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The 15 Best Cat Scratching Posts

Clawing is a necessity for cats, not a pastime.

According to the ASPCA, cats scratch not because they are malicious and want to destroy your furniture, but because it helps them keep their claws manicured, mark their territory, and stretch and play.

While you don't want to discourage cats from scratching and clawing, you do want to make sure this behavior is directed at a durable material—rather than, say, your couch—for the sake of your furniture.

This is where scratching posts come in handy. We found the best options for your home, whether you have a kitten, a senior cat, a super-scratcher, or a casual manicurist.

Here are the best cat scratching posts on the market that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommends.


SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post is the overall winner



This simple and incredibly sturdy scratching post will be a hit with your cat.

It is tall enough for cats to stretch themselves out and claw at the sisal fabric. This post is quite durable and well-designed; it should last for several years.

When it first arrives, you’ll need to insert dowels into the holes and attach the base to the scratch post, but no power tools are required.

This scratching post’s base is fairly wide (it’s 16 x 16 inches)—this is important because it helps to keep the post in place, preventing it from slipping across the floor or toppling over when your cat begins to use it.


Catit Cat Scratcher Board with Catnip is the most affordable option



Some cats prefer to knead and claw while standing or lying down rather than stretch up to scratch at a post.

This low-cost scratcher is ideal for those cats. It even includes a packet of catnip to help cats become interested in and interact with the new piece of furniture.

This scratcher has a corrugated cardboard surface for your cat’s claws to dig into. Because it’s lightweight, it may move around on the floor as cats claw at it, but it’s strong enough to support the weight of larger cats.

It’s worth noting that once your cat has scratched one side through, you can flip it over so your cat can scratch the other side as well. (This is also an excellent time to add more catnip!)


Trixie Pet Products are the best for older cats. Playground for Senior Cats Elsa



This plush and comfortable scratcher doubles as a playground for senior cats, allowing them to climb, relax, or lounge around. Yes, there are clawing opportunities as well, thanks to the jute- and sisal-wrapped posts.

The stairs on this playground are important because jumping may become impossible for older cats. Climbing the stairs, on the other hand, is a manageable task, even for cats with sore joints.

This option will necessitate some assembly; for the best and easiest results, build from the top (aka the captain’s perch) downward.


Sofa-Scratcher Cat Scratching Post is the best for furniture



Nothing beats getting a new piece of furniture. When you have cats, however, you don’t just have to worry about spilled wine on the couch or other wear and tear.

Cats frequently view the legs of couches, chairs, and other furniture as an excellent opportunity to use their claws. By affixing this scratching post, you can keep your furniture safe.

It’s simple to install on your couch: simply place the base, which is very thin, under the leg of your furniture to keep it stable.

The cat scratcher is made of sisal, which your cat will prefer to scratch over sofa and furniture legs.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Cat Scratching Post


Scratching posts for cats come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The ideal build for you will be determined by your available space as well as the size of your feline companion.

If you have more than one cat, you may want a larger one (with more scratching and playing options), but if space is limited, smaller models may be a good fit.


While some cat scratching posts only provide scratching, others provide much more, such as places to lounge and climb, as well as attached toys for entertainment.

Consider your cat’s personality as well as the size of the post when deciding whether you want a basic model, a maxed-out model, or something in between.


Because the cat scratching post will be a permanent fixture in your home, you want it to complement your décor — or, at the very least, not stand out in an unflattering way.

Scratching posts, on the other hand, come in a wide range of styles, so with a little searching, you’re sure to find one that suits both you and your cat.


We want to extend our profound gratitude for the fact that you have read thus far.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has created this page in the hopes that it will assist you in selecting the best cat scratching posts for your kittie.


What size should a cat scratcher have?

You should buy a cat scratcher that is large enough to accommodate your cat’s reach. The length of a horizontal cat scratcher should be at least 18 inches.

A vertical scratcher should ideally be 30 to 32 inches tall, allowing your cat to stand on their hind legs and stretch (all of our picks are this tall).

If you can’t find one that meets this criterion, look for a vertical cat scratcher that is at least 25 inches tall and stable enough not to tip over while in use.

How do you choose the best scratching post for your cat?

Before purchasing a cat scratcher, always observe your cat’s behavior because the best cat scratcher is the one that your cat will actually use.

If your cat scratches the living room rug, for example, consider purchasing a carpeted cat scratching post rather than one with sisal rope.

Also, make sure the scratcher is large enough for your cat to stretch out fully—at least 18 inches long for horizontal scratchers and 25 inches tall for vertical scratchers.

What is the most appropriate material for a cat scratcher?

The best material for a cat scratcher is something natural, such as sisal rope, that is undyed so that it does not irritate your cat’s scent-sensitive nose.

However, if you notice that your cat will not scratch a sisal rope cat scratcher, choose materials that you already know they like.

After all, the best material for a cat scratcher is ultimately whatever your cat uses.

Do cats enjoy scratching cardboard?

Yes, because the material is pliable and feels good under their paws, most cats are drawn to cardboard scratchers. It’s also less dense than other scratcher materials, such as sisal rope, so your cat’s claws are unlikely to become entangled in it.

What is the optimal number of scratching posts for a cat?

If your cat’s scratcher is worn or the only scratcher in the house, he or she may lose interest quickly. Move the scratcher around the house to keep your cat entertained.

Better yet, cats enjoy variety, so buy several scratchers in different styles and shapes (made of their favorite materials) and place them in different rooms.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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