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For cats, clawing is a way of life. They naturally crave the sensation of sinking their nails into the surfaces they encounter and according to the ASPCA, this behavior psychologically helps cats mark their territory, and physically it allows them to stretch, play, and keep their claws manicured. They instinctually use their sharp paw extensions as tools to climb, hunt, and hold down their prey. But if you have a cat in your home, you'll soon realize that your furniture is the target for a lot of this fierce feline behavior,
A scratching post is a furniture-saving piece that should be readily available in any home with a cat to help redirect their urge to scratch. We researched the most popular cat scratching posts available and paired our findings with the feedback we received from at-home testers who observed their cat's engagement and subsequent enjoyment.
Whether you've got a kitten, a senior cat, a super-scratcher, or a casual manicurist, here are the best cat scratching posts.
Best Overall: SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post
Two color options available, Beige and Gray
Wide base to prevent tipping
Durable construction lasts for years
Assembly required but no power tools
Your cat will love this simple and incredibly sturdy scratching post. It’s tall enough that cats can really stretch themselves out and claw away at the sisal fabric. This post is quite durable and well designed too; expect for it to last for several years. The base of this scratching post is fairly wide (it’s 16 x16 inches)—that’s key, since it helps to keep the post in place, preventing it from slip-sliding across the floor or toppling over when your cat starts to use it. "This 3-foot tall post is stable enough that my cat can jump on and off of the top of it and it never wobbles or shakes," our at-home tester noted. "I also appreciate that it comes in a monochrome gray option, which matches my couch and her cat tree, so it's not such an eyesore in my small apartment."
You’ll have to do a small bit of assembly when it first arrives, inserting dowels into holes and also attaching the base to the scratch post, but no power tools are required.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best for Kittens: Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Cat Toy with Catnip
Packet of catnip included
Stimulates cat's interest with scratching surface and rolling ball
Might wear out quickly with more aggressive cats or in a home with multiple cats
Kittens can be a force of destruction in your home. Anything (headphone cords, yesterday’s mail, and so on) becomes a toy. Save you possessions with this Frisco scratcher, which doubles as a cat toy.
Kittens can scratch away at the corrugated cardboard surface, and also play with the ball-and-track toy. The combo will encourage kittens to interact with this scratcher toy, instead of clawing at furniture or looking for toys elsewhere—like your beside table or bathroom trash can.
Price at time of publish: $17
Best Novelty: PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher
Whimsical cactus design
Price at time of publish: $36
Best Tower: PETMAKER Cat Scratching Post With Toys
Price at time of publish: $52
Best Variety: SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher with Feather Toy
My cat took to this toy right away. The quality is great, and the feather is a really nice touch.
Price at time of publish: $15
Best for Older Cats: SmartyKat Multi-Surface Cat Scratcher
Price at time of publish: $15
Best Wall Mount: 7 Ruby Road Mounted Cat Scratching Post
Price at time of publish: $40
Best Hiding Place: PAWMONA 3 Story Cat Tree Condo Barrel Tower
Price at time of publish: $180
Best Budget: Way Basics Premium Cat Scratcher Incline Wedge
Price at time of publish: $20
Best for Multiple Cats: EveryYay Essentials Scratchin' The Surface 3-Sided Post with Toy Cat Scratcher
Various cats can scratch at the same time
Three posts, each with a different texture and height
Heavy and sturdy to prevent tipping
Only available in gray
This cat scratcher offers not one, not two, but three posts for scratching, all in different textures and heights. That makes this scratching device ideal for households with multiple cats, since several cats can scratch at the same time without getting in each other’s ways.
Rope-lined posts are ideal for clawing. Since the scratch center is heavy and quite sturdy, there’s no risk of it tipping over when your cat starts clawing away at it.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best Splurge: Archie & Oscar Venita Cat Scratching Post
Designed to resemble home decor
Available in two colors, Espresso and Smoke
Strong base prevents tipping
Top is an appealing perch for some cats
Assembly is required but it's minor
Not appealing to all cats per reviews
Your cat’s accoutrements—the loungers and trees, not to mention the toys—aren’t always very attractive, nor do they always blend with your overall decor choices. But this design-forward Venita cat scratching post offers a modern look, while still serving function first.
This cat scratcher has a wire frame that's been wrapped in poly rattan, which is strong enough to stand up to lots of clawing. It’s quite sturdy, and in fact, some cats may use the top as a seating area.
This scratcher is freestanding and doubles as an accent piece. Minor assembly—attaching the base to the post—is required, but won't take long at all.
Price at time of publish: $125
Best for Furniture: Sofa-Scratcher Cat Scratching Post
Available in five colors: Ivory, Beige, Charcoal, Black, and Moss
Mimics surface of furniture
Easy for cat to tip over if not firmly against sofa leg
There’s nothing like getting a new piece of furniture. But when you have cats, you don’t just have to worry about spilling wine on the couch or other wear-and-tear. Often, cats see the legs of couches, chairs, and other furniture as a prime opportunity to use their claws. Attaching this scratching post can ensure that your furniture stays protected.
Getting it on your couch is easy: You’ll just need to ensure that the base, which is very thin, is placed under the leg of your furniture to keep it stable. The cat scratcher is made from sisal, which your cat will enjoy scratching even more than sofa and furniture legs.
Price at time of publish: $58
Buyers Also Love: Tuft and Paw Frond Cat Tree
Streamlined design includes perches for your cat to sit and sisal rope for scratching
Customer reviews highlight Tuft and Paw's exceptional customer service
Available in two colors, Ash and Black Ash
Assembly required, but it's minimal
Cats can climb to multiple vantage points while stopping to get their scratching fix along the way with this 2-in-1 cat scratching post and cat tree from Tuft and Paw. The streamlined design incorporates sisal rope—which most cats find irresistible—throughout the center pole and three adjustable platforms. Available in two colors, Ash with Natural Sisal Rope and Black Ash with Misty Gray Sisal Rope, to blend in with one's home decor style. While it's more expensive than other cat scratching posts featured, customers rave about the quality of the product and the customer service of Tuft and Paw. And while we can't exactly interpret meows, the Frond Cat Tree tends to pique the interest of most cats.
Price at time of publish: $300
Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 49 inches | Weight: Not Provided
For the best basic cat scratcher, SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post is a solid choice that should last a one-cat household for years. If you'd prefer something a bit more stylish, consider the Archie & Oscar Venita Cat Scratching Post, which can withstand sharp claws, but doesn't look like a cat toy to guests.
What to Look for in a Cat Scratching Post
Cat scratching posts come in many shapes and sizes. The perfect build for you will depend on your space constraints as well as the size of your feline friend. If you have more than one cat, you may want a bigger one (with more options for scratching and playing), but if space is tight, there are smaller models that may be a good fit.
While some cat scratching posts offer just that, some are equipped with much more, like places to lounge and climb or attached toys for entertainment. Consider your cat’s personality and the size of the post to determine if you want a basic version, a maxed-out model, or something in between.
Since the cat scratching post will be part of your home, you want it to match your style — or, at the very least, you don’t want it to stand out in a garish way. Scratching posts come in a wide variety of styles, though, so with a little searching, you’re sure to find one that fits both you and your cat.
How We Tested