Besides food, water, a litter box, and a place to sleep where it’s most inconvenient for you (such as your bed), cats also need scratching posts. A scratching post lets cats sharpen their claws and mark their territory.
The most common types of scratching posts use rope wound around a post. Another type of scratching post simply tacks carpeting on a wooden post or plane. For those on a budget, consider cardboard scratching posts that rip up easily.
So how do you choose the best scratching post for your cat? You’ll likely need to experiment with different types until you find one your cat likes. Then the other half dozen you bought can sit unused because your cat will ignore it, since helping you waste money is what cats do best.