Best cat scratching posts 2024 to keep your furniture safe

Cat scratching a post
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Cats love to scratch, and if you don’t want them ruining your furniture, carpets, and even walls then you should invest in one of the best cat scratching posts. Simply place one near where your kitty is currently scratching and they’ll almost certainly start using it and stop scratching your house to pieces.

But why do cats scratch the wall and furniture? Cats scratch for a variety of reasons; to stretch out their muscles, sharpen their claws, to mark their territory, and even just because they’re bored or they want to get your attention. As a recent study in Animals puts it, this is a “self-motivated and natural behavior” for them, and one you want to encourage, but not at the cost of your lovely new sofa. We’ve got a full article on how to keep cats from scratching furniture, but the short answer is to give them an alternative target that is more enjoyable to scratch. Keeping them entertained with the best interactive cat toys is one option, but nothing beats a scratching post.

A scratching post will be better for your cat in the long run too, as they’re much more effective at sharpening their nails than your soft fluffy carpet or comfy sofa will be. They’re typically made of tougher materials like jute and sisal, which are similar in toughness to a tree trunk that a cat would scratch in nature. You can also consider the best cat trees if you have enough space for them in your home, as they offer climbing opportunities alongside a scratching surface.

But what should you look out for in the best cat scratching posts? Whether you’re going simple or extravagant, you want to choose a cat scratching post with a heavy, stable base so that it won’t move around or topple over while your cat is using it. Beyond that, there are lots of different types to choose from varying in size and complexity. There are space-saving models for cat owners in apartments, wall-mounted scratching posts, and even some with toys built-in to help keep your furry friends entertained.

Dr Joanna Woodnutt BVM BVS BVMedSci MRCVS
Dr Joanna Woodnutt

Dr Joanna Woodnutt qualified as a veterinarian from the University of Nottingham where she then went on to practice companion animal medicine in the Midlands. She really took to the consulting side of things and helping clients with medical problems such as dermatology, behaviour and nutrition - anything that involved helping clients understand their pets better.

PetsRadar's pick of the best cat scratching posts

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SmartCat Pioneer Ultimate Cat Scratching Post

(Image credit: Amazon)

SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post

Best overall cat scratching post

Specifications

Dimensions: 16” x 16” x 32”
Material: Wood & Sisal
Weight: 15.8lbs/7.2kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Provides an outstanding stretch
+
Sturdy and durable
+
Easy to assemble

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

With pet parents awarding this scratching post a solid 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, it’s clear there’s a lot to love. Buyers praise the sturdiness of this post and how durable and easy to set up it is, but many do say that they wish it was more stylish in appearance. 

When is a cat scratching post not just another cat scratching post? When it’s a SmartCat scratching post. With thousands of five-star reviews across multiple retailers, pet parents are in love with this product and it’s not hard to see why.

This 32-inch post is tall enough to allow big cats such as Maine Coons to fully extend their bodies and stretch their muscles while scratching. It also has a sturdy 16 x 16in base that stops the post from tipping over.

Made from woven sisal, this fibrous and durable material encourages scratching and files nails without snagging them. Sisal is a great choice when selecting a scratcher because it is strong and tough and gives a similar scratching experience to tree bark, which cats love. It also shreds cleanly and won’t get sharp and prickly as it wears.

You’ll also love how quick and easy it is to assemble because if you’re anything like us, the last thing you want on your precious weekend is a DIY-induced headache. Simply attach the post to the base using the two provided screws and you’re good to go.

While it may be at the more expensive end of the price spectrum, it’s one of the most durable scratching posts around with many reviewers claiming that theirs is still going strong after five years. So, while there’s a bit more of an initial outlay, the quality and durability of this product make it a clear winner for us and we’re pretty sure your kitty will love it too.

Amazon Basics Cat Scratching Post

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Basics Cat Scratching Post

Best budget cat scratching post

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.75" x 15.75" x 31.5"
Material: Wood and Jute
Weight: 4.6lbs/2.1kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Comes with a ball toy
+
Good quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be wobbly when used by large cats
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

Awarding this product 4.6 out of five stars on Amazon, cat owners love the mix of affordability and quality that this scratching post offers, praising the value for money. However, some reviewers mention that it can be wobbly and easy to tip over.

If you're looking for an affordable way to keep your kitty's claws in tip-top condition, then look no further than this durable scratcher from the Amazon Basics range. Measuring 15.75"L x 15.75"W x 31.5"H, it's ideal for small to medium-sized cats and has a sturdy base that prevents the structure from tipping over when in use.

Featuring a single pillar scratching post with a replaceable dangle toy, this model offers a great 2 in 1 design that's ideal if you're wanting to cut down on the number of playthings your feline friend currently has scattered all about the house. 

The natural jute fiber offers a superior nail-sharpening surface that will provide a satisfying scratch for your kitty's claws, making it a brilliant solution for redirecting your kitty's claws away from your carpets and furniture. 

Due to its size, this scratcher is best suited for small to medium-sized breeds. You may also find that the jute on the post requires replacing every 12 months or so, but other than those two slight drawbacks this is a superior cat scratching post at a bargain price. 

PAWZ Road Cat Scratching Post and PadPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

PAWZ Road Cat Scratching Post and Pad

Best for kittens

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.7" x 12.4" x 6.3"
Material: Particle boards, carpet, sisal
Weight: 3lbs/1.4kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Space saving design
+
Sturdy
+
Easy assembly

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too small for large cats
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

Reviewers note that this scratching post is easy to assemble, sturdy, and a huge hit with their cats who love that it also comes with a bed and toy. While they’ve awarded it 4.3 out of five stars on Amazon, buyers do feel it’s a little on the small side.

If you've just welcomed a new bundle of feline fur into your home you might be wondering what kind of scratching post would suit a young kitten - so we've found just the thing!

This PAWZ Road Cat Scratching Post and Pad is ideal for tiny claws thanks to its horizontal design which makes it a lot easier for your kitten to start learning appropriate scratching behavior. 

It has a great space-saving design, measuring just 15.7" x 12.4" x 6.3", so you'll still have plenty of room for your new furkid's bed and toys. The fully wrapped scratching post and board and the soft carpet surrounds offer a variety of different surfaces for your kitty to sink their claws into.

We love that this post also comes with a fuzzy plush spring ball that your kitten can bat back and forth, tapping into their natural instinct to stalk and pounce. It's easy to construct too, requiring only minor assembly. 

Sofa-Scratcher Cat Scratching Post

(Image credit: Amazon)

Sofa-Scratcher Cat Scratching Post

Best for protecting furniture

Specifications

Dimensions: 24” x 10” x 10”
Material: Sisal
Weight: 6.8lbs/3.1kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Range of colors to choose from
+
Durable
+
Easy to attach

Reasons to avoid

-
Can detach from the sofa
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

With 4.4 out of five stars on Amazon, cat owners love the space-saving design of this scratcher and how it’s saved their sofas from being destroyed. However, while people highly recommend it for its look, feel, and durability, they do note that it can detach from the sofa with vigorous scratching. 

If your moggy’s daily mission seems to be to tear your sofa to shreds then this cat scratching post from Sofa-Scratcher could be the perfect solution. Contoured and covered in sisal, the panel design will fit the corners of most sofas and keep them protected from your cat’s claws.

Cats have a tendency to attack sofa corners, so this is a great way to encourage healthy and positive scratching behavior in a location they’re already familiar with. You’ll love how quick and easy the installation process is too. Simply screw the panel into the base and slide under the sofa leg to anchor the scratcher in place.

Attractive and modern looking, the Sofa-Scratcher comes in a choice of six colors for seamless blending and the felt backing will protect your furniture. Durability is good, with the heavy-duty half-inch thick fiber core holding up well under heavy scratching. It’s also a great space-saver and means you don’t have to clutter up your living area with bulky scratching posts.

The one thing to be mindful of is the stability of this product. It must be placed under the sofa leg to avoid it tipping over as simply sliding it under the sofa between the legs won’t hold it in place. That small issue aside, though, this is a great investment that will save the sides of your sofa.

PEEKAB Cat Scratching Post with Cat Tracks ToyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

PEEKAB Cat Scratching Post with Cat Tracks Toy

Best cat scratching post with toys

Specifications

Dimensions: 16" x 12" x 25"
Material: Sisal
Weight: 6.8lbs/3.1kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Comes with toys
+
Easy to assemble

Reasons to avoid

-
Balls may come loose from their track
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

Buyers describe this product as being the ‘cat's meow’ and love that it has everything their cat needs to keep them happy. While they’ve awarded it 4.4 stars on Amazon because their feline friends adore it, people do say that they wish it were a little more sturdy and durable. 

Fancy getting a little more bang for your buck? Then this cat scratching post with cat tracks toy has got you and your kitty covered. This affordable scratcher tree features a 25-inch scratching post made with thick cardboard tubing and wrapped in natural sisal for an effective and satisfying scratch.

At the top of the post is a ball toy attached with a rotating arm so your cat can bat the ball back and forth around the post. At the bottom is a trackball toy that will provide hours of physical and mental enrichment, great for days when you’re not able to be at home with your furkid.

The unit comes in plush eco-friendly material and has a quick and simple screw-together design that makes assembly a breeze. Suitable for cats up to 12 pounds, this cat scratching post with cat toys and perch ticks all the boxes. 

PetFusion Ultimate Cat Lounge scratching post

(Image credit: Amazon)

PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge

Best eco-friendly cat scratching post

Specifications

Dimensions: 34” x 10.5” x 10.5”
Material: Cardboard
Weight: 7.4lbs/3.4kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Dual function
+
Reversible for twice the use
+
Stylish design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

With an impressive 4.8 stars out of five on Amazon, pet parents describe this product as ‘money well spent’, praising its beautiful design and outstanding quality. The only drawback appears to be the price, with people saying it’s very expensive given it’s made from cardboard. 

Scratching posts don’t come more luxurious than this sleek and modern sculpture-like offering from PetFusion. It's so stylish it could almost pass for a coffee table if it weren’t for the fact that your cat will likely spend most of the day lounging on it.  And while it may look like a delicate piece of artwork, don’t be fooled. This scratcher can withstand even the most vigorous of claw attacks.

Available in cloud white, slate gray, and walnut brown, the scratcher is made from premium recycled cardboard that offers outstanding durability and can be flipped over when one side gets worn, providing excellent value for money. The natural curves are perfect for scratching and sleeping on, and the large surface area makes this a great choice for cats of all sizes.

You’ll love that this dual function scratcher and lounge comes with a six-month warranty, so if there are any manufacturing issues or you’re simply not happy with it, you can claim a refund. It’s also the proud winner of the 2015 Eco-Excellence award thanks to PetFusion’s commitment to using non-toxic and recyclable materials.

Admittedly, this scratcher isn’t ideal for small spaces, so if you live in an apartment you might want to look at other options and cardboard can require more cleaning up than a scratcher that uses sisal. But, overall, we think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks with this being a great scratching post for exercise, stress relief, and keeping your kitty’s claws healthy.

 

PETMAKER triple cat scratching postPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

PETMAKER 3 Scratching Posts Collection

Best for multi-cat households

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.75" x 15.75" x 19.25"
Material: MDF, Sisal Rope, Polyester
Weight: 9lbs/4.1kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Three scratching posts
+
Dangling toys
+
Sturdy and stylish design

Reasons to avoid

-
Toys come loose easily
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

People love that this scratching post also doubles as a side table, so much so that they’ve awarded it 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon. Described as stylish, solid, and fun, the main criticism is around the elastic that holds the toys in place, with buyers wishing it was of a stronger quality. 

If you have more than one cat in the family, then this scratching post collection from PETMAKER is well worth the investment.

Featuring three sisal-wrapped scratching posts, each with its own unique design, this scratching post tower also comes with ball and mouse toys, providing a great all-in-one activity center.

Measuring 15.75 x 15.75 x 19.25 inches, it's ideal for both kittens and cats, and the sturdy design means you don't have to worry about it toppling over. It's also compact and attractive and can be easily vacuumed or spot cleaned as needed.

The one thing worth noting is that the ball toys do have a tendency to come loose, but they can be easily fixed back into place again, so as long as you don't mind a little bit of repair work if your cats get a bit too vigorous with them, this scratching post set is well worth a try.

7 Ruby Road Wall Mounted Cat Scratching PostPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

7 Ruby Road Wall Mounted Cat Scratching Post

Best wall mounted cat scratching post

Specifications

Dimensions: 22" x 5.7" x 0.75"
Material : Wood and sisal
Weight: 2.2lbs/1kg

Reasons to buy

+
Modern and chic design
+
Versatile
+
Provides a great stretch

Reasons to avoid

-
A little lacking in durability
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

This scratching post has received 4.3 out of five stars on Amazon from cat owners who love that this can be mounted and that it looks attractive and natural. However, they do note that while both they and their cats love it, the sisal scratch pad easily comes away from the wooden backing. 

If you're keen to keep your kitty's scratching post off the floor to minimize clutter, then this wall-mounted version is well worth considering. One of the great benefits of this design is that it can be mounted at any height, meaning you can customize it to suit the size of your cat to provide the ultimate stretch.

Made from all-natural and sustainable materials, this wood and sisal scratching board has a simple minimalist design with a neutral color palette that will blend seamlessly into any home.

Unlike freestanding scratching posts, it's nice and stable, so you don't need to worry about it wobbling about or tipping over when your kitty is using it and the natural woven sisal allows your feline friend to scratch in any direction.

Incredibly versatile and easy to set up, it measures 22 x 5.7 x 0.75 inches and comes with installation screws, cat scratcher wall plugs, and rubber feet.

PetnPurr Cat Scratching PostPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: PetnPurr)

PetnPurr Cat Scratching Post

Best for greenery fans

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.7" x 15.7" x 26.5"
Materials: Sisal
Weight: 5.9lbs/2.7kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Functional and fun
+
Comes with a toy
+
Can withstand plenty of enthusiastic scratching

Reasons to avoid

-
On the small side
WHAT CAT OWNERS SAY

Described many times as the ‘cutest cat scratcher ever’, owners love that this model is both functional and fun and describe their feline friends as being ‘obsessed’ with it. The only thing that prevented it from getting more than 4.6 stars on Amazon? The size, with people saying they wish it were bigger. 

Cat scratching posts aren't exactly ugly things but you may still want to hide one away from your view while making sure your kitty remains attracted to it. One way of doing that is by investing in a post that can blend into your home's surroundings. In this case, if you have a nice arrangement of interior plants, you can pop this cactus among them and you'll be effectively hiding it among the greenery.

Even if you decide you don't want to do this, you're going to be buying a post of good quality. It's made from natural sisal so it's going to withstand some enthusiastic scratching and it's also interesting enough to double as a plaything: cats may try and grab the protruding parts at the top or play with the little ball which hangs down from its side. 

In that sense, it's certainly a fun offering. But there are also a good number of practicalities. Not only does it come with a secure base to prevent it from toppling over, but it's also been designed to be quickly and easily assembled. 

Most users also appear to have fallen in love with it with many praising its build although some say it hasn't lasted as long as expected among the more aggressive scratchers.

Best cat scratching posts: FAQs

How to choose the best cat scratching post

There’s nothing more disheartening than investing in a cat scratching post only to see your fussy feline give a haughty flick of the tail and walk straight towards the side of your sofa. So what should you look out for to better the odds of your pet actually making use of it?

Material: Consider what the scratching post is made from. There’s a dizzying array of materials available but what might appeal to you might not appeal to your cat. Sisal fabric is a great option because it’s heavy-duty and shreds under your kitty’s claws in the same way the bark of a tree would. Try to avoid carpet-covered scratching posts, as you’re trying to encourage your cat to go for the scratching post and not your floors, so a different material is best.

Sturdiness: Select a scratching post that’s sturdy and doesn’t wobble or move about. The reason cats like sofas and trees are that they stay stable when scratched which allows them to safely sharpen their claws. Look for posts that have solid bases so they won’t topple over.

Size: Height and layout are important considerations too. Cats tend to favor vertical scratching posts because they allow them to stretch out, but if you’ve ever seen pulls in your carpet then you know they’re not averse to scratching horizontally from time to time either. Providing a tall and flat scratcher can be a great way of covering your bases.

Added features: A cat scratcher with features can be a great investment that keeps your kitty amused for hours. Think multi-level cat trees that offer platforms, fluffy or sisal hanging toys, hammocks, ramps, and poles. Let your cat’s personality guide you as to whether a maxed-out model is the way to go. 

Do cats scratch for attention?

Cats are complex beings, just like us, and they scratch for lots of different reasons. It can be to stretch their muscles, keep their claws sharp, spread their scent, and sometimes, yes, just for attention.

"If you encourage them to scratch by giving them fuss and praising them, they’ll continue to do it." explains Dr. Hannah Godfrey, "But did you know that it’s not just positive attention that can fuel this behavior? If you shout, scold them, or pick them up and move them away, you could still be inadvertently encouraging them."

The key to stopping furniture scratching is to give your kitty a better alternative, which means scratch posts, mats, or trees. From there, it's all about reinforcing the behaviors you want to see, explains Dr Godfrey:

"When they use these items to scratch, praise them and give them a fuss or a treat. If they claw at the furniture, carpet, or somewhere else you’re not so keen on, ignore the behavior. They'll soon make the association that it's better to scratch in those purpose-built places!"

What scratching posts do cats like best?

Different cats seem to like different types of posts but there are some generalities. “Research has shown that most cats prefer a scratching post made of rope/sisal,” explains Woodnutt. “It should be vertical, and tall enough that they can stretch out fully. It should also be stable – they aren’t going to use it if it wobbles when they try!”

But that’s not to say rope/sisal is perfect for all. “Cardboard is preferred by older cats, so it’s worth trying a couple of materials if your cat isn’t enjoying their scratching post,” Woodnutt advises.

One way of figuring what your cat may like is to consider where your pet is currently scratching. “If your cat is scratching furniture, look at what they’re scratching and where – is it a vertical surface or horizontal one? What material is it?,” Woodnutt continues. 

“You can try to replicate this when choosing a scratching post for your cat. Placing a scratching post near where your cat is already scratching will help them use it, too – you can always move it (slowly!) later once your cat reliably uses the post.”

What is the best height for a cat scratching post?

First of all look at your cat! “A scratching post needs to be tall enough that a cat can stretch out fully when using it,” Woodnutt advises. “For most cats, 90cm (36-inches) is plenty, but if your cat is a larger breed you’ll need a larger post. Since posts of this height can be unstable, look for one with a large base or an upper bracket to attach, or one that is part of a cat tree.”

How we selected the best cat scratching posts

When picking the best cat scratching posts, there were several key areas that we chose to focus on.

Quality of materials: Wherever possible, we selected models with sisal scratching posts. Known to offer an outstanding scratching surface for cats, sisal feels good under their claws and is highly durable. We also wanted to include a durable cardboard option with impressive functionality as once again, this provides a superior scratch when compared to other materials, such as carpet. 

Size: Cats tend to favor vertical scratchers that are at least 24 inches high as not only do they get the opportunity to sharpen their claws but a scratcher of this height provides them with a chance to have the kind of big stretch their muscles need. For this reason, we’ve largely focused on vertical scratchers that meet or exceed this requirement with a few shorter options to cater to smaller cats and kittens. 

Scratchable area: We favored models with the greatest amount of scratchable surface area to ensure your cat has plenty of room to sink their claws into. 

Stability: The last thing you want is a scratching post that can be tipped over easily and while that can happen even with the most stable posts if you have a large cat who’s a vigorous scratcher, we’ve chosen models that the majority of reviewers describe as being sturdy.