The Best Cat Scratching Posts

A scratching post needs to be durable, safe and attractive to cats in need of a good scratch. We've scoured the web to bring you the best in class.

Best Cat Scratcher Posts

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A sturdy scratching post does more than just protect your furniture. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch that you simply cannot stop, and there’s good reason not to try. Scratching helps them manage the sharpness of their claws, removing old outer layers that give way to healthier claws.

Of course, for us owners, the furniture scratching is far from ideal and is something you need to address. The best cat scratching posts have materials that draw cats to scratch them, keeping everyone happy and your furniture scratch free. We recommend the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate as the best scratching post for cats because of it’s sturdy durable design and wide base.

As the above table demonstrates, there are a few different styles of scratching posts. While the regular standalone post is the most common type, there are also mounted variants. These are typically screwed into a wall at ground level. There are also multi-purpose ones, that can be used as a mounted, standing or free moving scratching surface for cats.

The Best Cat Scratching Posts

Guide Cat Scratching Posts

Finding the best cat scratching post depends on your needs and your cat’s preferences. No one wants to waste money on a scratching post just to find that their cat continues to prefer the corners of a leather sofa.

A high quality, durable scratching post will use a sisal material that’s designed to be the perfect texture for cats to get their claws into. A more satisfying scratch increases the likelihood of them preferring it to your furniture.

Shopping for quality is much more important than getting a cheap scratching post. The good news is that with the most popular scratching posts for cats, quality doesn’t cost very much.

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate

Pioneer Pet’s Ultimate Scratching post is the market leader in standalone scratching posts by a clear mile.

It’s 32 inches in height and allows even the largest of cats to fully stretch, something which has been proven to give the best results in pet satisfaction.

It’s super sturdy base means that it can stay upright regardless of the force applied (seriously it would take a hell of a lot of force to knock this bad boy over!).

It naturally attracts cats by being the best target around for them to mark their territory on. They tend to look for coarse materials that will keep their claws in check. The high quality sisal rope material is a perfect candidate and is so extraordinarily durable it should last a lifetime.

A standalone scratching post is the best option for those without the floor-space for a full cat tree or condo.

Scratching posts are all pretty similar in appearance, they just differ in quality and durability which is mostly down to the rope used. This product from Pioneer is quite simply the best scratch post you can possibly buy, you’ll get years of use with very little fraying.

SmartCat Bootsie’s Three-in-One

This incredibly sturdy cat scratcher has a lot to love at a very budget-friendly price. It is made of materials that will inspire your cat to scratch it, instead of your furniture.

The pad on this scratching post for cats is made of woven sisal. Sisal is a long and rugged fiber that is popular in many things, such as carpeting.

Woven sisal has proven itself to be much more durable than wound sisal. If you have ever seen your cat’s scratching post reduced to one long rope, you probably had wound sisal.

One thing we love is that it was designed so that it can be put wherever your cat likes to scratch. That is often much easier than trying to convince your cat to scratch where you think they should! It has sturdy rubber feet to keep it in place when propped. If you prefer, you can mount it on the wall.

We recommend using a longer screw than the one provided if you choose to hang it on the wall. Most cats won’t appreciate their scratching post swinging around when they are trying to use it, and the provided screw doesn’t quite get it onto the wall tight enough.

For the price, this cat scratcher is hard to beat. You will likely get a couple of years of use at of it and when the time comes, you can replace it without breaking the bank.

Max and Marlow 26 in

If you want a chic looking cat scratcher to match your decor, look no further. This cat scratching post is 30″ tall, meaning your cat can climb it while sharpening his or her claws. Once they reach the top, there is a bird on a string for them to bat around.

We like that this cat scratcher also provides cats with mental stimulation. The scratching post part of this post is 26″, so there is plenty of room for claw sharpening.

A great feature of this product is how easy it is to clean. It can easily be vacuumed or wiped down with a wet cloth. Since the fabric at the top and bottom is black, fur shows up easily if it isn’t cleaned occasionally.

This scratcher is free-standing, so you can put it anywhere you like. Since you do not have to attach it to a wall or doorknob, you can move it around to add variety to your cat’s day.

Unlike the previous product, this scratch post uses wound sisal. However, they offer a 100% product warranty. We feel this makes this a product worth considering. They use a high-quality sisal that is coarse enough to be really satisfying for your cat.

4CLAWS Wall Mounted

For the cat that likes to stretch, this is an ideal scratcher. It can be mounted on the wall at the perfect height for your cat to get the most out of it. The stainless steel screws and mounting anchors you need are included.

Designed to be both environmentally friendly and durable, this cat scratching post is made out of aluminum and natural sisal. At 18″ tall and a 2.8″ wide diameter, this product will offer plenty of scratching surface for your cat without taking up too much space in your home.

Many cats prefer to scratch vertically. If you wanted, you could even mount a few in a column on your wall and let your cat do some serious climbing!

The directions say to mount it six inches off the floor, but we found that to be too low for most cats.

Although the seller states the glue used to attach the sisal is odorless, some people report an unpleasant smell. They may just be smelling the sisal, however. In its natural state, it is known to have a slight odor.

Overall, this is a great buy. It will provide your cat with hours of scratching fun and is currently available for under $30!

Art of Paws Ultimate

If you are prepared to spend a little more money on a cat scratching post, consider this one. It doubles as a cat perch/bed on the top. This allows your cat to enjoy overlooking their domain after scratching their claws.

If possible, put it in front of a sunny window to really make your cat happy.

We love that this product uses sisal fabric instead of sisal rope. It will shed less on your carpet and we find it to be better looking than traditional sisal rope too. Cats often enjoy it more.

It has a nice, flat surface for scratching their claws rather than the bumpy one of a sisal rope scratcher. This is a much more durable product, which is one of the reasons for the higher price tag.

With all the tools required for assembly included, putting this cat tree together is a breeze. For many people, it is a matter of minutes between unpacking the box and watching their cat sharpen their claws.

At 35.5″ tall, this is a great scratching post/bed for cats that like to really stretch. It will also appeal to cats that like to sleep up high, which we’re pretty sure is all cats!

Buyer’s Guide

Cat Scratching Post Guide

If you have a cat, you have to deal with them scratching. A lot. This is a very natural behavior that serves a few purposes for your cat. On top of helping them keep their claws sharp, it is a way for them to mark their territory and stretch their bodies. When using one, they are also getting exercise, which is crucial for keeping them happy and not stressed out.

People who don’t want their cats tearing up their carpets and couches (a.k.a. everyone!) should invest in a good cat scratching post.

There are a wide variety of products on the market, and they can range from small and cheap to elaborate and quite expensive. What will be best for you and your feline friend will depend on their preferences, how much space you have in your home, and your budget.

This buyer’s guide is designed to go over some of the key factors to look for when shopping for a cat scratching post.

Materials for Scratching

There are a few things manufacturers put on cat scratchers to try to entice them to be used. Most commonly, you will find sisal or carpet. Sometimes, cheaper versions are simply covered in corrugated cardboard. While cardboard might be a lot of fun for your cat and great for your bank account, keep in mind it will create a huge mess and won’t last very long.

Carpeted scratching posts do appeal to some cats. Others simply do not like them. The danger of using a scratcher covered in carpet is it may confuse your cat.

Why can they scratch there but not in the middle of the living room rug? Depending on the type of carpet in your home, it may actually be dangerous for your cat to get into the habit of scratching on it. This is mostly true if it is made of a material your cat can easily get his or her claws stuck in.

Sisal is considered the best of the best for making cat scratching posts. You will find scratchers that use either sisal rope or sisal fabric. While both types have some advantages, sisal fabric is often considered the better of the two.

The main problem with sisal rope is it unwinds quite easily from most scratching posts. This means a shorter lifespan for the scratcher as well as a big mess for you. Sisal fabric is much more durable and many cats prefer its smooth texture over the bumpiness of sisal rope.

Horizontal vs. Vertical

Odds are, your cat will want to scratch on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Some scratching posts on the market will allow for both options. If this appeals to you, look for one that has a wider base that is covered in sisal fabric.

It is entirely possible that you will need to buy at least two cat scratching posts to fully satisfy your cat’s urge to scratch. Just think of it as investing in protection for your carpet and furniture!

Sturdy Build

Almost every cat will ignore a scratching post that moves around when they are using it. On top of a sturdy scratching surface, it needs to be built well. If there is a lot of wobbling when they use it, your cat will fear it will fall down on them.

If you choose a particularly tall scratching post, being sturdy is especially important.

Look for scratchers that have been made with a hollow cardboard tube in the center. They tend to be much sturdier than any cat furniture that has a lot of weight on the top. As a bonus, they tend to make more noise when used. Most cats find this very satisfying!

Variety

There is a good chance that your cat will eventually ignore a cat scratcher that they once loved. That is because cats tend to get bored easily. If you purchased one that is not wall-mounted, you could try moving it to a different location and see if that does the trick.

If a change of scenery doesn’t do the trick, it may be time to start shopping for a new cat scratcher. Having a few posts on hand that are made of a few different materials can also prevent boredom and the return of clawing up your furniture.

For people who really want one product that their cat won’t get sick of, there are cat scratchers that serve other purposes as well. Look for one that has a perch on top for looking out the window or snoozing. There are also some that have toys attached to help keep your cat happy.

Cat Trees and Condos

Cat Condo

Speaking of a multi-purpose cat scratching post, the cat condo is a favorite for many. Not only can your cat sit on top of one and survey his or her land, they can curl up and take a nap inside.

This helps cats get in touch with their natural instincts. Big cats in the wild often like to lounge in trees, and the cat condo provides this experience for your cat in your home. If you have multiple cats or a big cat, we’ve written a guide to the best cat trees for large cats for you.

If you go this route, look for one that is covered in sisal fabric. That way it will stand up to your cat clawing at it for years to come.

Angle Scratchers

Although cardboard isn’t the best material for a cat scratcher, there are circumstances when you may consider it.

Angle scratchers with cardboard inserts are very handy because they can often be placed in problem areas. If there is a spot of carpet that your cat tends to favor, try putting an angle scratcher on top of it.

These are a relatively inexpensive option that helps provide your cat with the variety of scratching surfaces that they crave.

Getting Your Cat to Use a Scratcher

Cat Scratching Posts

You may find yourself disappointed if you buy a cat scratching post that your cat simply ignores. There is no need to give up or return it, at least right away. There are a few things you can do to try to encourage your cat to use their new scratcher.

Placing it in front of where they have been scratching, like the arm of your couch, may help them get the message. Make sure wherever you place it is in a prominent area of the home.

Cats scratch to help mark their territory, so if you stash it in the corner of the room they may not bother with it.

If all else fails, catnip is a great way to entice your cat to at least check out their new scratching post. Toys you know they enjoy can also help get them interested in their scratcher.

Points To Consider

To sum it up, you are looking for the following things when shopping for your cat’s scratcher:

  • Variety of horizontal and vertical surfaces
  • Good material for scratching up that won’t make a big mess
  • Sturdiness
  • Enough height that your cat can really stretch out
  • Variety of materials and types to keep your cat entertained

Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide what to look for when shopping for a cat scratching post. Investing in one is a great thing to do for your cat and your home!