Best cat scratching posts: Keep kitty claws off your furniture

Best cat scratching posts
(Image credit: Getty)

A must-have item if you have a feline friend who loves sinking their claws into your furniture, the best cat scratching posts can help save both your couch and your sanity. While you can absolutely make your own DIY scratching post, if you're anything like us and weren't hit with the creativity stick, then this guide is for you.

While having your kitty scratching all over your home can be super annoying, it's worth remembering that your beloved bundle of fluff isn't deliberately trying to upset you. Scratching is a natural behavior that's wired into a cats DNA and it's necessary for them to scratch regularly to help keep their nails healthy and at an appropriate length.

That being said, you want them partaking in their daily claw sharpening ritual in an appropriate location, which is where a cat scratcher can be a real lifesaver. Before you rush out and buy one though, it's worth bearing a few things in mind.

Firstly, what stage of life is your feline friend in? If you have a kitten or a senior cat, we recommend opting for a horizontal design as these are easier to use. Kittens don't yet have the length in their legs that adult cats have, so vertical scratchers can be challenging, and senior cats often have arthritis or joint pain, which can make vertical stretching uncomfortable. For all other cats, vertical scratchers work a treat, allowing your kitty to get a really good stretch going. 

The next decision to make is whether you opt for a post that is moveable, in which case you can place it in locations where your cat is generally going to scratch, or wall-mounted so that it's out of the way and height adjustable. You might also like to consider choosing a scratcher that comes with one of the best cat toys attached or is part of a cat tree if you're looking to kill two birds with one stone and cut down on the amount of kitty clutter around your home.

Finally, give some thought to the material that's been used in the scratcher you're considering buying. We strongly advise that you steer clear of carpet scratchers if you have carpet in your home as you as your cat won't be able to understand why they can scratch the carpet on their scratcher and not the carpet elsewhere. Instead,  opt for durable materials like jute and sisal, both of which provide a fantastic scratching surface.

Now that you know a little bit more about what to be on the lookout for, here are the best cat scratching posts lining the shelves in 2022....

PetsRadar's pick of the best cat scratching posts

Why you can trust PetsRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

best 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: 16lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Allows cat to stretch
+
Sturdy and durable
+
Easy to assemble

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

When is a cat scratching post not just another cat scratching post? When it’s a SmartCat scratching post. With nearly 11,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, 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 for even 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.

Not only is this an attractive post for your cat, but the natural beige color will blend seamlessly into most homes. 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"L x 15.75"W x 31.5"H
Material: Wood and Jute
Weight: 4.85lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Durable construction
+
Comes with a ball toy
+
Natural jute fiber offers an optimal scratching surface

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for large cats

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 amount 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. 

best cat scratching posts

(Image credit: 4Claws)

4CLAWS Wall Mounted Sisal Scratching Post

Best wall-mounted cat scratching post

Specifications

Dimensions: 17.8” x 2.8” x 3.6”
Material: Sisal & Aluminum
Weight: 1.7lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Space-saving design
+
Adjustable height to suit your cat
+
Easy to install

Reasons to avoid

-
Some reviewers noted a chemical smell

If your cat seems to have more belongings than you do and you’re tired of having them cluttering up your living spaces, then 4CLAWS will come to the rescue with this awesome wall-mounted scratching post.

We love anything that saves on space and this modern and minimal design does just that. The aluminum frame mounts directly onto your wall and holds a cylinder wrapped in sisal rope that is easily replaceable when it starts looking tired and shabby. It can also be rotated and flipped so that it wears evenly.

The white frame is unobtrusive and blends well into most homes and, unlike freestanding cat scratching posts, you don’t need to worry about this one tipping over. You can mount it at whatever height best suits your cat and the 18in length allows for a good stretch. If your cat isn’t used to sisal material or a wall-mounted scratcher, simply sprinkle a bit of catnip on it to encourage initial use.

This is one of the most durable and stable cat scratchers on the market, and it’s a great way of protecting your walls, furniture and carpets from your kitty’s claws. It’s also high quality, so you’re getting great value for money. Some reviewers noted a chemical smell when unpacking the scratcher, but airing it outside for a while after opening should get rid of this.

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: 1.4kgs

Reasons to buy

+
Space saving design
+
Durable material
+
Easy assembly

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't allow for vertical stretching

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 furkids 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. 

best cat scratching posts

(Image credit: Amazon)

Sofa-Scratcher Cat Scratching Post

Best for protecting furniture

Specifications

Dimensions: 24” H x 10” W
Material: Sisal
Weight: 7lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Choice of six colors
+
Encourages healthy scratching
+
Easy to attach

Reasons to avoid

-
Can tip over

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 inches
Material: Sisal
Weight: 7.19 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Hours of amusement
+
Easy to assemble

Reasons to avoid

-
Balls may come loose from their track

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. 

best cat scratching posts

(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: 7.5lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Dual function
+
Reversible for twice the use
+
Six-month warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Not ideal for small spaces

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.

 

best cat scratching posts

(Image credit: Amazon)

MQ Multi-Level Cat Tree

Best interactive cat scratching post

Specifications

Dimensions: 24” x 20” x 67”
Material: Particle Board, Sisal Rope, Plush, Paper Tube
Weight: 48.5lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Great for multi-cat households
+
Sturdy
+
Plenty of space to scratch

Reasons to avoid

-
Perches too small for bigger cats

Whoever said bigger doesn’t always mean better clearly hadn’t laid eyes on this colossal multi-level cat scratching tree from MQ. When it comes to kitty’s claws, you can never have too many places to sharpen them.

This design from MQ is getting the big thumbs and paws up from pet parents and their cats who love the three-cushioned viewing platforms, two caves, removable hammock, furry hanging toys, and more scratching space than your kitty will know what to do with.

Though it looks like it takes up a lot of room, once in place it’s fairly compact. There is the option of securing it to a wall with the provided wall strips if you want to keep it tucked away. It provides plenty of space to jump, play, and scratch, and the reinforced wood base keeps it sturdy enough to prevent it from falling over.

It’s a great option for multi-cat households and the use of various materials in the design provides different scratching experiences. It comes with a manual with detailed installation instructions and is easy to assemble.

This isn’t the cheapest cat tree on the market, so if budget is an issue then you may want to look elsewhere. Also, the platforms aren’t as generously sized as we’d like, so it wouldn’t be the best choice for larger cats. Those things aside though, this is the fun-filled amusement park of the cat-scratching post world that will keep your cats amused and away from your furniture for hours at a time.

PetnPurr cat scratching postPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: PetnPurr )

PetnPurr 32.5” Tall Alpaca Cat Scratching Post

Best for unique style

Specifications

Dimensions: 32.5 x 5.5 inches
Material: Sisal rope
Weight: 15.07 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Heavy-duty
+
Great for multiple cats
+
Ideal for large cats
+
Attractive for owner and cat

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
Fur can shed

There's certainly many stylish cat scratching posts out there but if you really want yours to stand out from the pack, it's got to be the PetnPurr 32.5” Tall Alpaca Cat Scratching Post.

Don't be fooled by the cute design: this Alpaca can take more than its fair share of kitty claws. Measuring up at a fairly meaty 32.5 x 5.5 inches, one of the key strengths of this unique scratching posts is that it won't be ending up on the floor anytime soon. It features a wide bottom section that prevents it from being tipped over even under the paws of multiple large kitties, plus it's tall too to allow them a good stretch out.

You've got to love the addition of the furry ball that even the fussiest of felines will be powerless to resist, turning it into a fun toy over attacking your furniture.

In short, there's no novelty value here. In fact, you may be surprised by how durable and long-lasting this post really is which might help justify the higher price tag. 

Main drawback here is that if you're already looking to keep your cat's fur off your carpet, the furry design can shed a little.

PETMAKER 3 Scratching Posts CollectionPets 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 inches
Material: MDF, Sisal Rope, Polyester
Weight: 9.17 Pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Three scratching posts
+
Dangling toys
+
Sturdy design

Reasons to avoid

-
Toys come loose easily

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

Featuring three sisal-wrapped scratching posts, each with their 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 you 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 inches
Material : Wood and sisal
Weight: 3.2 ounces

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
A little lacking in durability

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.

Best cat scratching postsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: PetnPurr)

PetnPurr Cat Scratching Post

Best for greenery fans

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.7"L x 15.7"W x 26.5"H
Materials: Sisal
Weight: 6.1 Pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Looks natural and fun
+
Comes with a toy
+
Can withstand toppling

Reasons to avoid

-
May not be ideal for aggressive scratchers

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, 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.

How to choose the best cat scratching post

We’ve all been there. You invest in a top-of-the-range cat scratching post and what do you get for your troubles but a haughty flick of the tail as your fussy feline marches off to the side of your sofa. We feel your pain, so we’ve pulled together some tips that will help you make sure you pick a winner.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is 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 and 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.

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.

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.

Finally, 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.

 

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.