Cat Scratchers come in a range of simple cardboard type to massive climbing frames that frankly look like a lot of fun!! But do you need one?
Cats scratch for many reasons to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, to mark their territory by leaving both a visual mark and a scent (they have scent glands on their paws), and to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws.
When you are getting a new kitten, you need to keep it indoors for a period. Ideally until they are neutered and fully vaccinated somewhere between 5 and 6 months. During this time, you need to provide entertainment and an outlet for scratching for your growing cat. If you plan on allowing you cat free access outside, then you don’t necessarily need an extravagant scratcher something small or basic will suffice. Once they have free access outside they will usually get their urge to scratch out on tress instead of your furniture. But it is best to keep whatever scratcher you have until you are positive your cat is no longer using it. If they still want or need it, they will soon start to scratch the furniture or carpets.
If you are restricting access outdoors, then a scratcher will need to be available always. Really it is up to you which type to provide. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be big enough for the cat stretch fully on its length.
If the cats access is very restricted then really the bigger the better if you can manage it, as these jungle gym type scratchers offer lots of environmental enrichment. It allows the cat something to climb, different areas to hide and sleep and a place to play and scratch, all things cats need to stay stimulated.
You can find a large range of scratchers here: Cat Scratching Trees
Whatever you decide just know your cats is happier when it has something to scratch and you will be happier when it’s not your furniture!