As a Birman owner, I’ve seen the horrors a cat’s claws can do on a piece of furniture. Their sharp nails can cause serious damages to your couch, bedside table, or just about any surface that they find appealing to shred.
Instead of paying the hefty price of repairs or replacements, you better get the best scratching post for kittens. This will give your little feline a spot to file its nails, among other benefits.
Are you in a rush? Here are my top five picks for the best scratching posts for your little kitty, tested and approved by my own Birman!
Does a kitten need a scratching post right away?
One question I commonly receive is whether a Birman kitten needs a scratching post right away. My answer is always yes.
Regardless of the breed, cats have the instinct to scratch. It’s a hard-wired instinct that dates back to their ancestors’ lives in the wild.
It’s also a cat’s way of marking their territory, especially if you just brought another kitty to accompany the Birman at home.
Also, by getting a scratching post, you can train your young Birman cat not to place its claws on your valuables. It will save you from the headache of damages once your kitty is all grown.
Types of a cat scratching post
To find the best scratching post for kittens, you have to know its type first and its purpose. The following are the major types of scratching and their characteristics:
A carpet scratching post has a pole and platform that’s wrapped in carpet material. This is a good choice for small and young cats with fragile claws. Depending on the quality of the carpet, this one can last pretty long.
The only challenge with carpet posts is that some cats won’t find it appealing. It doesn’t have the same rough surface of rope posts. It’s best to check the preferences of your cat and where it scratches often.
The problem with carpet posts is that not all cats know the difference between the post and your floor carpet. It might cause more problems in the long run.
Rope scratching posts are the most common option among Birman owners. It’s often made of sisal rope, which is resistant to scratches and will last long.
Some opt for sisal fabric for kittens because it tends to soften over time, which will encourage further use.
Another cheaper alternative to rope and carpet scratching posts is cardboard. The good thing about this scratching post is it can come in different shapes.
I once bought a cardboard scratching post for my Birman that comes with mounting hardware for the wall. It’s effective, but the only downside is that the cardboard material will soon disintegrate and become messy.
Just an added tip when buying cardboard scratching posts: make sure that the material is non-toxic. In my experience, a cat will play with it and ingest some along the way.
Lastly, there are wood scratching posts. I usually prefer this type of scratching post for older and bigger cats.
You should also check the type of wood used to ensure that it’s safe and long-lasting. If your cat loves scratching the feet of your chairs (same with my 3-year-old Birman), this might be the right choice.
Benefits of a scratching post for kittens
What are the benefits of a cat scratching post, you ask? The following are just some of the perks of having one in your home:
Keep the claws short. When I adopted Onyx, my 3-year-old Birman, he has sharp and overgrown claws. It’s harmful to the people around them, but it also hurts the cat. Overgrown fingernails dig through the skin, which will hurt really badly. Aside from regular clipping, a scratching post will help keep your kitty’s nails short and dull.
Divert the scratching. Another benefit of scratching posts is it helps you divert the behavior into something else. In just a matter of five weeks, my cat Onyx was able to scrape off the paint of the antique chair I kept in the attic. What I did is I purchased a wood scratching post to help diver the behavior – no punishment, no yelling.
Keeps your cat happy. Cats are natural groomers, so they will find a way to keep their claws short. Unfortunately, the solution might be your precious furniture. So to keep your cat (and you!) happy, purchase a sturdy scratching post instead.
Scratching post buying guide
Get a tall post
But it’s for a kitten, right? Yes, but like babies, cats grow fast. Instead of purchasing a new scratching post in a few months, you might as well invest in a post suitable for your feline’s adult size.
Also, a tall post will let the cat stretch its body while scratching.
Choose the right design
Cat scratching posts are no longer just ‘posts’ per se. You can now find scratching pads, scratching walls, or scratching boxes all made with larger surfaces.
My cat Onyx prefers the traditional scratching post, but it always varies per cat. My brother’s tabby tends to scratch on the floor, so he bought a pad instead.
Always match it with the behavior of your cat for the scratching item to be effective.
Sturdiness is king
Cats will punish the scratching post, so make sure that it can put up with the abuse. A wobbling post isn’t just annoying; it’s also unsafe for your cat.
Remember that the taller the post is, the more durable it has to be. Always look for a thick and solid base to keep the post standing no matter how hard your cat claws it.
5 Best Scratching Posts for Kittens
MY #1 CHOICE[wp-review id=”291″]
Pet Fusion Ultimate Climbing Tower
If you’re looking for a taller scratching post you can place on the floor, the Pet Fusion tower will not disappoint. This 78-inch tall post is wrapped in sisal rope with three tiers. Aside from the floor platform, there are also two elevated platforms that you can drill to the wall.
This is a well-engineered cat scratching tree that can accommodate two cats at a time. It’s complete with zinc drywall anchors so you can install it right away. In my estimate, the installation would take 15 minutes if you have the tools ready.
Each platform on this scratching tower has a hole where you Birman can climb easily. There are also cushioned pads to keep your feline cozy on the perches.
If the current wears out, you can purchase a replacement post from Pet Fusion, so you no longer have to get an entire post set again. The original scratching post is covered by a two-year warranty to protect your purchase.
Lastly, I like that this post doesn’t have a smell to it upon opening the package. I’ve purchased several scratching posts before with a chemical scent, which can be harmful to cats. This one from Pet Fusion made sure that it wouldn’t be a problem.
Ware Manufacturing Kitty Cactus Scratching Post
If you find multi-tiered cat scratching posts intimidating, you can start with something smaller, like the Ware Manufacturing Scratching Post. This is a 32-inch all post, which is a combination of sisal and carpet scratching surfaces.
The frame of this scratching post is made of durable wood that can withstand long months of use. And if you’re not sure which surface your kitty would like, this combo post is an ideal choice.
What I also love about this cat scratching post is it comes fully assembled. Just open the package, take it out, and your cat can file its nails right away. This post is compact for just 14 x 16 inches, which is perfect for small rooms and apartments.
This scratching post doesn’t have a shag carpet, which prevents cats from ripping the faux fur easily. Overall, it’s suitable for both young and adult Birmans.
Anyway, expect that the sisal rope will get worn out in a few months. This is normal for such material, but you can always purchase a replacement rope online.
SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
When my cat Onyx turned two, he could topple almost every freestanding scratching post until I got the SmartCat model. This has a 16 x 16-inch sturdy base that can take the beating of scratching and climbing. Its post stands 32 inches tall and is wrapped in woven sisal.
Unlike typical sisal ropes, the woven version is much tougher and more long-lasting. It’s more fibrous and will encourage your cat to scratch more. It’s also more superior to any carpet posts, which poses a risk of snagging your feline pet’s nails.
Moreover, this scratching post arrives almost fully assembled. I only had to put in two screws and it’s ready to use. So far, this scratching post is Onyx’s favorite, which is a big plus, considering its low price.
If you want, you can also get the SmartCat perch which you can place on top of the post. I added this on my purchase, and my cat has officially abandoned his bed for the quilted pad.
Overall, this SmartCat scratching post is big enough for almost every cat at home. However, if you have multiple cats, you should watch out for catfights of who can lounge at the top.
Trixie Pets Rope Scratching Post
Another cat-scratching post I recommend is the Trixie Pets Rope Scratching Post. This one is made of thick sisal rope that can endure the sharpest cat claws. It also has a removable ring-shaped cushion at the top, which you can use as a separate cat bed.
This post also comes with a dangling pom toy, which makes it more appealing to cats, especially kittens. It’s a healthy outlet where your pet can scratch, stretch, and just take a good nap.
Overall, this scratching post is 23 x 23 inches wide and 35 inches tall. I also like that it has a thicker post, which adds to the stability of the platform. The bonus part is that it comes in a classy Pepino brown color, which will add aesthetic value to your living room.
If you have a strong kitty, the pulling and scratching wouldn’t be a problem with the bigger base of this post. However, it will consume a much larger floor area, which isn’t really a problem.
The best scratching post for kittens will keep your pet’s claws away from your furniture. It’s a healthier option, which will not damage your kitty’s claws.
Just make sure that you choose the right type and material for a long-lasting piece.