10 Best Scratching Posts | March 2017

We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Cats and kittens are lovely - until they start tearing up your furniture! Keep those claws occupied in a more home-friendly manner with one of these scratching posts. Skip to the best scratching post on Amazon.
10 Best Scratching Posts | March 2017

Overall Rank: 2
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
The 73" BestPet Condo is the ultimate playground for multiple feline friends. It features both a large and small house with dual entrances, perfect for multi-cat enjoyment, and, of course, for lots of cat naps.
The sturdy yet soothing PetStages 392 is made in a clever X-design that offers support for naps and resistance during clawing. It can simply be flipped over after the top is scratched out for a brand new scratch surface.
The creative vertical design of the PetFusion PF-CLM2 provides both an easy scratching area and also features a cubby hole perfect for feline exploration and plenty of play. Of course, usually they'll just crawl in and fall asleep.
The budget-friendly SmartCat Bootsie's Combination offers versatility for your finicky feline. It can be easily mounted to the wall or simply laid flat on the floor, thanks to its built-in rubber nonslip "feet."
  • high quality woven sisal doesn't shed
  • provides ample space even for tall cats
  • only suitable for one cat at a time
Brand SmartCat
Model 3831
Weight 5.4 pounds
Provide a healthy outlet for your feline's scratching desire with the Trixie Baza Cat Tree, which comes with an ultra-plush hammock-style lounging area perfect for those all-important, post-exercise catnaps.
  • metal rim gives hammock added support
  • includes dangling pom pom toy for fun
  • suitable for all ages and sizes of cats
Brand TRIXIE Pet Products
Model 44541
Weight 8.5 pounds
The natural coconut fiber United Pets Ultimate Cat Scratching post will please cats and owners alike with its adjustable under-the-table design, which also includes a ball for added entertainment and exercise.
  • withstands even hard pouncing attacks
  • can quickly be moved from table to table
  • great for smaller living spaces
Brand United Pets
Model 2074498
Weight 2.1 pounds
The Feline Nuvo Grand Forte scratching post features ultra-soft brown faux fur trim around a hefty natural sisal post that's compact and basic, but ideal for the claw-related needs of large cats or for multiple felines.
  • plush fur easily wipes clean
  • stands over 36" with large, stable base
  • easy to assemble and disassemble
Brand MidWest Homes for Pets
Model 135F-BR
Weight 22.2 pounds
The reversible PetFusion Ultimate Lounge PF-CL1 boasts a beautiful curved design that makes for easier scratching when felines are feeling frisky, while the curvature means a more comfortable place to rest when the session ends.
  • large surface area suits multiple cats
  • 2015 eco-excellence award winner
  • includes premium usa organic catnip
Brand PetFusion
Model PF-CL1
Weight 9.8 pounds
The extra tall 32" high SmartCat Ultimate allows a full vertical stretch even for larger cats, meaning more toning for your house cat's oft under-used muscles, even as they keep their claws trimmed and their territory marked.
  • will stand up to years of scratching
  • neutral color fits any decor
  • simple and effective design
Brand SmartCat
Model 3832
Weight 20.4 pounds
The premium handmade Molly and Friends Cradle features a sturdy upright sisal rope post that can be clawed or climbed up, offering access to the comfortable U-shaped bed at the unit's peak. This tree/post combo gets great reviews.
  • large rest area can fit any size of cat
  • solid construction won't tip over
  • zero assembly required
Brand Molly and Friends
Model Scr/c
Weight 29.2 pounds

Save Your Stuff From The Scratch

If I had a nickel for all of the couch and chair arms, pant and table legs, vinyl record sleeves, cabinet corners, suitcases, and mattresses that my cats have clawed to shreds over the years, I could buy scratching posts for all of your cats. I might even have done it, too, if somebody had been around to give me all those nickels.

The fact of the matter is that cats love to destroy your stuff with their little razor blades, and if you don't give them some alternative outlet for their aggression, you're going to have to spend a lot of money replacing things. Or, you could get your cats declawed. If you do that, though, I'm probably going to come after you.

How exactly is it that these posts are designed to work? Well, the first thing that manufacturers look for when designing a scratching post is a good material. Cats need to feel their claws digging into something, and that something can't just disintegrate after a week or two of use, otherwise you're quickly going to jump brands to something more durable. Most scratching posts are made of tightly woven carpet material or sisal, an incredibly durable fiber derived from cacti.

You'll also notice that some of the scratching posts on our list include perches for your cat to post up and survey his or her territory. These are invaluable ways to increase the vertical space for an indoor cat who doesn't have a lot of horizontal room to play.

To keep the scratching posts on our list from tipping over from the force of the clawing and the pushing and pulling of your cat's weight against them, manufacturers either use wide, weighted bases or overall shapes like a triangle that will naturally increase stability.

Scratching Your Cat's Itch

Your cat is definitely a unique creature with his or her own preferences and personality traits. To imply otherwise would be a foolhardy insult. Equally undeniable, however, is that your cat is a member of the cat family, and cats share traits that make a large quantity of scratching posts satisfying for all breeds and personalities.

With that in mind, the first thing you should consider when evaluating the scratching posts on our list is the overall footprint of each unit. I've lived with cats in pretty small apartments, and I've lived with cats in pretty big houses. In smaller places, giant, towering scratching posts become the only thing anyone sees in a living space.

If you don't want your cat ownership to imply or result in the kind of loneliness often humorously associated with so-called cat people, it'd be a good idea to balance the size of the scratching post you select against the size of your space.

Once you get a sense of the appropriate size scratching post for your home, you can start to think about your cat's behavior and try to make a choice with that in mind. If your cat's a big climber, a multi-tiered scratching post might be the way to go. Be careful, though. If you've done a good job teaching this climber how to keep off of the furniture or the table tops, the freedom a tall scratching post provides might just break their training.

If you have what I like to call a "floor model" cat, one who prefers sprawling out on the ground over reigning high above it, you're probably better off with a lower-profile scratching post. Not only will it satisfy your cat's need to scratch, but it'll also keep itself neatly out of the way. The one downside to these is that they don't provide your cat the opportunity to stretch and elongate their bodies in tandem with the act of scratching, which is preferable for a cat's physical and psychological experience.

Domestic Bliss; Instinctive Behavior

At least 12,000 years ago, as human beings began to develop agrarian cultures in the Fertile Crescent, the wild cat began its long, slow haul toward domestication. It was a symbiotic relationship: farmers stored grain that attracted mice; wild cats came, moved themselves in, and ate the mice.

In the wild, cats lived in the trees, sleeping in high perches and climbing all over the place. In order for them to maintain a solid grip in the bark of their natural habitat, they developed strong, sharp claws. In part to keep these claws sharp, and in part to strengthen their beds, cats naturally developed the tendency to scratch.

Even millennia later, as the more docile breeds of cat outlived and out-evolved their more feral brethren, the domesticated cat still prefers high perches. It also still feels that instinctive urge to scratch, to strengthen its claws for a climb that it'll likely never have to make.

Still, that urge to scratch, often accompanied by a slow, luxurious stretching, remains as a preparation ritual before a would-be hunt. These are carnivores, remember, and many of them still kill birds and mice in the wild. For indoor cats without the opportunity to track and kill live prey, these devices have become even more important, as carpeted surfaces and hardwood floors provide next to no natural wear on a cat's claws, allowing them to grow to uncomfortable lengths if you don't regularly whip out the cat's nail clippers, an event they don't tend to enjoy.

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Last updated: 03/26/2017 | Authorship Information