5 Best Cat Scratching Post Picks for Your Feline Friend
by Jessi LarsonWe hope you love the products we've carefully selected to recommend! As an Amazon Associate we earn a small share from qualifying purchases.
There’s no question about it: a cat scratching post is one of the best investments you can make for your pet.
It’s incredibly frustrating to come home to find your carpet, furniture or curtains all scratched up.
Almost every feline parent has had that experience. And the only way to stop your four-legged friend from scratching up your home is to give them something else to scratch.
As a solution, a cat scratching post is a great way to redirect your cat’s urges and keep your furniture intact in the process.
To help you in your search, we’ve rounded up the best cat scratching post picks that will keep your cat engaged for hours.
Best Cat Scratching Post Reviews
Our list of the best cat scratching post options is determined by user reviews from pet owners who’ve purchased the products for their feline friends.
We analyzed ratings and comments to bring you the best options available.
These scratching posts received the highest reviews and are a great solution for a cat’s needs.
Our Best Cat Scratching Post Picks
Without further ado, here are the best cat scratching posts in five different categories.
The best cat scratching post for you may differ from the top pick for another cat parent. It all depends on your unique needs and what your cat prefers.
Best Overall Cat Scratching Post
SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post
This cat scratching post earns our pick for best overall option because it’s simple, well-made and highly functional.
At 32 inches in height, it’s tall enough for a cat to fully extend itself and really stimulate all those back and leg muscles. And with a 16” x 16” base, it’s sturdy enough that tipping and wobbling aren’t a problem. Plus, the fibrous, woven sisal material outperforms carpet in durability and doesn’t snag claws.
Assembly is super-easy with the two included screws, and there’s the option to purchase an attachable perch separately. It comes in two colors as well: beige and gray.
Best Cat Scratching Post for Multiple Cats
PETMAKER Cat Scratching Post Tower with 3 Scratcher Posts
With this great post, cats don’t have to compete for space and you get three times the durability. If you have more than one cat, this is the best option for you.
Sisal rope surfaces on the towers enable healthy scratching, and a carpeted base and perch provide horizontal scratching surfaces and places to rest.
To add to the fun, PETMAKER includes dangling toys to help keep cats active and interested. The sturdiness alleviates worries about tipping and wobbling, and even though it’s designed for multiple cats, this post doesn’t take up much space and nicely complements your interior decor.
Best Wall-Mounted Scratching Post
4Claws Wall Mounted Scratching Post
How about a scratching post that your cat will love, saves space, and is even friendly to the environment? This one’s for you!
Tall enough to accommodate all scratching and stretching needs, this post is easy to mount against a wall anywhere in the home, and it provides exceptional sturdiness thanks to the included easy-to-use, no-mess adhesive stainless steel mounting hooks.
Made from recycled cardboard, it’s an excellent scratching surface, and the post itself is 100% recyclable when your cat’s ready for a new one!
Best Horizontal Cat Scratching Post
Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Scratch Pad
The scratching surface on this post closely mimics tree bark, which is a cat’s favorite scratching surface in the wild. Both sides are made from heavy-duty recycled corrugated cardboard, doubling the lifespan of this product.
The simple design requires no setup and makes it easy to put anywhere. And when your cat’s not playing on it, this pad serves as a cozy place to rest.
Coching even offers this pad in three sizes and stands behind its product with a 6-month warranty.
Most Innovative Cat Scratching Post
PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post
Available in two sizes, customers give this unique post high marks for sturdiness, stability, thickness and durability.
With both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces and an interior area for a cat to hang out, this product serves multiple needs at once.
Since it’s made from recycled cardboard, which cats love the feel of because it’s more like tree bark, cats get hours and hours of exercise and fun with this post. A six-month warranty gives you confidence in this products quality and your cat’s enjoyment of it.
Bonus: Fun Cat Scratching Posts
As an added bonus, if you want to add a little fun to your home, check out these cool cat scratching posts.
The unique designs are packed full of personality and character – just like your cat.
These designs will certainly serve as a conversation starter, and best of all, your cat have ample opportunity to scratch.
Why Do Cats Need Scratching Posts?
The next time your cat starts scratching away at the side of the couch and gives you a nonchalant, impertinent look as you rush to scold them, stop and consider that they’re not just doing it to irritate you.
(Okay, you can never rule that out as a partial motive, but give the benefit of the doubt here!)
In actuality, a cat has an real need to scratch things, and that’s why your cat needs a scratching post. Here’s why.
Why Cats Scratch
Why do cats scratch? It’s instinctual. Cats are predators by nature, and they rely on their claws to catch things and to defend themselves.
Scratching objects helps cats keep their claws well groomed by removing the outer layer and debris. In short, it helps them keep their claws neat, clean and sharp.
There are other reasons for scratching as well. For instance, scratching helps cats feel good because it’s a way of stretching their legs and back, just as we sometimes need a good stretch as a quick, reliable pick-me-up.
It’s also a way to release stress or just to have a little fun. Yes, sometimes it’s as simple as the fact that they like it!
But back to those instincts. When cats scratch objects, it’s a mechanism for marking their territory. The visual marks they leave behind convey a message to other cats, as do the scent glands in their paws.
Unfortunately, it’s not so wonderful when your cat exercises its primeval instincts on your living-room couch or your expensive rug. That’s why you need a good scratching post, otherwise, the scratching can actually be bad for your cat.
How Scratching Can Be Dangerous to Cats
Scratching in and of itself is not a threat to cats except in the rare instances they may get a claw really stuck in something. Actually, it’s our reactions to the scratching that can be bad for them. Consider each of the following situations.
Some people will use punishment as a way to get the cat to stop scratching furniture, carpets, sheets and the like. This is a terrible idea for a number of reasons.
First, punishment rarely works with cats because they do not associate the punishment with whatever it is they have done. So it’s just punishment, and the negative behavior is almost certain to continue and possibly get worse.
Moreover, it instills fear and confusion in the cat, and in some cases, there is real physical harm suffered.
As an answer to scratching problems, people may put the cat outside so that it becomes mostly or entirely an outdoor cat. While many cats love being outdoors, it puts them at higher risk of contracting a serious disease, becoming lost, or getting injured or killed.
Unfortunately, predators, cars and even cruel people take a terrible toll on cats every year. As a caring cat owner, you certainly don’t want to put your feline friend in harm’s way.
Another “answer” to scratching is declawing a cat. Many vets and animal-rights advocates strongly discourage declawing on the grounds that it is painful and cruel. In fact, some vets won’t even perform the service at all.
Declawing is not merely removing claws, it’s amputating all 10 front digits in their paws up to the first joint.
This can change character and behavior, and it also leaves a cat defenseless outside because it cannot use its claws to fight back against an assailant or to climb a tree to escape.
Yet others give up and leave the cat at a shelter. If it’s a kill shelter, there’s a good chance the cat will end up being put down, as cats suffer from lower adoption rates than dogs do, and many shelters give them as little as a week.
Even if it’s a no-kill shelter, the experience can still be traumatizing for the cat.
So again, it’s incredibly important to get a good scratching post for your cat and a much better solution all around.
How To Pick the Right Scratching Post for Your Cat
There are a lot of scratching posts on the market. How do you pick the right one?
Ultimately, here are the basic things to look for in a good scratching post.
When they scratch, cats often stand on their rear legs and fully extend their front ones. This is why you need a post that can accommodate that at the very least.
Since your cat will never allow you to measure its extended length, go with at least 32” in height as a general rule of thumb.
Flimsy posts wobble, and cats won’t use them. That sturdiness allows them to get the most out of their scratching exercise.
Unfortunately, if the post isn’t up to it, they’ll happily use your couch as an alternative, which you certainly don’t want.
It’s also a safety issue. A wobbly post can tip over and injure a cat!
Durability is the companion to sturdiness. You want thickness and materials that can last, as a cat can wear down a cheap scratching post really quickly.
A good scratching post should have at least one vertical scratching surface and one horizontal one. This allows them to utilize different positions and work different muscles.
You could also go with a cat tree that incorporates perches, “rooms,” and other features that add variety. Check out our 7 best cat tree picks.
Even more bonus points if the post is tall enough and sturdy enough to have platforms that allow cats to look out windows. (And a bird feeder outside the window will keep them occupied and your furniture happy!)
Cats also like surfaces with different feels. Cardboard and certain types of rope are popular because they are easy to grip and shred. If the surface frustrates the cat’s efforts to scratch, the cat will have no qualms about shredding your favorite curtains instead.
Some pet experts offer caution about posts with a lot of carpeting, however. While carpeting makes a great scratching surface, some cats may decide other carpeting in the home is fair game as well.
Final Thoughts: Best Cat Scratching Post
The best cat scratching post for your pet ultimately depends on the needs of your cat, the space you’re working with and how many other felines are in your home.
Not everyone has room for an extra large scratching post, or you may not want to completely clutter the area. At the very least, however, check out a smaller post so your cat has something to scratch. After all, it’s their animal instinct.
A cat scratching post will keep your cat occupied and help their health. And best of all, it’ll distract them from destroying your house. It’s truly a win-win!