So I dutifully emailed the link to Royal Meow, thanked them for a great product, and offered up any of those pics for the gallery if they were so inclined. I didn't in the least anticipate or expect what happened next. (As always, click the picture for a full-screen version. Also, depending on your browser settings, clicking it again could make it even larger.)
Royal Meow emailed me back and thanked me for the blog post and then asked if my cats, the destructive Bengal beasts with the vicious claws, would like to become product testers. In exchange for a brand new scratching post all they asked was if I could document how our kitties used it and any wear and tear it incurred over the next year or so. After talking it over with the house royalty, they agreed. Their only caveat was I would take all the pictures, the attempting to capture and do them justice with video, do any photo/video editing necessary, and write all the blog posts.
They don't ask for much. Well...I guess I do all that anyway, so I agreed.
A few weeks back Wifey and I picked up the post and brought it home to some very excited kitties. Two new toys in the span of a couple months?! Yep, pretty spoiled I'd say.
The post - very solid, very good sized.
Here's some basic details about the post:
1 - The post itself is 36 inches tall and 7 inches in diameter. The top is carpeted and the entire 36 inches of height is tightly wound with sisal rope.
2 - The base has carpet that matches the top, is 1.5 inches tall with a 24 inch diameter. It's not round or square, but cut into a shape similar to a three-leaf clover.
3 - We left the tag on it because, well, they are cats and they like to bat at things.
One thing I really wanted to know was why did Royal Meow offer this to us? I mean, I'm sure I'm not the first person to write about them in a blog, right? As it turns out - and what Wifey and I suspected - is Royal Meow was intrigued by the Bengal aspect. Bengals - as moderately hybrid cats - are larger on average than a regular house cat, more active even later in their years (our twins just turned eight, the other we don't know her age), and have claws that can be particularly vicious, as I've documented here before and have the scars to prove it.
As a reminder, this is what they did to the last post in about two or three years.
These cats are simply going to put more wear and tear on a scratching post than the black and white or the Siamese I grew up with.
I suppose since this is an experiment/analysis I should also put in some details about the subjects:
1 - Only two of the cats - the larger ones, Sera and Moochie - have claws. Lilo was declawed before we adopted her. She will still use the post like she has claws, but I'm guessing as far as wear and tear analysis for a scratching post goes, we have two cats.
Lilo is cute, but she won't do any damage to a scratching post.
2 - Our cats are indoor only. This means they won't spend any time working their claws outdoors and we greatly prefer they don't do it anywhere else in the house either. They don't really listen, but we encourage them towards the posts anyway.
3 - They will have access to the post almost around the clock. The post is currently in the living room, but on the weekends we put them in the spare bedroom at night. If we don't, they bang on our bedroom door at 7am, which is not acceptable. Seriously, they do. They hook one of those claws under the door and shake it - it's quite loud. And freaks me the heck out when it wakes me up.
I guess that about covers it. So over the course of the next year, I'll periodically do a post about the cats and the post, looking to see what kind of damage - if any - they can do. Royal Meow is also hoping for some video; my Nikon camera has video capabilities so recording shouldn't be an issue, and Blogger allows for the posting of video. I just have to work through the process.
Here's some pictures of the cats checking out their new toy. Moochie is the larger spotted one, Sera is the marbled cat, and Lilo the little spotted one.
Moochie got to work on the post immediately, Lilo sitting on top or not.
Sera politely waits her turn.
Any scratching post we get is going to have to support the 19-pound Moochie, who throws his weight around like a sumo wrestler. I thought this string of pictures adequately displayed that. I should note the post so far hasn't moved at all, even with the force created by Mooch throwing himself onto and pushing himself off from the post.
Moochie scratching low, arching his back like he used to have to do on the other posts he has had.
Hmmm...I can get a little taller here...
Full extension! Well, sort of...he could probably stretch a little bit more if he really wanted to...
And climbing! The post shakes a little, but still holds his weight and force it creates with no problem.
Sera seems to really enjoy the base of the post, which doesn't surprise us since she's the one most likely to scratch on the carpet.
Then Wifey had a good idea. She noticed the cats also like to scratch while having their paws flat, rather than always standing up to scratch - what if we leaned the post on it's side? We tried it out and the post was still very stable. Here's a few pictures of that.
Lilo, as per usual, must sit on top of everything. This includes books, the treadmill, and of course, the keyboard.
Sera is still in love with the base, even off the ground.
Moochie simulates climbing the scratching post while being nice and lazy.
I didn't get any good pictures of the two with claws standing on top of the sideways post and scratching, but it did happen. More to keep in mind for next time.
That's it for now...we'll see if they manage to do any damage before next time, and I'll work on the video. Questions or comments, drop them in the comment section below!