t given some form of scratcher, whether a cat scratching post, pad or other, they’re likely to scratch items in your home that they aren’t supposed to. Therefore, it only makes sense to buy scratchers for cats.
Why won’t my cat use a scratcher?
A. It’s frustrating when you buy scratchers for cats, but they still take their claws to your furniture, door frames or other favorite off-limits scratching spots. Some cats prefer vertical or horizontal scratching, so if you’ve tried scratching posts, see if they prefer scratching pads and vice-versa.
It can also help to position scratchers near or over the top of where cats usually scratch. Positive reinforcement is also a great tool. Try praising and feeding cats treats when they use scratchers.
What’s the best scratching pad for cats to buy?
Top scratching pad for cats
What you need to know: Thanks to its curved design, this pad is great for both scratching and lounging.
What you’ll love: Although it’s made from cardboard, it’s far more durable than cheaper alternatives and is reversible for double the use. It’s made with natural soy ink and non-toxic glue. It comes in small and XXL sizes.
What you should consider: It’s not wide enough to comfortably accommodate large cats.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top scratching pad for cats for the money
What you need to know: Available in flat and curved versions, there’s something to suit most cats.
What you’ll love: The cardboard is high-density and evenly compressed to mimic the feeling of tree bark, which cats would naturally scratch. It’s glued with all-natural, non-toxic cornstarch. The dual-sided design memes cats get more use out of it.
What you should consider: Check the sizes before buying, as some buyers expected theirs to be larger.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Made from sisal, this pad is a great choice for cats who don’t like cardboard or tear through it too quickly.
What you’ll love: It’s flat and thin, so you can use it to cover areas of carpet or seat cushions that your cat likes to scratch. The sisal natural is durable and long-lasting. You can choose from two sizes. The non-slip base keeps it from sliding around.
What you should consider: It’s tricky to clean as litter and other debris get stuck in the weave.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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