11 Best Cat Scratching Posts: Your Buyer’s Guide

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. Having a few varied options approved for cat scratching around the house decreases their need to try their sharpening skills on your couch. For the love of your cat and your furniture, discover the best cat scratching posts on the market to allow you and your cat to live harmoniously.

What is the best cat scratching post?

Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sturdy square base
  • Sisal mats hold up better
  • Simple assembly
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large, stable base
  • 41 inches tall
  • One year warranty
Price: $44.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Protects your furniture
  • Doesn't take up floor space
  • Relatively generous surface area
Price: $54.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Huicocy Interactive Laser Cat Scratching Post Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Chase toy and scratching post in one
  • Modular construction for your choice of height
  • USB rechargeable
Price: $59.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Pedy Wall Mounted Cat Scratching Post Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Unique wall mounted solution
  • Sturdy aluminum frame
  • Easy installation
Price: $26.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large surface area
  • No assembly required
  • Recyclable
Price: $59.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Petlinks sea ramp cat scratcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Offers a unique scratching material
  • Very stable wood base
  • Comes with a bag of catnip
Price: $10.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Petstages cat hammock cat scratcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Doubles as bed and scratching post
  • Breaks down into two pieces for storage
  • Recyclable
Price: $23.29 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
petlinks dream curl cat scratcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Multiple material textures
  • Shape forms a tunnel and lounger
  • Stable play surface
Price: $20.26 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
K&H tippy scratch n track cat scratcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Novel concept with multiple configurations
  • Captive ball toys drive interest
  • Catnip included
Price: $27.83 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Play King activity center cat scratcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Multi-level captive ball toys
  • Inexpensive
  • Good scratching surface area
Price: $9.15 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post

    Pros:
    • Sturdy 16 inch square base
    • Sisal mats hold up better than other surfaces
    • Simple assembly
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Only one surface type
    • Not much in the way of aesthetics

    This option is one of the most popular cat scratchers out there. It measures 32 inches, which will allow virtually any cat to fully stretch and offers a very large scratching surface. The square shape and base offer good stability as well as four distinct surfaces, versus rounded posts with coiled rope that can sometimes unravel from one side.

    Rather than using that sisal rope wrapped around a pole, it uses durable sisal mats which might hold up a little better over time. At the time of this writing, there’s only one color available, so matching it with specific decor isn’t much of a possibility. Still, a solid, hot-selling option.

  2. 2. Midwest Homes Furniture for Pets Forte Scratching Post

    Pros:
    • Large, stable 18 inch base
    • 41 inches tall - great for large cats
    • One year warranty
    Cons:
    • No color options
    • Somewhat more complicated assembly
    • Sisal rope can droop in spots

    The ultimate pole-style scratcher might be this one, which stands at three feet tall and has an 18 inch square base. A lot of cat scratchers available measure between 29 and 35 inches, which means that large cats might struggle to get maximum use out of them.

    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. Together with the six inch diameter, there’s a lot of scratching area on this one, which is the tallest on our list.

    For other alternatives along these lines, you might consider the Art of Paws Ultimate Cat Scratching Post, which might fit better into some decor. The 4 Paws Stuff Cat Scratching Post is much shorter, but it’s also cheaper and has two different material surfaces to increase interest. The AmazonBasics line has a three-post option, which could be better for multiple cats. Finally, the Petlinks version offers your choice of toy attached to the top.

  3. 3. Sofa-Scratcher Cat Scratching Post & Furniture Protector

    Pros:
    • Protects your furniture
    • Doesn't take up floor space
    • Relatively generous surface area
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Not likely to match a wide vareity of furniture
    • Some cats may miss this and still snag your couch

    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.

    When assembled, they measure 24 inches tall by 10 inches wide by 10 inches deep. That makes for a relatively generous scratching surface to help protect your valuable furniture. While you might not want to have multiple free-standing scratching posts around your home, you can still install several surfaces using these, and of course they can be used in conjunction with traditional posts, as well.

    If you have furniture with square edges, they make a model for those pieces, as well.

  4. 4. Huicocy Interactive Laser Cat Scratching Post

    Pros:
    • Chase toy and scratching post in one
    • Modular construction for your choice of height
    • USB rechargeable
    Cons:
    • Base measures 12 inches square and may tip
    • Cat claws can get stuck in the feather toy chain
    • Some cats won't be interested in all parts of it

    A candidate for our interactive cat toys list, this novel interpretation combines three distinct cat toys into one. This takes the concept of a scratching post to the level of activity center in the hopes of keeping your cat enticed longer.

    First is the obvious sisal-covered, 35-inch tall scratching post, which is always available even when the toy is off. The second and third are integrated into the top, which is an automatic spinning cat laser and feather toy. There are four modes: three speeds of spinning and a random motion mode. As the laser points at the ground, the feather creates a second chase opportunity, which means that this can seamlessly engage several cats at once.

    Both the laser and the feather toy are adjustable and can point either up or down based on your needs. You can also detach the feather toy, if you wish, and put a cap over the laser if you don’t want it on. The powered hub is USB rechargeable and a three hour charge will provide eight hours of battery life.

    The kit includes various feather toys if you want to swap them out. The scratching post is modular, which means you can make it as tall or as short as you like by only using select segments. All in all, a well-considered toy that will keep cats interested.

  5. 5. 4CLAWS Wall Mounted Cat Scratching Post

    Pros:
    • Unique wall mounted solution
    • Sturdy aluminum frame
    • Easy installation
    Cons:
    • Installation requires putting holes in your wall
    • Not as tall as other options
    • Replacement posts unavailable (at time of this writing)

    My childhood cats always had a thing for scratching corners of walls, particularly half walls and partitions. If you have a cat like this, solve the problem by installing one of these wall mounted cat scratching posts where they love to scratch most.

    Like the furniture protectors, by installing this in a place your cat is likely to scratch, you instantly encourage the use of it. This unit installs neatly with two screws through the sturdy aluminum base. Two bolts then hold the sisal-covered post in the frame and construction is complete.

    The post measures about 18 inches high, so it’s on the short side compared to other options on this list. Still, by mounting it up from the floor several inches, you can still achieve good overall height.

    Other wall-based options are available, as well, like this Treasborn model which has wood holders and this Contacts model that attaches with adhesive-backed hooks.

  6. 6. PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher

    Pros:
    • Large surface area
    • No assembly required
    • Recyclable
    Cons:
    • No color options
    • Takes up a bit more floor space
    • Could result in cardboard bits shedding on the floor

    The novel triangle design of this all-carboard option means you can rotate it to extend the life without it looking overly ratty. At your choice of either 18 or 24 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. While there are no available color options, the subtle gray sides make it look reasonbly good considering how ugly some pet things get.

    The use of cardboard is great for cat claws, but also means that treating it with catnip is more effective than other styles of scratching posts. In fact, catnip is shipped along with this so you can try that out right out of the box. Speaking of right out of the box, there’s no assembly to this one; simply unwrap and let them have at it.

    Once they’ve mangled it into oblivion, you can simply recycle what’s left, rather than having to throw away a used up cat scratcher and let it take up space in a landfill.

  7. 7. Petlinks Sea Ramp Seagrass Scratching Post

    Pros:
    • Offers a unique scratching material
    • Very stable wood base
    • Comes with a bag of catnip
    Cons:
    • Some cats will separate the weave right away
    • May move around while cats scratch
    • Mat is held on with velcro (can be remedied with a bit of glue)

    If you think your cat might prefer a different surface to the sisal and cardboard options, this version from Petlinks uses woven seagrass. By mixing and matching different textures, you may find that your cat stays interested in the various scratchers you’ve put out for them and stay away from your furniture. Multiple surface styles are also handy for multi-cat households with differing preferences.

    This ramp-style scratcher measures 15.25 by 7 by 6.875 inches. The wooden base means that it’s quite durable and will very likely outlast the scratching surface itself. At which point, you can reuse the ramp base by attaching a new pad to it.

    If you (or your cat) prefers, there’s also a sisal version. Compared to a lot of other cat scratchers, it’s on the inexpensive side and it includes a bag of catnip.

  8. 8. Petstages Cat Hammock Cat Scratching Post

    Pros:
    • Doubles as bed and scratching post
    • Breaks down into two pieces for storage
    • Recyclable
    Cons:
    • Ugly graphics on the side
    • Can sometimes be difficult to get the two sides to slide together
    • May bend when laid upon by heavy cats

    Some cat scratchers double as beds or loungers, including this offering from Petstages. Much like the Petfusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge we put on our best cat beds post, this provides both scratching and sleeping surface. Unlike that option, however, it’s not very expensive at all.

    Because of the unique construction, there are multiple scratching surfaces available and can be flipped to extend the life. It comes apart into two pieces, as well, so it can be stored when it’s not in use.

    Like all totally-cardboard cat scratching posts, this one is recyclable when it has reached the end of its useful life. Catnip is included with this one, as well.

  9. 10. K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cardboard Scratcher Interactive Cat Toy

    Pros:
    • Novel concept with multiple configurations
    • Captive ball toys drive interest
    • Catnip included
    Cons:
    • If installed with rocker feet, it's not as stable for heavy scratching
    • Likely to be somewhat noisy
    • Some cats will destroy it in no time

    Much like the super-popular Bergan Star Chaser we put on our interactive cat toys post, K&H have elevated the simple cardboard cat scratcher into an interactive play area.

    The main element is a large, flat cardboard scratcher on which a cat could lounge. With the addition of two included ramps, it becomes a cat see-saw for even more interesting play. To finish it off, there’s a ball in a track at each end of the scratcher.

    This should keep your cat occupied for awhile and it’s not exactly expensive considering the novel approach. Of course, you need not install the rocking feet if you want it to lay flat, which might make it a more stable, more standard cat scratching surface. This allows for different configurations once you figure out what your cat likes best.

    In addition to this version, you can also get the Kitty Tippy line in a 15-inch round, triangle, and the Track N’ Roll models.

  10. 11. Play King Activity Center Cat Scratcher

    Pros:
    • Multi-level captive ball toys
    • Inexpensive
    • Good scratching surface area
    Cons:
    • Better for smaller cats or kittens
    • Not as durable as other options
    • Torn up cardboard will likely end up all over your floor

    Here’s another take on the cat scratcher plus interactive cat toy theme. This one is relatively small, measuring 7.5 by 11 by 7.5 inches, and features captive balls on two levels.

    The wedge shape offers a decent amount of scratching surface on two sides for multi-cat play. This is a great option to stick in a corner, as well, even vertically in small spaces. The best part about this one might be the price. It’s super cheap considering the fact that there are multiple activities, so you don’t have to feel too bad if your cat destroys it in a relatively short amount of time.

    They also offer a bundle that includes all of their models if you want to go all-out.

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. 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.

Do Cat Scratching Posts Work?

Anecdotally, every cat I've had and all the cats my friends have had eventually learned how to use and enjoy scratching posts. To some degree, though, learn is the operative word. If you have a destructive cat, you have to be patient and train them where in your home is acceptable for scratching.

Since cats scratch to mark territory, you first need to identify the places your cat wants to be. According to The Humane Society of the United States, once you've identified where your cat likes to hang out and what they're currently inclined to scratch, strategically placing scratching posts close to those areas is the first step to training your cat to leave your furniture alone.

The learning goes both ways, too. It may take some trial and error to figure out what your cat likes to scratch best. Some prefer cardboard, some prefer carpet, other sisal. Most cats will like a variety, but some prefer just one material. Providing multiple scratching areas throughout your home will ensure a higher chance of success.

Finally, you have to discourage them when you catch them scratching something you don't want them to. Clapping or shaking a container of pennies to interrupt them is effective, as is treating the surfaces with double-sided tape or scratch deterrent spray. You can also give them cat treats whenever you spot them scratching the right surface, while spray catnip can draw them to their new toy.

Once your cat gets the hang of where not to scratch and which surfaces are theirs, cat scratching posts can be very effective.

When to Replace Your Cat's Scratching Post?

Interestingly enough, there is more give and take to replacing your cat's favorite scratching post than you might think. Certainly, if your cat has managed to unwind all the sisal rope, the post is making a mess or most importantly, there are splinters and other dangers to cat paws sticking out of it, it's time for an upgrade.

It can also be time to replace the post if your cat has lost interest and is beginning to stray back to surfaces you'd rather they not scratch. Of course, there's always the aesthetic benefit for your room to getting a new post, as well.

However, just removing the scratching post your cat enjoys can actually cause anxiety. This is because, again, cats scratch to mark territory. If you remove the post, now covered in the scent from the glands in their paws, and put a totally foreign one in its place, it's possible you'll have to re-train them again.

Instead, buy the new post when there's a little life left in the old one and place them side-by-side. Soon your cat will mark the new one and once you've observed that they're scratching it, you can remove the old one seamlessly.

What is Sisal Fabric?

Primarily produced in Brazil and Tanzania, sisal fiber comes from a plant from the agave family, which is traditionally made into rope but can also form mats and carpets.

When used on cat scratching posts, it tends to behave somewhat like tree bark, providing enough grip to "release the sheath to expose the new claw underneath" without snagging the claws. Sisal is considerably more durable than other options, especially cardboard, which is partly why it commands a premium price comparatively.

Another advantage to sisal in this application is that it is unlikely to mimic anything else in your house, thereby preventing bad habits from recurring. Ultimately, the goal is getting your cat to use it, so sometimes cardboard or carpet may just be the answer. But if you have carpet in your home that you don't want scratched, consider a sisal-covered post.

See Also:

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