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Best Cat Scratching Posts

Updated June 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 14 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 119 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best cat scratching posts

    Last Updated June 2018

    The majority of cats love to scratch things, and nothing can change that fact. But you don't have to resign yourself to shredded drapes and notched baseboards just because you have a kitty in your life. A well-placed cat scratching post or two can offer your furry friend an appropriate place to sharpen her claws without ill consequences.

    The question is, which cat scratching post should you buy? With so many on the market, it can be challenging to determine which would be best for you cat. Wood, sisal rope, free-standing, wall-mounted – you have a few decisions to make if you’re in the market for a scratching post for your feline friend.

    Read on for our full shopping guide, and when you’re ready to make a decision, check the matrix above to learn more about our five favorite cat scratching posts.

    It's preferable to buy a cat scratching post as soon as you bring a new kitty home rather than waiting until she's developed a taste for scratching your furniture.

    Benefits of cat scratching posts

    Before you commit to a purchase, you may want to consider some of the benefits that a cat scratching post has to offer.

    • Happy cat: A scratching post helps satisfy your cat's natural desire to scratch, keeping him happy.

    • Satisfied cat: Scratching posts provide both mental and physical stimulation for your cat. This type of stimulation is especially important if you have an indoor kitty.

    • Healthy cat: When your cat scratches, it helps keep her nails in good shape. This can help her avoid overgrown nails and other nail problems.

    • Comfortable cat: Some scratching posts provide an extra perch or lounging spot for your cat.

    • Preserved furniture: If your cat uses his scratching post, your furniture and other furnishings are less likely incur damage from the activity of his busy paws. Try placing a scratching post next to something you do not want scratched.
    EXPERT TIP

    If you have multiple cats, a focal point where kitties meet and enjoy quality time together can be great. A scratching post can encourage bonding between your feline friends.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Cats who spend a lot of time outdoors may favor wood scratching posts for their indoor time, since they’re used to scratching wood objects like trees and fence posts.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    You might like a particular scratching post, but if your kitty isn't interested, it's worthless. Check the return policy for your chosen scratching post, in case you have to return it.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    What cat scratching posts are made of

    Should you get a cat scratching post made of wood, sisal rope, or carpet? Below, we consider the pros and cons of some of the most popular materials for cat scratching posts.

    Wood

    • Pros: Wood is an attractive material, and scratching posts made of wood tend to be durable, sturdy, and stable. Tip-overs are less likely to be an issue with a wood scratching posts.

    • Cons: Posts made of wood tend to cost more than posts made of other materials, and not all kitties relish the idea of scratching wood.

    • Price: Wood scratching posts can cost anywhere from $30 to $80.

    Sisal rope

    • Pros: Cat scratching posts with sisal rope tend to affordable. What’s more, the texture of the sisal pulls back the nail sheath in a way that wears down the nail more effectively.

    • Cons: Sisal scratching posts begin to look ragged after some regular use. You can help neaten the appearance by occasionally trimming the tatters.

    • Price: Scratching posts with sisal rope tend to cost between $15 and $50.

    Carpet

    • Pros: Cat scratching posts with carpet are readily available and usually fairly inexpensive. Some cats just love sinking their claws into a carpeted scratching post.

    • Cons: Carpeted scratching posts are not always effective at keeping a kitty’s nails short. Furthermore, a cat may have trouble distinguishing between the carpet on her scratching post and the carpet on the floor, which could ultimately lead to problems with inappropriate scratching.

    • Price: Carpeted cat scratching posts tend to cost between $10 and $30.
    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Make sure the carpet on your cat's scratching post isn't looped. If it is, your cat could snag her claws and damage them.

    Factors to consider when choosing a cat scratching post

    Size

    How much room do you have for a cat scratching post? The majority are fairly compact, so you probably don’t need to worry if your space is small. Still, it helps to think about the height of the scratching post and how much floor space it will need.

    We recommend a scratching post that's at least 1.5 times the length of your cat so she has ample room to stretch while scratching.

    Shape

    Traditional cat scratching posts are, well, post-shaped, but you can find them in a range of shapes, too. Some extend outward rather than upward so your cat can also use it as a lounging space. Some are square or triangular in shape with a hollow middle that gives your cat a number of scratching surfaces to choose from. There's no right or wrong shape for a cat scratching post; we advise you to simply pick the one you like to look of – or the one you think your feline friend would enjoy scratching the most.

    Cat scratching posts should be made from completely non-toxic materials, so most painted wood is a big no, unless it's specifically labelled as non-toxic.

    Stability

    It's important that your chosen cat scratching post is stable and won't tip over if your kitty gets enthusiastic with her scratching or tries to perch on top. If a scratching post is taller than it is wide, it should have a large, heavy base to boost stability. The last thing you want is for the scratching post to tip over and injure your beloved cat.

    Design

    While most cat scratching posts are fairly basic to look at, you can find all sorts of novelty designs that might appeal to some. We've discovered Hello Kitty scratching posts, dog-shaped scratching posts, and scratch pads that look like laptops, to name a few. If you want something a bit more quirky than the average scratching post, be on the lookout for these kinds of unusual designs – but don't sacrifice function for form.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some scratching posts consist of multiple materials, like exposed wood on part of the post and sisal rope on another part. This type of scratching post gives your cat more scratching options.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    If your sisal rope scratching post gets too badly damaged, you can buy new sisal rope, take off the old stuff, and replace it with new. This will increase the overall longevity of your investment.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    You can find wall-mounted cat scratching posts, which are great if you're worried about stability, want a small streamlined option, or your cat likes to specifically scratch walls.

    Tips

    • Check assembly requirements. Some cat scratching posts come fully assembled, whereas others require assembly at home. If DIY isn't your strong point, make sure your chosen scratching post requires little or no assembly.

    • Think about traction. If you'll be placing your cat’s scratching post on wooden, tile, or laminate flooring, look for one that has rubber feet to prevent slippage.

    • Cardboard is a temporary fix. If you're on a tight budget, consider a cardboard cat scratcher. It won't last forever, but it could be a good temporary solution.

    • Entice with catnip. If your cat doesn't seem interested in her new scratching post at first, try dousing it with some catnip spray to entice her.
    If there is an item of furniture in your home that your cat currently scratches, try placing her new scratching post near it. This will give her an alternative piece in which to sink her claws.

    FAQ

    Q. Where should I place my cat's new scratching post?

    A. The location of your cat's new scratching post could mean the difference between him using it religiously and him flat out ignoring it. If you're replacing an old, worn scratching post, we recommend that you station your new model in the same spot as the old one. It's best to stick with a tried-and-tested location.

    However, if this is your cat's first scratching post or you’re purchasing an extra one, you'll have to think more carefully about where you place it. Cats scratch objects to mark their territory, so kitty will be more likely to use a scratching post located in an area of the house that he frequents and enjoys.

    Q. Should I pick a cat scratching post that can also be used as a cat bed or lounging spot?

    A. Some cat scratching posts are specifically designed so your cat can lie on them when he’s not busy scratching. You can find post-style models that have a bed on the top that are a bit like a mini cat tree. You can also find scratching posts that are wider than they are tall; your cat could potentially lounge atop one of these, as well.

    Whether you choose to get a multi-functional bed/scratching post or not is up to you. If your cat already has a bed and plenty of favorite lounging spots, there's no need to provide an extra one unless you want to. But if you were planning to buy a new cat bed anyway, you might prefer to go for a two-in-one option and save some cash.

    Q. Which type of scratching post do cats like best?

    A. This is a question with no definitive answer. All cats are individuals, and a scratching post that one cat goes bananas for, another cat will completely ignore. You may have an idea of the kind of scratching post your cat would like best, but don't be frustrated if it takes a few false starts to get it right … that's cats for you!

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor