Good scratching posts include the Purrfect Post, which comes in several designs and features sisal scratching surfaces, and Dr.'s Foster and Smith's Ultimate Scratching Post, which has a sturdy wooden base, a sisal surface and an optional padded perch. Scratching posts are also found on elaborate cat trees like the Aleko Cat Tree Condo sold at Walmart, which features two perches, a hiding spot, a climbable ladder, a hammock and two scratching posts.
Good cat scratching posts have to have a texture that is appealing to the cat. Most cats enjoy the feeling of sisal, which is rough in texture and extremely durable. Others prefer the softness of carpet, which is a typical material found on inexpensive and less durable scratching posts. Corrugated cardboard is also a popular texture among cats, particularly those who enjoy horizontal scratching. Cardboard scratching materials come in several shapes, but the disc form is the most popular.
Whatever the material, the scratching post has to be both sturdy and tall. While it may seem that the main point of a scratching post is to dull a cat's claws, it is equally important that the cat is able to fully stretch in order to work their muscles appropriately. To support such a stretch, the base of the post must be wide to keep it from tipping over.