Anyone who has ever had a cat — or, let’s face it, met a cat — knows that it can be a constant struggle to keep them from clawing the furniture. Cats scratch in order to remove dead claw tissue, mark their territory, and to properly stretch and flex. Scratching is a vital part of cathood. Some try to get around this by having their cats declawed, but this is a drastic measure that is by no means necessary or humane. Declawing a cat is analogous to cutting off your fingers at the first knuckle. Sure, you’ll live through it, but your previous sense of touch will be changed forever, and not for the better.
Instead of that, the best way to keep your cats from mangling your furniture is to buy them a scratching post or two. By setting them up near furniture, the cat will still be able to mark their territory and benefit from a good scratch. Having a few around the house with further decrease their need to try their sharpening skills on your couch.
This list focuses on just the scratchers themselves. If you’re looking for full cat trees and furniture, our post for that is here.
For the love of your cat and your furniture, here’s our list of the top ten best cat scratching posts.
1. Trixie Pet Products Parla Scratching Post
If you don’t currently have even one scratching post, you’ll want to start with something cheap and cheerful. This Trixie model is the bog-standard cat scratching post. No bells and whistles, it’s on the cheap end of this list and is the cheapest of the post-style scratchers by a good margin. The gray upholstery is enough to let it blend in, while the scratching surface is made of natural sisal rope.
Need more options? Browse more Trixie Pet Products here.
Price: $17.99 (28 percent off MSRP)
2. Kong Naturals Incline Scratcher Cat Toy
By far the cheapest option on the list, this wedge-style scratcher won’t win any awards for looks, but has a number of other features that make it a great choice. For one thing, the entire scratcher is made of recyclable cardboard. The incline offers a large scratching surface for your cat, which is also infused with catnip to lure them. When the catnip wears off, you can refresh it with either catnip spray or dried catnip. This would be a great option for a dedicated cat area.
Need more options? Browse more Kong products here.
3. Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post
This is the best-selling scratching post on Amazon. It measures 33 inches, which will allow virtually any cat to fully stretch and offers a very large scratching surface. Rather than using sisal rope wrapped around the pole, it uses durable sisal mats which might hold up a little better over time. It doesn’t look half bad, either.
Need more options? Browse more SmartCat products here.
Price: $39.99 (20 percent off MSRP)
4. SmartCat Bootsie’s Three-in-One Cat Scratcher
Here’s another, considerably cheaper, SmartCat scratcher. This one combines three different functions, depending on where you want to deploy it: mounted on the wall, hung on a door, or simply placed on the floor. It’s shorter than the one above at 24 inches, but it’s still covered in the same durable sisal matting and should last you a couple of years at least.
Need more options? Browse more SmartCat products here.
Price: $15.29 (10 percent off MSRP)
5. Midwest Homes Furniture for Pets Forte Scratching Post
The ultimate pole-style scratcher might be this one, which stands at three feet tall and has an 18 inch square base. For multiple cat homes or kitty play areas where they can get some elevation, the extra height could be the decision maker. Use it to complement your cat tree or just as a standalone scratching tower. A good buy for the amount of scratching area.
Need more options? Browse more Midwest Homes for Pets products here.
Price: $42.68 (5 percent off MSRP)
6. Petlinks Pillar Pawz Plus Sisal and Carpet Scratch Post with Catnip Toy
While most of the options on this list use either sisal or cardboard, this scratching post offers two different textures in sisal and carpet. The extra large version is 30 inches tall, which should be large enough for most cats. As an added bonus, it comes with a catnip feather toy to augment playtime. My cat had the regular-sized one, which was somewhat prone to falling over. It was just as well, as she liked it as much when it was laying at an angle on its side as when it was standing up. The extra larger version shouldn’t suffer from the same issue, but it’s not a major flaw, at any rate.
Need more options? Browse more Petlinks products here.
Price: $39.99 for extra large, $24.98 for regular
7. Oliver & Iris Premium Cat Scratcher
As with anything, if you want to upmarket and ultra modern, there’s a cat scratcher for that, too. Available in seven different shapes, including the very cool Baldakeno, these are cardboard scratchers with an emphasis on sleek design. The four colors — black, cherrywood, wenge, and white — provide options for coordinating with your interior design. It’s completely recyclable, so when it’s worn out, it won’t go to the landfill. This is the high end for those who want it.
Need more options? Browse more Oliver & Iris products here.
Price: $56.04 for the Framo model
8. PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher
Very similar to the one above, the standard size of this PetFusion model can be had for a little bit less. The novel triangle design means you can rotate it twice to extend the life. At 18 inches wide, it offers a very large scratching surface, as well as a compartment for playing and sleeping. It’s also a relatively attractive modern design that should suit most decor.
Need more options? Browse more PetFusion products here.
Price: $39.95 for standard, $59.95 for large
9. ‘Duchess of Sofa-Savers’ Cat Scratching Post & Furniture Protector by CatTrees
If the ultimate goal is the protection of your furniture, this novel design doesn’t rely on attracting your cats away from it, but protects right at the site of their interest. Slide the base of the panel under the foot of your couch, and this curved guard will keep your cat’s claws on sisal instead of upholstery. The color selection is somewhat limited with options for beige, black, and brown, but a slightly mismatched cat scratcher is better than destroyed furniture. These are U.S.-made with premium quality sisal.
Need more options? Browse more CatTrees products here.
10. 4Claws Wall Mount Scratching Post
The cats I had when I was growing up were curiously interested in scratching the walls as much as our furniture. If your cats are the same way, this wall-mounted solution might do the trick. The scratching post itself is made of cardboard and comes with stainless steel mounting hooks.
Need more options? Browse more 4Claws products here.
Price: $28.99 (15 percent off MSRP)