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 scratchers.
1. PetCheer Bowl Shape Cat Scratcher Lounge
As you’ll see on this list, cardboard cat scratchers are very popular right now. They tend to be cheaper than their upholstered counterparts, but they still provide hours of scratching fun. These options from PetCheer let you choose what form the cardboard will take. There’s a standard round, leopard print round, black tapered round, and this hexagon option. They’re bowls, so they’ll also double as a cat bed for when your feline wears themselves out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Price: $42.68 (5 percent off MSRP)
6. Petlinks Cat Scratching Post
While most of the options on this list use either sisal or cardboard, this scratching post offers two different textures in jute and carpet. It measures just shy of 20 inches tall, which should be plenty large enough for most cats. As an added bonus, it comes with a top-mounted feather toy to augment playtime. If you prefer, the related Claw Climb swaps the jute covering for a wound rope.
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.
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.
Price: $39.95 for standard, $59.95 for large
9. ‘Sofa-Scratcher’ Cat Scratching Post & Furniture Protector
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.
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.
Price: $28.99 (15 percent off MSRP)