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Jackson Galaxy’s 4 Keys to Cat Scratcher Success

When it comes to scratching posts, cats usually have four key preferences that you need to know about…

Jackson GalaxyTo your cat, a scratching post is a sign post and scent soaker indicating his belonging. So if you want your cat to use his scratching posts and not your couch, the placement of the scratching post, among other things, matters—a lot. There’s a reason your cat gravitates to your couch (or rug, or bed frame). Your couch is nice and sturdy, covered in a very scratching-friendly material, and lives in a socially significant territorial destination. But we can provide all of these things for your cat in a scratching post. Here’s how.

When it comes to scratching posts, cats usually have four key preferences that you need to know about…


#1. Location

In a cat’s mind, scratching equals ownership. Think about where your cat likes to scratch—cats will mark things that are socially significant to them, whether that is a doorframe, your couch, or a rug.

Scratching post placement is where you need to be willing to compromise. When you hide a scratching post in the back office that no one ever spends time in, you are ensuring a lack of Mojo and a destroyed sofa. And because scratching equals ownership, you need multiple scratching posts, throughout the home.




#2. Know Your Angles

Watch your cats when they scratch. Do they prefer horizontal surfaces like your rug, or do they go for the side of the couch in a fully vertical position? Or do they scratch the base of your bed frame? Some cats prefer an angle when scratching, and some cats love to scratch in all three positions.



#3. Texture

Cats want a scratching material they can dig into. Cats usually prefer textures like sisal rope, jute, wood, cork, carpet, or cardboard. Some cats have strong preferences, so it’s good to offer some different choices and see what they like the best. When in doubt, match what they scratch!



#4. Size Matters

Whatever you give your cat to scratch, it needs to be sturdy. Cats who are vertical scratchers need to be able to stand on their hind legs, extend their legs, and get a full stretch. Freestanding posts need a wide base—if it wiggles or wobbles, the couch wins.






Once you’ve got you’re scratching situation set up, move on to this catification staple for a harmonious home…

The Cat Sundial
This catification staple is a true game changer

Allow your cats to share, rather than fight over, territorial resources by creating a Cat Sundial. The Cat Sundial is the tendency for cats to follow the patterns of the sun throughout the home. The best thing you can do is know what windows let in the most sun at each time of the day and then make sure you place scent soakers—beds, cat trees, perches, hammocks, or condos—in those areas. When you give your cats multiple resources in these highly desirable sun-soaked areas, you allow them to practice the fine feline art of time-sharing. Think sharing rather than fighting over resources!


For more life-changing catfication strategies, pick up Jackson Galaxy’s amazing book Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide To Life With Your Cat.

For some awesome cat scratchers, check out our store.

Add A Comment


  • Ann Acome

    I have 10 foot high ceilings and in EVERY room I have something for them to scratch cat trees boxes floor things scratcher in floor

  • love

    My cat does have a kungfu paw scratch post but I think the best is a feline Chateau or maybe a Feline Fortress which has several scratch boards and mind you, they are eco-friendly so I dont have to worry about paints or adhesives which maybe toxic for my beloved Petique Pet

  • Sharon Jeanguenat

    My female cat likes to sharpen her claws on a cardboard box. I have one in my kitchen, & it’s the 2nd one she’s had. The first one was shredded pretty badly. The male cat however, prefers furniture. My recliner, my mattresses.

  • Cindy Olds

    My young cat 11 months old, Buddy, thinks “his” dog Rocky is the cats meow when it comes to scent marking, play time, at etc. They LOVE each other so much!! My Rocky is my service dog, a Golden Retriever.. He’s been trained by the Best Cat to be ” cat friendly” Sweetie trained 5 dogs in her lifetime to be Nice to cats.. She passed in 2011. She was 21..

  • Rosie Lavertue

    Every couple of months my cat Asia, has me having to replace his scratch poll which can run into a lot of money I would like to be able to be able to turn the bottom to the top I’m paying so much to use only half the poll

  • Kim

    We would love to get some scratching posts, but we can’t afford any, so they scratch on the couch, the stairs, the box spring!! We have a senior boy, (He’s a Blue Russian), and we were babysitting for friends of ours, and the kids took a hammer to his head, he was having seizures, and the kids admitted to hitting him. We called our bet right away, and said “if he makes it through the night, he’ll be ok. Well he made it through the night, but he has some problems, (mental).

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