The 11 Best Cat Scratching Posts of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post - sisal, standalone

The Spruce Pets

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. 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 tested 19 of the most popular cat scratching posts available, letting our testers' cats flex their claws as we evaluated everything from build quality to how easy each scratcher was to assemble. Our testers' favorite is the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post, which has a stable base and is wrapped in durable sisal that will stand up to years of scratching. Plus, it's the right height for your cat to be able to stretch out fully.

But we also tried out several other scratching posts that our testers—and their cats—loved. Whether you've got a kitten, a senior cat, a super-scratcher, or a casual manicurist, here are the best cat scratching posts.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post

SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post


What We Like
  • Two color options available, Beige and Gray

  • Wide base to prevent tipping

  • Durable construction lasts for years

  • Made with sisal carpet

What We Don't Like
  • Assembly required (but no power tools needed)

Your cat will enjoy this incredibly sturdy scratching post, and you'll appreciate the simple design which our tester described as strong, simple, neutral, and easy on the eyes.

"This scratcher was strong, sturdy and functional," our tester said.

Another tester already has had a SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post for years, and his two cats still use it daily. It's large enough to stay permanently in one place like a small piece of furniture, but light enough that it's easy enough to move around—one of our testers moved it to block whichever couch leg his cats were targeting that week.

The top of the Ultimate Scratching Post is 7-inches square, which is the perfect size for placing snacks. Smaller cats even enjoy climbing to the top and sitting on it, and the SmartCat post is sturdy enough to stay stable throughout. SmartCat even offers a Post Perch Pad for exactly this purpose.

The post is 32-inches tall, so cats can stretch themselves out and claw away at the fibrous, durable sisal covering. It's also stable, with a base 16-inch square base that keeps the post steady and prevents it from sliding across the floor or toppling. You’ll have to do a little assembly when it first arrives—inserting dowels into holes and attaching the base to the scratch post—but no power tools are required. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 32.5 inches | Weight: 16.9 pounds

Best for Kittens

Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Cat Toy with Catnip

Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Cat Toy with Catnip


What We Like
  • Packet of catnip included

  • Stimulates cat's interest with scratching surface and rolling ball

  • Corrugated cardboard surface

  • No assembly required

What We Don't Like
  • Might wear out quickly with more aggressive cats or in a home with multiple cats

Kittens can be an adorable force of destruction in your home. As they become familiar with their space, everything, from headphone cords to yesterday's mail, becomes a toy. To help save your possessions from destruction, this 2-in-1 cat scratching toy from Frisco features a rolling ball around the perimeter and a corrugated cardboard scratching center.

"I love the playful yet simple design of this scratcher. It is also a great size—doesn't take up too much space," our tester said. "It's easy to relocate throughout the house and heavy enough that it doesn't shift around when my cat interacts with it."

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 bedside table or bathroom trash can.

Price at time of publish: $17

Dimensions: 15 x 2 inches | Weight: Not provided

Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Cat Toy

The Spruce Pets / Alicia Long

Best Cardboard

PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge

petfusion ultimate cat scratcher


  • Comes fully assembled

  • Long enough for full-grown cats to lie down on it

  • Intriguing design encourages both lounging and interaction

  • Cardboard scratchers aren't as durable, making it harder to justify the high price point

Cardboard scratchers use densely layered corrugated paper product instead of sisal twine or other materials. Our favorite cardboard scratcher is the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge, which has a unique shape that gives your cat lots of ways of interacting with it. While cats tend to love cardboard scratchers because they're soft and easy to scratch (they're also excellent at retaining catnip), they tend to have a shorter lifespan than other scratcher types.

The PetFusion is larger than most cardboard scratchers, with a 34-inch length that's more than long enough for your cat to lie on top of it. This makes it a great reclining scratcher for fully grown cats. It also has curves and a big "peekaboo" hole through the center, which will attract interaction between multiple cats. Our tester's cat took to it instantly.

"This scratcher lounger does everything it promises—providing ample surface area for scratching and offers a comfortable lounging option at the same time," they said. "While I was hesitant about its large size at first, I am now sold on this product. She loves it so much!"

Keep in mind also that cardboard scratchers tend to "shed" as your cat rips into it. Expect to bust out a vacuum every once in a while to clean up around the scratcher.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 34 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 10 pounds

petfusion cat scratcher lounge

Alicia Long

Best Budget

Way Basics Premium Cat Scratcher Incline Wedge

Way Basics Cat Scratcher


What We Like
  • Standalone incline with no mounting required and easy assembly

  • Packet of organic catnip included

  • Made with recycled cardboard

What We Don't Like
  • Potential for item to shift and scuff wall or floor since it's not secured in place

Physically your cat will lean on this cat scratcher, and mentally you will lean on it to keep your kitty's claws away from your furniture. Our tester has two cats of different ages in their home and found that both enjoyed running their claws along the slope. "It makes me happy to see them enjoying and using it all the time. They even relax and nap on it, that's how much they like it."

The ergonomic shape of this scratching post is appealing to cats, and also reduces the footprint of the toy in your home. It comes in four different shades, White, Black, Espresso, and Gray, so you can select the color that best suits your space, or matches your feline friend. It's also made with recycled cardboard and is non-toxic.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 17.3 x 7.7 x 10.6 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Best Variety

SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher with Feather Toy

SmartyKat Scratcher Scroll


What We Like
  • Wavy shape provides various positions for scratching

  • Feather toy addition for added intrigue

  • No assembly required

  • Sisal and carpeted scratching surfaces

What We Don't Like
  • Bigger cats can't fit underneath

If your cat enjoys weaving through and clawing at your drapes, carpets, walls, and furniture, then this cat post will appeal to them. "My cat took to this toy right away," our tester said.

This scratching post's wavy design is meant to attract your cat, providing spaces for crawling, crouching, and lounging while they claw at the surface. A combination of sisal and carpeted scratching surfaces will help to satiate your cat’s instinctual desire to scratch.

Our tester was impressed with the quality of the scratching surface and found the snap-on feather toy feature to be a highly appealing addition for their cat. It's small, light, and comes assembled, so your cat can start scratching and your furnishings can breathe a sigh of relief!

Price at time of publish: $15

Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.42 x 7.09 inches | Weight: 2.65 pounds

SmartyCat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher

The Spruce Pets / Maddy Newton; Brooke Kane

Best Tower

PETMAKER Cat Scratching Post With Toys

PetMakers Scratching Post With Toys


What We Like
  • 3 scratching posts and 3 dangling toys

  • Sisal rope and carpet scratching surfaces

  • Very minimal assembly

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in one color

With 3 scratching posts, 3 dangling toys, a carpeted base, and a perch at the top, if your cat likes to play then this is the cat scratching post for you. Our tester found that no matter where they placed it in their home, their cat was drawn to it. "This scratching post will keep your cat quietly entertained for hours."

The wide base keeps the structure in place while your cat gets their fix on a mix of sisal rope and carpet. With a variety of surfaces and points of intrigue, it can also work in a home with multiple cats. Our tester didn't think the scratching post (which only comes in one color) blended in with their decor, but it was an excellent way to redirect their cat's clawing, which will ultimately keep their furnishings intact.

Price at time of publish: $52

Dimensions: 15.75 x 15.75 x 19.25 inches | Weight: 9.45 pounds

PetMAKER 3 Scratching Posts Collection

The Spruce Pets / Maddy Newton; Brooke Kane

Best Hiding Place

PAWMONA 3 Story Cat Tree Condo Barrel Tower

3 Story Cat Tree Condo


What We Like
  • Machine washable bed at the top

  • No assembly required

  • Fuzzy balls at each window

  • Sisal fabric

What We Don't Like
  • Adult humans can't fit inside

If your cat likes to play peek-a-boo, then this cat condo with cat scratching surfaces is the perfect addition to your space. The tower features three internal levels, each with a window, and a cushioned pillow at the top for perching.

"I have nothing negative to say about this cat tree," our tester said. "The fuzzy balls hanging from each circular opening are a nice touch, as well as the hole openings between the levels for cat climbing. The height is nice too for the cat to be able to reach a higher window or bed that they couldn't reach without it."

While it's priced higher than other cat scratching posts on our list, the neutral streamlined design and the variety of engagement points it offers a cat make it well worth the investment. "If you're looking for a place for your cat to climb, play, and rest all in one look no further." We recommend putting it near a window so your cat can feel the sunlight while scratching and then perch themselves on top to admire their domain.

Price at time of publish: $180

Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 38.5 inches | Weight: 22 pounds

Best Wall Mount

7 Ruby Road Mounted Cat Scratching Post

7 ruby road wall mounted cat scratching post

7 ruby road

What We Like
  • Sisal fabric with multidirectional weave

  • Turn the wall cat scratcher upside down so kitty has a new place to scratch

  • Ability to personalize height for you cat

  • Anti-slip feet included for floor use

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in one color

If your cat likes to stretch out when they are in the mood for scratching, then this sleek, wall-mountable option is for you. Our tester found the design and versatility to be superior. "This is the most aesthetically pleasing, low-profile scratch post I have ever tried! I love that you have the option to lay it down on the ground or mount it on the wall."

It takes up minimal space in a home (our tester put it in a hallway!), and if you do choose to mount it on the wall, you can easily adjust the height to accommodate the length of your cat. Once you start to notice the scratching surface is wearing out, simply flip it over and your cat has a relatively new surface to sink their claws into.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: 22 x 5.7 inches | Weight: 0.2 pounds

7 Ruby Road Wall Mounted Scratcher

The Spruce Pets / Maddy Newton; Brooke Kane

Best for Older Cats

SmartyKat Multi-Surface Cat Scratcher

SmartyKat Multi-Surface Cat Scratcher


What We Like
  • No assembly required

  • Comes with catnip

What We Don't Like
  • Larger cats won't fit underneath

Your elder cat can lounge while they polish up their manicure with this angled scratcher. No need for the extra frills that a younger cat might find irresistible, this straightforward cat toy will indulge their urge to scratch, stretch, and relax. Our tester noted that the arc is a great shape for cats to lay out on top of, but a larger cat is a tight squeeze underneath. It's an affordable scratching post that's easy to move around, so if your cat likes to follow you into different rooms then this scratching post is a great solution for keeping their idle claws busy and off your sofa.

Price at time of publish: $15

Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 8 inches | Weight: 1.41 Pounds

Best Novelty

PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher

PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher


What We Like
  • Whimsical plant-like design

  • Made with sisal carpet

  • Dangling ball included

What We Don't Like
  • Sisal twine wrap might not be as durable as some other sisal scratchers

  • Short version not tall enough for cats to stretch fully

It's not a mirage! This cactus-shaped scratching post, made with natural sisal and resting on a soft but sturdy base, will intrigue your cat while bringing a delightful dose of amusement to your space. "This toy is cute for a cat without catching too much attention," remarked our tester, but most importantly their cat took to it quickly. "I put this product in the living room and he is not clawing furniture."

The fanciful design also features a playful dangling toy ball that your cat can whack with all their might. Despite our tester's cat's best efforts it has remained attached, "my cat tends to rip those off immediately and hasn't been able to yet."

While the PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher held up well throughout our testing, the wrapped sisal rope doesn't seem like it will hold up as well over time as some of our other sisal picks, such as our overall favorite from SmartCat.

While a vibrant green addition to space might not be for everyone (or every cat!), our tester was very impressed with the sturdy nature and durability of this cat scratching post. We tested the smaller size (25.6 inches) but a larger cat might be might prefer the larger, 40-inch version. It's easy to assemble, more low maintenance than a real cactus, and it won't poke back!

Price at time of publish: $36

Dimensions: 15.7 x 15.7 x 26.5 inches | Weight: 6.5 pounds

PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher

The Spruce Pets / Maddy Newton; Brooke Kane

Cat Owners Also Love

Tuft + Paw Frond Cat Tree

Tuft and Paw Frond Cat Treet

Tuft and Paw

What We Like
  • Streamlined design includes perches for your cat to sit and sisal rope for scratching

  • Tuft + Paw has exceptional customer service

  • Available in two colors, Ash and Black Ash

What We Don't Like
  • 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 + 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

Final Verdict

Our selection for best overall is the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post. It's well made and has a classic design that comes in two neutral colors to coordinate with most home decor styles. Most importantly, the majority of cats find the shape and the sisal carpet covering will appeal to your cat and their clawing habit. If you'd prefer a cat scratching post that's more streamlined, consider the 7 Ruby Road Wall Mounted Scratcher, which can be mounted to the wall or secured to the floor.

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 any size scratcher is likely to attract interest from you cat, picking a scratcher that's tall or long enough for them to fully stretch out against it is a good way of ensuring they're getting the full range of possible activity out of the scratcher.


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. Age is also a factor, since kittens or young cats are more likely to interact with scratchers that have toy accessories, whereas an older cat may prefer a floor scratcher or something they can stretch out across.


There's no way around it: having a big cat scratcher is going to alter the aesthetic of whatever room it's in. For interior design purposes a cat scratcher should be thought of more like a small piece of furniture than a toy. In general, we found that sisal scratchers with rectangular designs are the least visually distracting—even if they're relatively large. Scratchers with attached toys are much more likely to stand out. Several models—including our best overall pick from SmartCat—offer multiple cat color choices, including neutral beiges and grays that can more easily blend into a space.

How We Tested

We acquired a selection of the latest and most popular cat scratchers available and sent each one to a staffer with a cat or kitten (sometimes both!) in their home. Each tester was asked to keep the cat scratching post in their space for two weeks to gather data and insights related to assembly, design, overall value, whether they would recommend it to other cat guardians, and the type of cat that they felt the scratching surface would most appeal to.

In each category, our testers recorded their thoughts and gave the cat scratching post a rating from 1 to 5. A cumulative score informed our best list and takes into account a cat's willingness to engage, durability, the appeal of the design, special features and toys, and a cat's overall enjoyment of digging their claws in over the duration of the testing period.

Why Trust the Spruce Pets?

This roundup was written by Anna Mejorada, a writer for The Spruce Pets, who shares her home with a very cat-like pomeranian, Gidget, which she lovingly refers to as a meoweranian. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Mejorada embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.

A previous version of this article was written by Madeleine Burry, who has covered how to care for pets for more than a decade.

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