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The best cat scratching posts are about more than saving your furniture; scratching is a natural instinct for cats that fulfills more than one need. Scratching helps cats stretch their muscles, maintain healthy claws, and mark their territory. Providing suitable scratching posts and scratchers encourages kitties to engage in this behavior and helps protect your furniture.
But there are so many choices on the market! Which options are suitable for your cat? In our comprehensive review of the best cat scratching post products available, we’ve narrowed down the top cat scratching posts based on their design, durability, materials, and customer satisfaction. Join us as we explore these exceptional scratchers and provide the answers to your most asked cat scratching post questions. Our section of factors to consider will also help you make an informed decision so you can keep your furry friend content and your home scratch-free.
First, let’s talk more about why cats scratch to help you better understand what your feline needs.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
As we mentioned, cats have a natural instinct to scratch, and providing them with a scratching post is an effective way to satisfy this behavior. But let’s look deeper into why cats are compelled to scratch:
- Territory marking: Cats have scent glands in their paws, and when they scratch, they leave behind their scent. This helps them mark their territory and communicate with other cats.
- Claw maintenance: Scratching helps cats shed the outer layers of their claws, keeping them sharp and healthy. It also helps stretch their paw muscles and keep their feet limber.
- Stress relief: Scratching can be a stress-relieving activity for cats. It allows them to release pent-up energy and frustration.
- Stretching and exercise: Cats enjoy stretching their bodies, and scratching posts and scratchers provide them with a surface where they can stretch their legs, shoulders, and back. It also serves as a form of exercise.
To fulfill these natural urges, encourage your cat to use scratchers. But don’t stop at just one scratcher or scratching post. Kitties love variety and will find places to scratch throughout your home. Satisfy their scratching needs by placing a few options about the house. Be sure to include both horizontal and vertical options to meet all the scratching needs.
Also, remember each cat is unique, and what works for one cat may not work for another. Observe your cat’s preferences and behaviors to find the type of scratching post they enjoy most. And our list of the best cat-scratching posts will help you find the ones your feline will love to destroy!
Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying Cat-Scratching Posts
When choosing a cat scratching post for your feline, keep these factors in mind for scratching success:
Size and Stability
A scratching post should be tall enough for your cat to stretch their body while scratching fully. It should also be stable and sturdy so thdoesn’toesn’t wobble or tip over when your cat uses it. Look for wide bases and posts that securely attach to the base.
Material and Texture
Scratching posts can be made of various materials like sisal rope, carpet, cardboard, or wood. And while most cats will love sinking their claws into any of those materials, some kitties can be choosy. When your cat goes to scratch, pay attention to the materials they choose so you can buy a scratcher they’ll enjoy.
Vertical and Horizontal Options
Cats have different scratching preferences, so having cat scratchers with both vertical and horizontal surfaces is a great idea while learning a cat’s scratch style. Some cats prefer to scratch vertically, while others prefer horizontal surfaces. They can also like both ways, so providing both options can help accommodate their preferences and make them a happy cat.
Multiple Posts or Surfaces
If you have multiple cats or a particularly active cat, having multiple scratching posts or surfaces can prevent conflicts and provide enough scratching space for all your feline companions. And even if you only have one purr child, they still need more than one post or pad. Provide your singleton with multiple options too.
Place scratchers or scratching posts for cats where your cat spends a lot of time, such as near their favorite resting spot or where they tend to scratch furniture. This will increase the chances of your cat using the scratching post instead of other undesirable surfaces.
Cats don’t typically scratch just one spot but enjoy having many places to give those claws a workout. Consider placing scratching posts scratchers in various locations to provide your cat with options and to prevent boredom.
Maintenance and Durability
Over time, scratching posts and scratchers can wear out or become frayed because nothing can stand up to those claws forever. It’s important to regularly inspect and replace worn-out parts to ensure your cat’s safety. If a scratching post becomes unappealing to your cat, you may need to replace it or try a different type of post. When buying cat scratchers, ensure your choices are made of durable materials that can withstand your cat’s scratching habits for a good while to get the most bang for your buck.
The 16 Best Cat-Scratching Posts
1 – iHeartCats Magical Organ Cat Scratching Board Toy
- Dimensions – 9½” W x 4” L
- High-density corrugated cardboard
- Unique design of track toy & scratcher in one
- Every purchase provides a toy to shelter cats
This cat scratcher toy isn’t like any scratching accessory you’ve seen before. Not only does the honeycomb cardboard appeal to cats, but while scratching, they can chase a ball! It’s a scratcher and ball track in one!
- Unique design that can be shaped in different ways
- Comes with toy bell ball
- Easy use, just snap the magnets and shape
- Folds down
- Magnets may disconnect during vigorous play
2 – SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
- Height: 32 inches
- Sturdy 16″ x 16″ base
- Total weight: 16 lbs.
- Durable woven sisal
- Great for big cats
Also available at Petco.com
A tall cat scratching post for kitties with reach, the SmartCat option reaches a height of 32 inches, so your cat can fully stretch and scratch. It’s wrapped in woven sisal and has a square shape that allows for scratching on four sides. This post is great for homes with multiple cats.
- Highly rated on Amazon and Chewy
- Strong sisal for intense scratchers
- Easy assemble with two included screws
- Available in two neutral colors to match any home
3 – 7 Ruby Road Wall-Mounted Cat Scratching Post
- Dimensions: 22″L x 5.7″W x 0.75″H
- Eco-friendly wood frame
- 100% natural woven sisal
- Use it on the wall or the floor
Is your cat a vertical scratcher? The 7 Ruby Road wall scratcher for cats will make your kitty’s day as they can stand up against the wall and not worry about shaking a freestanding scratching post. And it’s great for cats of all ages and sizes, as you can mount it according to their height.
- Easy to hang
- Can also be used on the floor; anti-slip pads included
- Clean design looks nice in homes
- Loved by cats and their parents
- Sisal pad may fall off after repeated use
4 – MidWest Homes for Pets Forte Cat Scratching Post
- Height: 41 inches
- 19″ x 19″ wide base
- Total weight: 19 lbs.
- Wrapped in extra durable, thick sisal
- Ultra-soft brown faux fur base
Also available at Petco.com
Another tall cat scratching post, this MidWest option is what your big kitty needs! At over three feet tall, this post can accommodate the longest of cats and provides plenty of scratching space for multiple felines. In reading reviews, cat parents swear by this best cat scratching post for their big babies. Some parents loved it so much they bought two!
- Extra tall for big cats or those who like to climb
- Easy to assemble
- Highly rated
- Sisal holds up for months
- Expensive but worth the value with large cats
5 – EveryYay Assorted Scratchin’ The Surface Cardboard Couch Cat Scratcher
- Full width: 19.75 inches
- Crafted from 100% recycled paper
- Catnip included
- Designed in several different patterns
Give your cat a couch they’re allowed to scratch with this fun option! And every scratching couch offers a surprise because you won’t know what pattern you’re getting until it arrives. But what is certain is this cardboard scratcher is made with 100% recycled paper.
- Fun alternative to flat scratchboards
- Nice for napping and scratching
- Really cute to see your cat perching on it
- Durable and sturdy
- Can’t choose your pattern
6 – FUKUMARU Cat Scratcher
- L-shape size: 26.8” x 16.6” x 11.5”
- Thickness of cardboard: 1.6 inches
- 100% eco-friendly, heavy-duty cardboard
- Available in 2 sizes
A brand known for quality cat accessories, Fukumaru’s L-shaped scratcher offers your cat the choice of vertical or horizontal scratching. The unique design means it can be used as a wall scratcher to save space or on the ground as a place for cats to lounge. And with more than an inch and a half of corrugated cardboard, it’ll take your kitty quite a while to scratch their way through it. You can also stick a toy in the trench at the joining of the sides to drive your cat really wild!
- Great price
- Made of non-toxic materials
- Highly rated on Amazon
- Sturdy and durable
- Non-slip silicone grips for floor use
- Easy to assemble
- No replacement scratch pads available
7 – Petstages Easy Life Hammock Corrugated Cat Scratcher
- Dimensions: 21 x 9.45 x 5.3 inches
- For cats under 20 lbs.
- Unique hammock design for nap & scratch fun
- Extra thick corrugate panels
Cats love to lounge and scratch on this unique scratcher hammock, and you’ll find it will quickly become a favorite in your home too. The unique “X” design allows easy assembly and takedown with two corrugated pieces that simply slide together. And no matter where kitty puts their paws, they’ll find some heavy-duty cardboard to scratch.
- Easy to put together
- Comes with catnip
- Can be easily stored away
- A cat favorite with excellent ratings
8 – PETEPELA Cat Scratching Post
- Height: 18.9 inches
- 100% natural sisal ropes twined by hand
- 2 posts on one faux-grass-covered base
- Great for kittens & small cats
This mushroom scratching post is just too much cuteness in one scratcher! And not only adorable, but this fun scratcher also offers two posts for scratching. Plus, the mushroom caps offer even more scratching surface. The natural sisal rope is hand twined for extra density, while the round base prevents toppling. And even though it’s not the tallest scratching post, it’s ideal for kittens and great to have as one of several options in the house, thanks to the fun, rounded tops.
- Cute scratching post kittens will love
- Easy to assemble
- Hanging ball toy included
- 1,000+ ratings for high average
- Too short for adult cats to fully stretch
9 – FUKUMARU Cat Scratcher Mat
- Dimensions: 23.6″L x 15.7″W
- 100% natural, biodegradable sisal
- Use on floors, furniture, or walls
- Includes Velcro Pads
Fukumaru for the win again, and this time with a cat scratching mat. It’s spacious for lots of clawing fun and features antiskid latex on the bottom to keep it in place. Not only can it be tossed on the floor, but you can also hang it on the wall or attach it to furniture to protect your upholstery. And because it’s crafted from natural sisal material, the mat will degrade over time after being thrown away. Available in two neutral colors, you’ll find it blends right in with your home aesthetics.
- Affordable pricing
- Unobtrusive design
- Trusted brand with consistently high ratings
- Velcro isn’t strong enough to hold on furniture and walls
10 – Amazon Basics Cat Tower with Hammock and Scratching Posts for Indoor Cats
- Dimensions: 15.75″L x 15.75″W x 19.7″H
- Total weight: 9 lbs.
- Posts wrapped in natural jute fiber
- Plush grey cat hammock
- Carpeted base
Amazon delivers a cat bed that meets scratching posts with a hammock-style bed atop two scratching posts. And while they aren’t the tallest, cats still love giving them a scratch before and after hopping in the hammock. It also has a dangling ball for added fun and comes with a ball replacement.
- Easy to assemble
- Cat favorite with thousands of 5-star ratings
- Wide base for stability
- Durable and long-lasting, even with multiple cats
11 – Kitty City XL Wide Corrugate Cat Scratchers
- Size: 18”L x 10”W x 1.5”H
- Extra wide for big cats
- Recycled cardboard
- Made with cornstarch glue
- Color patterns vary
This three-piece set of wide cat scratcher boards gives your cat lots of corrugated cardboard to satisfy those scratching needs. And when one side gets worn out, just flip it over for a fresh board. You can also separately purchase clips that allow boards to be hung on doorknobs.
- Great value
- Classic scratchboard that kitties enjoy
- 100% recyclable
- High-quality materials
- Highly-rated cat scratcher option
12 – Petstages Scratch, Snuggle & Rest Corrugated Cat Scratcher With Catnip
- Dimensions: 13.35 x 13.35 x 4 inches
- Corrugated cardboard bowl
- Great for all ages & sizes
- Includes catnip
This round cat scratcher is something different for kitties to get scratchy in! A corrugated “bowl” on a sturdy cardboard frame lets them scratch and then get comfy. The unique design offers fun for cats of all ages and sizes.
- Fun design attracts cats
- Durable for long-time use
- Sturdy construction
- Good for heavy cats too
- Can get messy with cardboard shreds
13 – Meowoou Cat Scratching Post
- Total height: 36 inches
- Sisal pole height: 32 inches
- 1″ diameter base that’s 2″ thick
- Total weight: 8.2 lbs.
- Simulated leaves from 3D printing technology
It’s a cat scratching tree. No, really, it’s a scratching post that looks like a tree! This super cute scratcher is almost three feet tall and just too cute topped with faux leaves your cat will love to terrorize. The base measures sixteen inches in diameter and features a three-part triangular design for added stability. Plus, it looks adorable in any home, especially one with lots of plants.
- Super cute design
- Tall post for adult cats
- Solid and sturdy
- Easy to assemble
14 – SmartyKat Scratch Up
- Dimensions: 20.25″ x 5.31″ x 1.25″
- Includes pesticide-free, chemical-free catnip
- Reversible corrugated block
- Hang on door or use on floor
Save your doorjambs from destructive scratching with a hanging scratcher that refocuses a cat’s claws to the cardboard rather than the door. And with each layer of corrugate infused with concentrated catnip, you can bet your cat will find long-term appeal. Plus, SmartyKat uses recycled cardboard to make their durable corrugated scratchers.
- Affordable price
- Eco-friendly design
- Use two ways
- Reversible pad for dual-sided use
- Hanger can be torn after repeated use
15 – PrimePets Cat Scratcher Cardboard
- Scratcher size: 17 x 11.2 x 6 inches
- Removeable insert size: 11.4 x 11.2 x 2.8 inches
- 100% recycled corrugated cardboard
- Comes with natural catnip & 1 ball bell toy
This set offers 2-in-1 fun with two incline cat scratchers to delight your feline. And they can be turned over and scratched on the other side. It’s going to take your cat a long time to wear these down to nothing! The cutout on the larger scratcher is perfect for a ball and adds to your kitty’s playtime fun.
- A lot of scratching surface for a good price
- Non-toxic, environmentally friendly materials
- Incline offers a different scratching experience
- Large and hard to stow away
16 – PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
- Dimensions: 34″L x 10.5″W x 10.5″H
- Reversible cardboard bench
- Includes USA organic catnip
- Unique design for lounging & scratching
- Great for multiple & larger cats
The infinity shape of this scratcher isn’t just fun for kitties. It’s also an eyecatcher, so when people notice it, you can tell them about the importance of providing cats with scratching accessories! A large surface area holds multiple or larger cats, providing generous scratching space on either side. The PetFusion scratcher lounge has received these honors: 2015 Eco-Excellence Award; featured on Animal Planet’s ‘My Cat From’ Hell’; placement in the Top 19 Cat Products 2016 BuzzFeed viewer selection.
- Thousands of 5-star reviews
- Available in three colors
- Takes up a fair amount of room
FAQs About Cat Scratching Posts
What are the benefits of a cat scratching post?
Cat scratching posts and scratchers offer several benefits for cats and their parents, as kitties have an innate need to scratch. Providing a scratching outlet gives felines an appropriate and dedicated outlet for this natural behavior, allowing them to stretch their muscles, exercise, and maintain healthy claws. And having a place they can scratch with freedom also offers mental stimulation and anxiety relief.
Designated scratching posts and pads redirect a cat’s natural behavior to a more suitable location and help protect furniture, door jambs, carpets, and rugs. These must-have cat accessories also help deepen the bond between you and your feline by making scratching a positive shared experience in which you reward their good behavior. This positive reinforcement over a natural instinct can help strengthen your relationship.
How do I train my cat to use a scratching post?
Training your cat to use a scratching post is a reasonably simple process, as kitties are naturally drawn to scratchers. The sooner you start a cat with a scratcher or post, the better. If you have a kitten, go and introduce scratching accessories to save your furniture before the destruction starts:
Here’s how you can help your cat embrace their new scratching post or scratcher:
- Choose the Right Scratching Post: Select a scratching post that mimics your cat’s favorite area to scratch. Once you determine if your cat prefers horizontal scratching, vertical, or a combination of both, choose a scratcher that meets their height needs and material preference.
- Location, Location, Location: Place scratching posts and pads in strategic locations where your cat spends a lot of time, such as near their favorite sleeping area or in a central area of the house. Scratchers should be easily accessible and visible to your cat.
- Encourage Exploration: Make the scratching post appealing to your cat. Rub some catnip on the post or use interactive toys near it to catch their attention. You can also gently guide their paws on the post to demonstrate how to scratch.
- Positive Reinforcement: When you spy your cat using the scratching post, reward them with praise, treats, or affection. Positive reinforcement will help your cat associate the scratching post with a positive experience.
- Deterrents for Furniture: If your cat continues to scratch furniture, discourage this behavior by covering the targeted areas with double-sided tape or aluminum foil, which cats dislike. Alternatively, use scent deterrents or place a temporary barrier to prevent access to furniture until they start using the scratching post consistently.
- Consistency and Patience: Training takes time, so be patient and consistent with your efforts. Redirect your cat to the scratching post whenever you see them scratching elsewhere. Avoid scolding or punishing your cat, as it can create negative associations and hinder progress.
- Multiple Scratching Options: Provide multiple scratching options throughout your home. This allows your cat to choose their preferred spot and increases the likelihood of them using the scratching posts.
If your cat continues to ignore the scratching post or exhibits persistent furniture-scratching behavior despite your efforts, consider consulting a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can provide further guidance and recommendations tailored to your specific situation.
What is a good cat scratching post?
This answer depends on a cat’s preferences. But in general, the best cat scratching posts and scratchers should allow your cat to stretch their body when scratching fully. Horizontal options should also offer plenty of room for big stretches too. Any options should be stable and well-built with no wobbling or tipping. Wide bases can help make a sturdier experience, Cats may be discouraged from using anything that feels unstable.
The best cat scratching posts include sisal rope, sisal fabric, or sisal-covered wood. Other styles use corrugated cardboard. Either make great options. Carpeted scratching posts can also serve, but if you’re trying to deter your cat from destructive furniture scratching, it might be better to skip scratchers with carpet.
How tall should a cat scratching post be?
The height of a cat scratching post can vary depending on the size and preferences of your cat. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to provide a scratching post at least as tall as a cat’s full body length when stretched out. This allows them to stretch their muscles and engage in natural scratching behavior.
For most cats, a scratching post around 30 to 36 inches (76 to 91 centimeters) in height should be suitable. However, if you have a particularly large cat or a breed known for their height, you may want to consider a taller post, perhaps around 40 to 48 inches (102 to 122 centimeters) or more.
What is the best material for a cat scratching post?
The best material for a cat scratching post largely depends on a cat’s cat’s preferences, but the following are the materials commonly used for scratching posts that are known to be effective:
- Sisal rope: Sisal rope is often a popular choice for scratching posts. It has a rough texture that cats find satisfying to scratch and helps them shed the outer layers of their claws. Sisal is also durable and can withstand repeated scratching.
- Sisal fabric: Similar to sisal rope, sisal fabric provides a rough texture that cats enjoy. It can be wrapped around a post or used as a covering material or mat.
- Cardboard: Some cats are attracted to corrugated cardboard surfaces for scratching. Cardboard scratchers are affordable, lightweight, and can be easily replaced when they become worn out. They often come in flat, inclined, or block shapes.
- Carpet: While carpeted scratching posts are less common, some cats may prefer the texture of carpet. However, it’s important to note that using carpeted scratching posts might reinforce their desire to scratch carpeted surfaces in your home, so using other materials is generally recommended.
It’s worth trying different materials and textures to see which one your cat prefers. Ultimately, the best material for a cat’s scratching post is one that encourages them to use it regularly and helps protect your furniture from those wild instincts.
What is sisal made from?
Sisal refers to a type of natural fiber derived from the leaves of the Agave sisalana plant, which is native to Mexico but now cultivated in various parts of the world. The plant belongs to the agave family and is characterized by its long, sword-shaped leaves.
The sisal fiber is obtained by extracting and processing the leaves of the Agave sisalana plant. The leaves are crushed, beaten, and then scraped to separate the fibers from the pulp. These fibers are washed, dried, and often treated to enhance their durability and strength. Sisal fibers are known for their toughness and resistance to deterioration, making them suitable for various applications.
Sisal fibers have been used for centuries in various industries due to their desirable properties. They’re commonly used to produce ropes, twines, and cordage due to their strength and ability to stretch without breaking. Sisal is also used to manufacture carpets, mats, and rugs, where its natural texture and durability are valued. Additionally, the fibers can be found in the production of paper, textiles, dartboards, handicrafts, and other products.
Sisal is considered an eco-friendly and sustainable material because it is biodegradable and renewable. The Agave sisalana plant requires relatively low amounts of water and is resilient in arid regions, making it an attractive option for fiber production in areas where other crops struggle to grow.
How long do cat scratchers last?
The lifespan of a cat scratching post can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the materials used, the frequency and intensity of use, and the individual cat’s scratching behavior. Generally, a well-maintained and high-quality scratching post can last anywhere from several months to a few years. However, it’s essential to monitor the condition of the post regularly. If it becomes unstable, significantly worn, or damaged, replace it to ensure a cat’s safety and continued use.
Where should I put a cat scratching post?
When determining where to place a cat scratching post, consider the following factors to encourage a cat’s use of the post:
- Central Areas: Position the scratching post in a central area of your home where your cat spends a lot of time. Common areas include living rooms, dens, or near a cat’s favorite resting spots.
- Observation Points: Cats enjoy observing their surroundings from elevated positions. Placing the scratching post near a window or in a location where your cat can view the room can make it more appealing. This allows them to engage in natural behaviors like scratching while providing a vantage point.
- Strategic Placement: If your cat prefers scratching specific furniture or objects, place the scratcher close to those areas. This helps redirect their scratching behavior to the post instead of your furniture.
- Quiet and Peaceful Environment: Cats may be less likely to use a scratching post in a noisy or crowded area. Choose a spot that’s relatively calm and peaceful, away from high-traffic areas, loud appliances, or areas with frequent disruptions.
- Accessibility: Ensure the scratching post is easily accessible for your cat. If you have multiple floors, consider placing posts on different levels to provide options for scratching throughout the home. Avoid obstructing the post with furniture or other objects that could discourage your cat from using it.
- Introduce Variety: If you have multiple scratching posts, place them in different areas of your home to provide variety and options for your cat. This allows them to choose the most appealing post based on location and mood.
Remember, each cat has individual preferences, so you may need to experiment with different placements to find the spot your cat finds most enticing. Observe your cat’s behavior and adjust the placement accordingly if necessary.
Can I make a DIY cat scratching post?
You can! And the fun thing about making your own is the ability to make it as tall or wide as you want. Just consider your cat’s safety and ensure it won’t fall.
Follow these instructions to make a DIY cat scratching post:
- Wooden post or PVC pipe (about 3 feet tall and 4-6 inches in diameter)
- Sisal rope (enough to cover the length of the post)
- Plywood (for the base)
- Screws or strong adhesive
- Optional: Decorative fabric or carpet remnants
- Prepare the base:
- Cut a piece of cardboard or plywood into a square or rectangular shape, around 18-24 inches in size. This will serve as the base of the scratching post.
- Attach the post to the base:
- If using a wooden post, position it in the center of the base and secure with screws from the bottom. Make sure it’s stable and doesn’t wobble.
- If using a PVC pipe, you can use strong adhesive to attach it to the base. Apply the glue to the bottom of the pipe and press it firmly onto the center of the base. Allow it to dry and set according to the adhesive instructions.
- Wrap the post with sisal rope:
- Starting at the bottom of the post, secure the end of the sisal rope with a knot or by wrapping it tightly around the post.
- Begin wrapping the sisal rope tightly around the post, ensuring each wrap is close together and overlaps slightly.
- Continue wrapping the rope up to the top of the post. Secure the rope’s end and knot, or use adhesive to keep it in place.
- Optional: Add decorative fabric or carpet remnants to add a decorative touch or provide additional texture. You can wrap the lower portion of the post with fabric or carpet remnants. Secure them with adhesive or by tucking the edges underneath the sisal rope.
- Check for stability:
- Once everything is secure and any adhesive is dry, give the scratching post a gentle shake to ensure stability. Make any necessary adjustments.
- Place the DIY cat scratching post in your friend’s favorite spot!
Monitor the scratching post regularly for wear and tear and replace any worn-out sisal rope to ensure its effectiveness and longevity.
The best cat scratching posts are more than just a piece of furniture for your feline companion. They serve a crucial role in cats’ natural instincts while protecting your home from destructive scratching behaviors. By providing a suitable scratching post with the right height, texture, and stability, you can create a win-win situation, allowing your cat to indulge in their natural behavior while maintaining harmony in your living space. Remember, investing in a quality scratching post is an investment in your cat’s happiness and the preservation of your furniture and carpets.
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