My cat Sylvia is a much less demanding creature than my dog. But for her, I’ve done something I’d never do for my dog: I’ve bought her indoor furniture.
Actually, I’m lying. I’ve merely thought about buying furniture for her. I’ve gone to PetCo, cash in hand, prepared to pay whatever they’re asking for those beige-carpeted wood monstrosities with their particle board perches and sisal arms. But I never make it to the register. I just don’t know if I’m at the point in my relationship with her where I’m ready to give up floor space. You know how much they charge for that kind of square footage in NYC? I make my fridge pay rent.
But cats do need to scratch things–this is how they remove the dead outer sheath of their claws; cat claws are layered, so they’re basically filing away the old layer in order to reveal the layer below it. But they don’t just do it for their claws: They also do it both to mark their territory, spread their scent, and stretch themselves. And to punish you for spending so much with that new sofa cover rather than with them.
For the moment, I let her work away at the corner of my wood armoire. Personally, I don’t mind the beveled edge she’s put on it. However, if I ever upgrade my furniture, I suspect I’ll go the scratching post route. But dear lord those things are ugly. Fortunately for the aesthetically minded cat owner, there are a handful of alternatives.
One of several one-of-a-kind deluxe cat scratchers by CatInTheBoxCreations.
A 20-pound piece of cement holding a stack of cardboard that looks like it was hacked at by an exacto knife. For just $795 more, you could just buy the Frank Gehry version (below), which is suitable for both cat and human enjoyment
Like a washboard, but made of wool. A nice option for those aesthetically opposed to sisal.
A curved design provides maximum scratching area while taking up minimal floor space. Again, one thinks of Frank Gehry. He really should start his own line.
Dog-shaped cat scratchers ideal for the cat owner who wishes she owned a dog, and the cat who dreams of digging her claws into one. Imperial Cat, makers of the Dachshund scratcher, offers cat scratchers in a wide array of shapes mostly made to appeal to the interests of humans, such as soccer balls, racecars, and turtles.
Another clever sisal-wrapped sculpture for cats by CatInTheBoxCreations,
Like a Jersey Shore condo, but more affordable. And probably better looking.
Bamboo-and-carpet mount on the wall and therefore take up no floor space. They come in five colors and have removable inserts for easy cleaning.You could probably just tack an adhesive carpet tile to your wall and it’d be just about as appealing to your cat. But if you get this one, you can also get a matching wall-mounted pet bed.