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A cat scratching barrel makes a great alternative to a cat scratching post, and as they are often sturdier and wider than scratching posts they can also last longer.
There are some great cat scratching barrels available on the market today, and we have reviewed in detail later in this post. However, if you are in a hurry we have included our top recommendations in the table below.
Why do you need a Cat Scratching Barrel?
There are a number of reasons why cats scratch, and we discussed these in our article on the best scratching posts.
Scratching is instinctive behaviour for cats, it helps them stretch and get exercise and they also do it to keep their claws sharp and clean.
This means that you need somewhere for your cat to indulge in a long, luxurious scratch – and a cat scratching barrel is the ideal place!
This is because cat scratching barrels are often stronger and sturdier than scratching posts, offering a larger area for scratching. This means that a good cat scratching barrel will often last longer than a scratching post.
You will need a little more space as cat scratching barrels are generally a bit wider and larger than posts. They are also generally a bit more expensive.
Features You Should Consider When Buying Cat Scratching Barrels
Here are the three most essential features that you should consider when buying scratching barrels. If it’s your first time buying one, you’ll need some guidance to make the right choice.
Your scratching barrel should be tall enough for your cat. You should bear in mind that cats fully extend their bodies when scratching. So, they’ll need a barrel higher than their bodies by a fair amount for enough flexibility.
Barrels higher than 70 cm should be enough, even for large cats. If your cat is extra tall, you can opt for an 80-cm one.
The only job of scratching barrels is to get hit at. So, you’re getting a product that must be sturdy enough to accept hits from the cat. As a matter of fact, cats mostly scratch at furniture because it’s stable enough to receive it.
When choosing the barrel, make sure that it’s stable enough not to let your cat fall. It shouldn’t topple down, even from multiple hits.
The material may be the most essential feature of scratching barrels. If your cat doesn’t like the material, it won’t use it, rendering your effort useless.
There’s a wide variety on the market of materials; to choose well, you should know a couple of things. For starters, cats love materials that shred. Smooth materials aren’t as appealing to them. They like to mark their territory and have some shredding fun in the process.
Furthermore, avoid materials that are covered in carpet. They’ll be somehow similar to the materials in your home, which may push the cat to keep scratching your furniture. You’ll want to provide a totally new material that’s now available at home.
The 5 Best Cat Scratching Barrels
Here are our top five picks for cat scratching barrels. We included a variety of budgets to fit all users.
XXL Scratching Barrel with Cosy Top Platform
The cosy top platform of this barrel will be your cat’s favourite part. It’s comfy, warm, and just in the right size. That’s aside from the durable scratching material of the barrel’s frame. It’ll hold your cat’s weight even if she’s a large one.
The Barrel features large caves that your cat can hide in. There are also play balls inside that swing back and forth, so your cat can have a little fun. The barrel is stable on the ground so that multiple cats can use it at once.
The lower caves are connected on the inside, offering a large space for hiding. Meanwhile, the top cave is separate on its own.
Lastly, the barrel is taller than most similar options, making it an ideal choice for larger cats.
Natural Paradise Sturdy Cat Scratching Barrel
When it comes to convenience, this scratching barrel from Natural Paradise is hard to match. It comes bearing a bed on top for the cat to sleep on when she’s not playing. Plus, the bed is latched onto the barrel by a durable velcro strap that holds it tightly.
The bed is fluffy and highly comfortable. Your cat will be able to sleep on it for long without an issue. The material is also durable, so you won’t have to replace it any time soon.
The barrel’s build is robust, so your cat can jump at it as much as she wants. On top of that, it features three caves that your cat can hide in. It serves as an activity centre for your pet so that she won’t get bored.
Trixie Jorge Cat Tower
The Trixie scratching barrel is one of the most comfortable on the market. It’s fitted with a plush material on the inside that provides maximum comfort for your cat. Additionally, there’s a large bed on top your cat can use when she’s not playing.
The Trixie features two square caves that offer a large interior room. Not only that, but there are also reversible cushions inside for more comfort. The 78-cm height will be more than enough for your cat to fool around, even if she’s large.The sisal scratching surface of the barrel isn’t easily breakable. It’s highly durable, which explains the product’s high price. A great option for a stylish cat scratching barrel to add to your home.
Dehner Tassilo Cat Scratching Barrel
The Dehner Tassilo is one of the sturdiest scratching barrels on the market. It’s suitable for aggressive cats and large cats. On top of that, it's stable enough on the ground for multiple cats to use it at once.
The scratching barrel is covered in durable sisal that’ll remain intact for as long as your cat is using it. It features three entrance holes on two levels. One hole of them comes with a swinging ball on the inside that your cat will love.
The barrel measures 36 cm in diameter and 70 cm in diameter. It’s in the right size for most cats. Additionally, the caves have plenty of space inside for your cat to sleep and hide comfortably.
Dibea KT00930 Scratching Barrel
This Dibea Cat Scratching Barrel may be last on our list, but it is no means least as it offers a wide scratching area combined with quality materials and a great price.
The barrel is available in three different heights, and although the smallest option only has one cave the larger options have 3 cave holes for your cat to play.
The barrel is covered in durable sisal rope and also features a wide perch for your cat to sleep or watch the world go by.
A cat scratching barrel can not only provide a place for your cat to stretch and exercise, but also somewhere for them to play and hide as well.
Although there are some very good cat scratching posts (including flower cat trees and cactus cat scratchers!) and cat trees (of which some are wooden and others are floor to ceiling) available, your cat will thank you for investing in a good quality cat scratching barrel. It can also look good in your home as well!