The Best Scratching Post For Cats

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: April 4, 2022

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There are many things that come naturally to cats, such as pouncing, grooming, sleeping, and scratching. While the others are harmless, scratching can be a big headache, especially if you’ve purchased new furniture and want to keep it safe. While scratching can’t, and shouldn’t, be eliminated as a part of your cat’s regular routine, it can be channeled.

Just like your own nails, a cat’s nails need to be manicured and scratching helps remove worn-out nails and make room for new, sharp nails. Scratching is also a way for your cat to mark their territory as well as a natural expression when you’re playing with your cat. It’s safe to say that scratching will be a part of daily life with your cat.

As reported by the ASPCA, having a scratching post will help train your cat where to scratch, and there are many varieties to choose from that have different qualities and surfaces. But you don’t have to fret as there are plenty of affordable, stylish, and durable scratching posts for your cat. We’ve chosen 6 of the best scratching posts which will help keep your home decor safe and provide a designated spot for your cat to exercise their claws.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Scratching Post For Cats

  1. SMARTCAT The Ultimate 32-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post
  2. SMARTCAT The Ultimate 32-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post
    • Very durable
    • Wooden base provides stability
    • Made from natural fiber, sisal
    • Stylish look
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. SCRATCH LOUNGE The Original Scratch Lounge Cat Toy with Catnip
  4. SCRATCH LOUNGE The Original Scratch Lounge Cat Toy with Catnip
    • Patented reversible honeycomb construction
    • Made from 100% recyclable materials
    • Comes with catnip
    • Multifunction
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. FEANDREA Cat Tree for Large Cats
  6. FEANDREA Cat Tree for Large Cats
    • Made from polyester material
    • Features lounging spots
    • Durable construction
    • Features 2 scratching posts wrapped in sisal
    Check Amazon
  7. PETMAKER Cat Scratching Post Tower with 3 Scratcher Posts
  8. PETMAKER Cat Scratching Post Tower with 3 Scratcher Posts
    • Features 3 posts
    • Comes with hanging toys
    • Sturdy design
    • Made from durable materials
    Check Amazon
  9. DISTRICT 70 Sardine Cardboard Cat Scratcher Toy
  10. DISTRICT 70 Sardine Cardboard Cat Scratcher Toy
    • Quirky sardine can design
    • Can accommodate more than one cat
    • Made of recycled corrugated cardboard
    • Eco-friendly
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  11. PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
  12. PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
    • Curves allow for easier scratching
    • Enough space for more than one cat
    • Comes with organic catnip leaf
    • No assembly required
    Check Amazon

#1 Best Overall: SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post

The SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post is the most durable and accommodating choice. The tall 32’ post allows for cats to fully stretch and the wooden bases provide stability for even the most enthusiastic scratchers.

The most appealing feature is the material used for scratching, sisal, which is a woven, natural fiber that, unlike carpet, won’t shred as your cat continues to scratch and use the post. With carpet scratching posts there is a risk of frayed material that your cat’s claw might snag on, but with sisal, you eliminate this concern. Additionally, there is wooden perch on top of the scratching posts which provides the perfect lookout spot for your cat. With easy assembly and a stylish look, this scratching post can fit into any decor. 

Best Overall
SMARTCAT The Ultimate 32-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post
  • Very durable
  • Wooden base provides stability
  • Made from natural fiber, sisal
  • Stylish look
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best Cardboard: Original Scratch Lounge Cat Toy with Catnip

The Original Scratch Lounge Cat Toy with Catnip is a perfect choice if you’re wanting a low profile and multifunction. The unique 3 sided design allows your cat to scratch and cozily sleep, plus it comes with catnip!

The patented reversible honeycomb construction of the pads means this option will outlast many other scratching posts. It’s constructed of 100% recyclable materials and made in the U.S. Plus, if either the floor or side pads do become worn down they can easily be replaced with new ones. Measuring 13.5″ wide by 22″ long and 5.5″ tall, this option can accommodate any cat comfortably and will offer years of use. 

Best Cardboard
SCRATCH LOUNGE The Original Scratch Lounge Cat Toy with Catnip
  • Patented reversible honeycomb construction
  • Made from 100% recyclable materials
  • Comes with catnip
  • Multifunction
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#3 Best for Older Cats: FEANDREA Cat Tree with Sisal Posts

Age doesn’t deter scratching, and your senior cat deserves an option with all the trimmings. The FEANDREA Cat Tree with Sisal Posts is the perfect choice for scratching and relaxation. The plush polyester material and cushioning provide ample comfort, and the wide perches give your cat a place to recharge.

It also has large cat caves where one or more can cuddle together, or, with additional lounging spots everyone can have their own space. With battens at the bottom and anti-toppling fittings, this option offers durable construction and peace of mind. Additionally, there are 2 scratching posts at varying heights, wrapped in sisal which provide great options for stretching and scratching. The design makes it easy to move from the ground floor to the caves and perch and the wide perch with raised plush sides make the perfect spot to spend a morning or afternoon.

Best for Older Cats
FEANDREA Cat Tree for Large Cats
  • Made from polyester material
  • Features lounging spots
  • Durable construction
  • Features 2 scratching posts wrapped in sisal
Check Amazon

#4 Best for Kittens: 3 Scratching Posts Collection

The rambunctious nature of kittens often means our decor ends up being the focus of their energy. A great way to channel that energy is with the 3 Scratching Posts Collection. This vertical cat tower has 3 posts of varying designs, wrapped in durable sisal rope. It features different hanging toys from the carpeted cat perch ensuring your kitten will be entertained for hours.

The sturdy design is crafted from durable materials allowing your kitten to direct their playful energy away from your furniture. The Scratching Posts Collection also features hanging rope balls under the cat perch which are sure to keep your kitten entertained! Measuring 15.75” long by 15.75” wide and 19.25” tall and consisting of neutral colors it will easily fit into any decor.

Best for Kittens
PETMAKER Cat Scratching Post Tower with 3 Scratcher Posts
  • Features 3 posts
  • Comes with hanging toys
  • Sturdy design
  • Made from durable materials
Check Amazon

#5 Most Stylish: District 70 Sardine Cardboard Cat Scratcher

If you thought there were no stylish options for cat scratchers, think again! District 70 Sardine Cardboard Cat Scratcher offers the perfect option for someone wanting to provide their cat with a designated place to scratch, without having to sacrifice style. Not only does this scratcher have an attractive and quirky sardine can design, but it’s also large enough for more than 1 cat and offers plenty of space to scratch and lounge.

Both the exterior and interior are made of recycled corrugated cardboard, so you can take comfort in the eco-friendly materials and know your cat can safely enjoy scratching and playing. There are additional colors available and the dimensions are 24” long by 12” wide and 12” tall, so this artist additional will fit into any stylish space.

Most Stylish
DISTRICT 70 Sardine Cardboard Cat Scratcher Toy
  • Quirky sardine can design
  • Can accommodate more than one cat
  • Made of recycled corrugated cardboard
  • Eco-friendly
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#6 Best for Multiple Cats: The PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge

If you have multiple cats you know it can be a struggle to find a space for everyone. The PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge solves this problem! With a thoughtful design, there is ample room for multiple cats to scratch and lounge. The curves allow for easier scratching and a comfortable area to play and sleep.

The scratcher is reversible and comprised of superior cardboard construction, so you’ll enjoy twice the use! Included with the scratcher is organic catnip leaf and at 34 “ long by 10.5” wide and 10.5 “ tall there is plenty of space for your cats to spread out and enjoy great exercise and added stress relief. With no assembly required this is an easy and stylish addition to any home.

Best for Multiple Cats
PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
  • Curves allow for easier scratching
  • Enough space for more than one cat
  • Comes with organic catnip leaf
  • No assembly required
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Needs:

Just like humans cats have many needs, interesting quirks, and particular tastes. Some cats love to perch and will find any place they can do so, while others are instead found in a comfy, dark corner. Scratching posts can offer places to not only stretch and promote healthy scratching behavior but also come with cubbies or even hammocks.

Combining both an area to scratch and play, and providing a space to lounge and rest allows for them to mark their territory and create a space they’ll enjoy long into the future. This interest will keep them from releasing their natural urges on your furniture and everyone can live in harmony.

Features:

There are plenty of shapes and sizes of cat scratchers so it’s important to find the right fit to keep your cats entertained and provide ample room for them to stretch and scratch. If you have multiple cats there needs to be enough surface so everyone can scratch comfortably.

Having hanging toys, cat caves, or hammocks, as well as perches provides additional interest to keep them entertained. Consider a scratching post that offers more than one place to scratch, or instead, have multiple scratching posts you can place around your house. Whatever you choose you can always draw attention and interest to a  new scratching post by sprinkling catnip on it. 

Material:

Choosing the right material is important not only to ensure you find an option that can last but also because you want to provide a safe and healthy option for your cat to exhibit their natural playful instincts. Scratchers made of recycled cardboard are eco-friendly and are a safe material so your cats can scratch without concern. 

Another good choice is sisal which is a woven, fibrous, and durable option that inspires scratching. Construction consisting of wood, or plush, carpeted bases are important to consider as you want a study option that can withstand frequently scratching and play. You want your cat to be able to stretch fully and the base to stay securely in place. It’s also important to review all materials used in the construction to make certain you’re choosing safe and nontoxic options for your cat.

The Different Types of Cat Scratching Posts: Pros and Cons Compared

When choosing a cat scratching post it’s beneficial to know the various types, sizes, and materials you can choose from. There are scratching posts as part of a cat condo, stand-alone tall scratchers, and flat or low profile scratching posts usually made of cardboard. The scratcher and cat condo will usually include carpeted or plush fabric, along with sisal or cardboard.

The stand-along scratching post may be carpeted or consist of a wooden design and wrapped sisal. Lastly, the low profile or flat scratcher is usually made of cardboard and can be the most affordable option. Besides considering aesthetics it’s important to think about the different uses and environments and consider the pros and cons.

  • Cat Scratching Post and Cat Condo – It will usually include not only one or more scratching posts but also a cat cave, perch, or include features such as handing toys. 
  • Stand-alone Tall Scratchers – An easy and compact option that provides a space for cats to scratch and mark their territory, and keeps their energy directed away from your furniture.
  • Flat or Low Profile Scratching Post – Generally constructed of recycled cardboard and is an affordable and durable choice. 

Cat Scratching Post and Cat Condo

Pros!Cons!
Provides not only a designated area for scratching but also a space for lounging and sleeping.May be larger and take up space.
Promotes frequent use through the variety of features and spaces to mark their territory.Can see greater wear due to frequent use
Allowing them to share the space with other cats comfortably.Can be made of a material such as carpet or polyester and thus be harder to keep clean with multiple cats

Stand-alone Tall Scratching Post 

Pros!Cons!
Simple and effective choiceBeing simple it could be overlooked at first, but using catnip can promote interest and frequent use
Space-saving and easily fits in any roomHaving limited features it may not be frequently used 
Often made of durable material and capable of withstanding frequent use.Some choices are poorly constructed and may be wobbly and prone to tipping over

Flat or Low Profile Scratching Post

Pros!Cons!
A simple and space-saving optionCan be poorly made and fall apart quickly
Often cardboard and durableCan move on smooth surfaces such as hardwood or tile
Provides a space to lounge as well as scratchSize may limit the use

Products For This Review

About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

The Best Scratching Post For Cats FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is a scratching post good for cats?

Yes! Cats are naturally inclined to scratch. They do it while stretching and playing, as well as to mark their territory. Cat claws need regular sharpening which is why cats scratch. They need to shed and remove their worn outer claws and expose new, sharper claws. Providing a designated area such as a scratching post promotes heavy behavior and a place for them to mark. This will also deter them from using items around the house, such as couches or drapery, to scratch instead.

When should I replace my cat’s scratching post?

When it has become frayed and poses the risk of your cat’s claws getting caught in the material. If unsupervised getting a nail caught could cause your cat stress and even injury! FrequentlyiInspecting the quality and condition of your scratching post will ensure you keep your cat safe and they can enjoy countless hours of fun. You can also consider options that have replaceable cardboard refills for easy use.

How tall should a cat scratching post be?

It should allow the cat to fully and comfortably stretch. Remember that all cats prefer a sturdy post that’s not going to move or collapse when being used. Also, some cats prefer to stretch vertically while others enjoy a horizontal stretch instead.  Consider having more than 1 choice to determine your cat’s preference and provide ample opportunities for them to scratch, stretch and mark their territory.

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