Cats absolutely love scratching stuff.
Furniture, curtains, carpet, you name it…
They’ll scratch whatever makes them feel good. And this can be super frustrating for cat mommy and daddies.
A scratching post.
But can a scratching post really stop a cat from tearing up your entire house?
The simple answer is yes.
In fact, I recently proved the theory right when my cat Fij started scratching up my new couch in my new apartment.
I needed a new scratch post fast, so I turned to my favorite shopping site (Amazon) and started researching the best cat scratching posts.
I purchased the Trixie Parla (currently sold out) and it arrived the next day, thank you Prime.
It wasn’t long before Fij switched from scratching the leather sofa to her new scratching post, phew!
And while I was at it, I wrote down all the research I did on the top 10 best scratching posts for our little furry friends and I share my findings below.
I hope you find the purrfect one for you.
Top 5 Picks of the Best Cat Scratching Posts
Best 10 Cat Scratching Posts
Scratching posts come in different shapes and sizes but essentially do the same job.
They are usually a vertical post, with some form of rope wrapped around them. They vary in height quite a lot, anything from 1 foot tall to 8 feet tall.
The prices range from $25 up to $50 or sometimes more, and for something longer lasting, you should expect to pay around $45-65.
Cats need a scratching post that will allow them to get a full stretch. Ideally, that should be around 32″ in height, so tall and also the post needs to be very stable to stop it from falling over, which will frighten the cat if that happens. Tall and sturdy is the order of the day!
After getting one of those, just rub in some catnip to interest your cat, and tour scratching problems will soon be over.
Almost every post is made from sisal. Sisal rope works ok but sisal fabric is actually a better option. With the rope version, when your cat scratches the rope, fibers will appear and can be very sharp.
This can stop your cat from using the post. Sisal fabric starts to become softer as it is scratched, and that will encourage even more use. Sisal fabric is more expensive though.
Some posts are made from cardboard and designed to be more environmentally friendly. It isn’t just any ordinary cardboard though. It is rugged cardboard that has been compressed and glued to form a tough substance, that cats really like.
1. SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post – Most Sturdy Cat Scratching Post
- This scratching post is 32 inches high
- It is a tough post that will last, and its length will allow your cat to get a full stretch
- It has a very sturdy 16″ by 16″ base that stops any tipping or wobbling
- The post is made from fibrous, durable sisal that naturally inspires scratching
- Very fast to assemble with just a couple of dowels and a couple of screws through the base (make sure they are tight though)
- This is the highest buyer rated and also the biggest seller online
- This cat post measures: base size 19 x 19″ and 41 inches in height
- This is a good choice for larger cats thanks to the increased height
- This is made from tough natural sisal and has a sturdy base
- The base is covered in a brown faux fur and easily wipes clean from hair or accidents
- Easy to set up using an Allen key which is supplied
- Comes with a 12-month guarantee
3. PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post – Best Design Cat Scratching Post
- Comes in two sizes: Standard and large
- Triangle shape allows your cat to scratch at multiple angles to match your cat’s preferences
- Great for scratching and as a play area
- It is made of recycled cardboard, held together by non-toxic corn starch glue
- Has silicone floor grippers
- Contains Leaf organic catnip
- Has a 6-month warranty
4. AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock – Most Versatile Cat Scratching Post
- Measures: base 19.3 x 19.3″ and a height of 25.6 inches
- This is a single post scratching post for cats with a bed on top and a replaceable dangle toy
- The plush bed provides a cozy space for your pet to relax
- Made from a jute fiber
- Neutral color tones fit in with your home’s existing décor
- It is well made and durable
5. Max & Marlow Tall Sisal Scratch Post – With Cat Toys
- Measures 16.1 x 16.1″ base size and the height is 25.2 inches
- Has a stylish silky fabric cover on the base
- The post is made from sisal
- The base and top are covered in chic yet durable designer fabric
- There is also a hanging bird toy from the top and a spring bird on the base that will provide your cat with something fun to play with
- Stands 30″ tall including the base
6. PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge – Most Unique Design
- Measures 34 x 10.5 x 10.5″ L,W,H
- Not a post, but acts as a scratching piece of furniture cats love to lounge on
- Made of recycled cardboard and held together by non-toxic corn starch glue
- Three available colors
- Saves your furniture as cats prefer the feel of cardboard
- Curves make for easier scratching
- Measures 15.8 x 15.8″ and 35.4″ in height
- A sturdy single scratching post with replaceable dangle toy
- Has a wood base to keep the post from tipping over
- Helps prevent your cat from damaging carpets, furniture, and curtains
- Made from natural jute fiber to help keep nails healthy
- Neutral color tones fit in with your home’s existing décor
- Not really a post, this is more of a small play tower with a hammock on top
- Measures 20.25 x 13.75 x 25.5″
- Ideal for small apartments
- Fold shut for quick and easy storage
- Wrapped in soft plush material and has natural sisal scratching surface
- Comes with a removable cushion inside
- This is a cat tree with multiple scratching posts and tiered platform for cats to climb on
- Has stairs from the bottom tier and a small cubby hole for cats to play and sleep in
- Helps prevents cats from damaging carpets, furniture, and curtains
- Natural jute fiber helps keep cats nails healthy
- Strong and durable
10. Kitty City XL Premium Scratching Post – Woven Sisal Carpet and Fleece Covered Platform
- Measures 17.7″(L) x 17.7″(W) x 32″(H)
- Stable width and extra-tall height, great for big cats
- Has a jingle ball toy that dangles from the top of the post
- Easy assembly with 3 screws, and post conveniently and quickly mounts to the base
- Premium woven sisal carper post with fleece covered platform
General Cat Scratching Information & FAQ’s
Why Do Cats Scratch – Is it Important?
According to the Humane Society in the USA, cats scratch for many reasons:
- to remove the dead outer layer(old nail sheaths) from their claws
- to mark their territory by leaving both a visual mark and a scent
- to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws
- to work off energy
- to exercise and tone their muscles
What Do Cats Like to Scratch?
Most cats will prefer any surface or material with a coarse or textured surface.
Basically, anything they can get their claws into, and your furniture may already have suffered. The majority of cats will stand up against a vertical surface.
However, some cats will be horizontal and stick their rear ends into the air for a stretch.
That is why furniture, wallpaper, cushions, and almost anything that they can dig their nails into, is at risk of being scratched.
The purpose of the post is to get them to use that instead of having a bigger interest in the furnishings in your home.
When Do Cats Scratch the Most?
It is not clearly defined that cats scratch at any particular time. Some limited research has shown they tend to scratch when:
- They wake up from a nap
- They want to mark their territory
- During periods of natural excitement
Those are the most likely times, but cats as you will know are notional and very unpredictable.
Training Your Cat to Use the Scratching Post
All cats will differ in their day to day behavior.
One thing remains a constant though, and that scolding or shouting at a cat is simply a waste of time, after the fact. With any cat, you need to catch them in the act of doing something you don’t want them to do.
Yelling at a cat or hitting a cat will simply mean that they will do their best to avoid you, and it could also end up in peeing incidents, so avoid doing that.
If it is scratching your chair, then clap your hands loudly to get their attention, and then bring them to the scratching post. Scolding your cat only works if you catch them scratching an off-limits object.
Like any form of training, this takes patience, and it may take a few attempts and some time to get them to regularly use a scratching post.
- When starting out with a scratching post, rub some catnip onto the post as that will attract them
- Demonstrate how the post works by scratching your nails along the surface of the post – they should follow what you have done
- Once your cat begins to scratch, praise them and give them a treat
If you are training a kitten, the easiest way is to teach them to climb the post, by showing them food treats and placing those on top of the post.
If your cat has already been scratching something in your home, start off by placing the post right in front of that item. Clearly you are trying to distract them by offering a replacement.
This is not the best solution, but if you can add some strips of double-sided carpet tape or tin foil to the scratched furniture, that will hopefully dissuade them from using it again.
Cat Scratching Post Buyer’s Guide
We always like to provide a buyer’s guide, especially for anyone new to the world of cat ownership.
Below we hope that we have answered all of your questions when it comes to buying the best scratching post for your cat.
How High Should My Cat Scratching Post be to Help My Cat Stretch?
The biggest mistake many cat owners make is to buy a short post.
While that may look neater and less obtrusive in your home, it is not something that cats will tend to use. When cats scratch, they combine that with the act of stretching. That is a full-length stretch, and for that reason a tall post is essential.
Shorter posts will work well enough for small kittens, but not for normal-sized cats.
The Purrfect Post recommends your scratching post to be a minimum of 31 inches tall for best results and stretching capability.
How Many Scratching Posts Should You Have?
How long is a piece of string?
This really depends on your cat’s behavior and also where they are allowed to roam in the house. The purpose of the post is to offer a preferred place for your cat to scratch.
Cats do tend to be lazy, and if there is not a post-close at the end, they will use whatever they find, should the urge to take them.
We would recommend having one wherever your cat tends to roam in the home, and at least one on each level of your home. That could be something like the basement, the ground floor and the upstairs.
Scratching Post Location
A very good location for a post is close to their sleeping spot.
When most cats have had sleep, they like to have a quick stretch. Likewise, some cats get rather excited, when you return home, so have one close to whatever door you enter.
If they sleep upstairs, then have one close to where they sleep.
Should You Declaw Your Cat?
If a cat scratches a lot, there is a tendency to have your cat declawed.
Scratching is a natural and very instinctive behavior for cats. Declawing, also known as an Onychectomy, is the surgical amputation of all or part of a cat’s toe bones and the attached claws, and it is a painful procedure.
A cat’s claw develops from germinal tissue in the bone, and as such, amputation of the bone is necessary to fully remove the claw.
We know that in some medical cases, this procedure is necessary. However, don’t confuse this process as a simple trimming of the nails. It is certainly not that.
There are risks from the surgery as it is done under anesthetic. There can also be complications afterward that include pain, hemorrhage, laceration of paw pads, and swelling, to name but a few.
This practice is popular in North America but is outlawed in many other countries. Long term, cats have lost their first line of defense and that can stress them a lot.
If you do decide to go down this road, we suggest that you try and have the surgery done at the same time they are spayed or neutered.
Ideally, you should only declaw the front paws, and after that, you should always keep your cat indoors.
Do You Need to Use a Scratching Post? – What Alternatives Are There?
As we have mentioned many times in this review, cats will scratch, and cat owners buy a post to stop or prevent them from scratching other objects around the home.
The reason most people buy a scratching post is really for two reasons:
- It is convenient and they work really well
- They look better than the alternatives
However, something like tough rigged cardboard, or a log from a tree does work just as well.
It just doesn’t look the best, and cardboard especially doesn’t last very long and can leave a bit of a mess. Many people use logs as they are easy to replace.
A word of warning when using logs is a risk of splinters, and you need to be very sure that the wood has not been treated with anything as this can be harmful to your cat’s health.
Steve is a blogger with an unhealthy cat obsession. He enjoys reading non-fiction books, cooking and cuddles with his cat Fij.