Cat Poles for Every Cat

15th Aug 2012

You may have noticed that your cat likes to climb things, whether it is your furniture, a tree or perhaps even your own person. This natural instinct that cats have towards climbing has led to the development of cat poles which allow your kitty to fulfill their natural instincts in a manner which is safe for both them and your furniture.

Cat poles come in a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes. This helps in finding the right type of cat pole for your kitty or kitties. Many versions also feature multiple cat poles which have shown to be even more endearing to cats as they can then pick and choose which ones to climb, use as a scratching post or just lay between as they relax. Finding the right type of cat poles for your kitty begins which your knowledge about you cat.

Scratch Posts: You probably have seen your cat use the carpet or worse, your furniture as a means of sharpening their claws. This is a natural instinct that all cats have which dates back well before they became domesticated. Cats of all sizes from small ones to tigers have used the bark on trees to help clean and sharpen their claws. In modern times, housecats often use carpet or fabric to help clean and sharpen their claws.

They often use carpet or furniture because they provide a sturdy base to which they can then effectively sharpen their claws. For the most part, a cat will stand on its hind legs while burying their front claws into the fabric of the furniture, generally a sofa or chair in order to maintain a base to pull against. They use the same technique on the carpet, but they do not stand up on their hind legs. While carpet in general will show no signs of claw sharpening because the underlying material is both strong and hidden away, the effect on furniture is another matter. Cats, being creatures of habit will tend to use the same spot repeatedly until it wears away.

The scratching posts that are made today help pull the cat away from your furniture and towards a natural outlet for their instincts. If anything, having a set scratching post around is pretty much necessary for all cats and those who have cats in their house if only to save their furniture.

Climbing: You may have noticed your cat prefers to be off the floor when they lay down to relax or sleep. They enjoy getting on your bed, perhaps on the back of sofas or on window sills as well. In fact, you have probably seen your cat in high places that you might not have thought they could reach. This instinct for climbing goes beyond their own curiosity, they have a deep seated need to feel safe and protected and being off the floor and onto higher places helps fulfill that need.

You may have noticed in wildlife shows or perhaps when visiting the zoo that larger cats, particularly tigers enjoy staying in trees resting on branches as they survey their territory. The same applies to housecats as they want to see what is going on around them. It helps them to feel safe and secure knowing that they are high enough to avoid other predators that may be lurking on the ground.

So it’s no wonder that cat poles with perches on top provide a great place for your cat to relax and sleep more comfortably which brings them peace of mind. Naturally, if you do not want your cat resting and leaving behind fur on your favorite furniture or tables then having cat poles around can bring you some peace of mind as well.

Types of Cat Poles

Now that we understand the need for cat poles for our favorite kitties, the next step is viewing the selection of different types of cat poles available. A cat pole comes in different numbers, shapes and sizes to help entice the curiosity of your kitty while providing them a place to play, scratch and relax without messing up your furniture.

Vertical: The vertical cat pole or cat poles are the most common and generally inexpensive models that are available. These types of cat poles can be as simple as a solid base with a singular, cylindrical pole rising vertically two feet up and covered in carpet or other similar fabric that allows them to sharpen their claws. Sometimes they come with a perch on top so they can rest themselves in comfort and may even include a toy such as a ball on the end of a string for play.

Sometimes you will see this type of cat pole come in multiples of two or three, this is perfect if you have more cats so they can sharpen their claws at the same time or just to provide some variety for your kitty.

Other common versions of the singular, vertical cat pole has a scratching pad leaned against the pole itself that not only acts as a place where they can sharpen their claws, but also a means to climb up more comfortably to the perch. Many times these scratching pads have catnip locked inside which releases when the cat sharpens its claws. Catnip is a natural substance that when inhaled usually causes most cats to become more relaxed and ready for a nap. Catnip is also fairly harmless with no side effects.

Inclined: Some cat poles are crafted to be at angles rather than straight up. Such cat poles generally have no perch on top, but sometimes they do have a toy dangling from the top to entice the kitty to play. Such inclined cat poles can work very well for older cats as they require less effort for them to scratch and sharpen their claws.

Horizontal: One of the more interesting cat poles are the horizontal ones that may at first seem less interesting for the kitties but do provide a stable, low-level post for them to sharpen their claws. This type of cat pole takes up very little room and is perfect for apartments and smaller dwellings.

Cedar: Instead of being covered in carpet or fabric that allows for scratching, some cat poles are made from cedar which is a very durable wood that stands up to repeated scratching as well as provides a sturdy base for them to rest upon if there is a perch or smaller branches to hang toys from. Cedar scratching posts are very eco-friendly and come in a variety of sizes and models which is sure to entertain your cat for years to come.

One of the more interesting is a cedar teaser cat pole which is actually a box that rests horizontally on the floor with a ball inside and three “mouse holes” where your can reach in and play with the ball while racing around the box to “get the mouse”. This fun little game for your kitty keeps their reflexes sharp as well as their mind and provides many hours of entertainment.

Other Types of Cat Poles

The ones featured above are the most common. However there are other sub-types of cat poles that are designed for a variety of purposes.

Furniture protection: Sometimes even the most enticing scratching posts cannot pull your kitty away from their favorite piece of your furniture. Instead of trying to dissuade your kitty, you can instead protect your furniture from being damaged by your cat when they sharpen their claws. Generally, you can find cat scratching posts that are thin enough to fit comfortably in front of that chair or sofa that your cat uses, yet strong enough to stand up to repeated scratching efforts.

Climbers: Somewhat different from actual cat poles are cat climbers which are usually strong, flexible pads that hang from the tops of doors or window sills that allow your cat to sharpen their claws and even climb up without doing any damage to your walls or doors. This can act as an excellent workout for your cat while allowing them to sharpen their claws safely.

Cat poles come in various sizes and colors which will help in matching the flooring of your own home whether it is carpeting or a wooden floor. You can often find similar cat poles with different coverings that will help make for a better match. For those with wooden floors you may want to insure that the cat pole you purchase has rubber feet to help keep it in-place as your cat is sharpening their claws. Cat poles that move under the weight and force of your kitty is a cat pole that will soon be ignored.

Cat poles make for excellent gifts if you know someone with a cat as they are fairly inexpensive and take up very little room. For all kitties, having their own cat pole to play, scratch and relax around helps make their lives a little more enjoyable which in turn brings a little more love into the home.