A quality scratching post is an absolute necessity if you have a cat. Cats have an instinctive need to scratch. Scratching allows cats to remove the outer layer of their claws, it provides a way for them to mark their territory, and it helps them stretch their bodies. So rather than trying to get your cat to stop scratching, give them an appropriate outlet to scratch – like a scratching post!
Scratching posts and scratchers range in price from a few dollars up to $100. The high-end scratchers tend to last longer, be more enticing for your cat to use, and look better in your home. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend top dollar to get an excellent quality scratching post that’ll last over 3 years. We’ve done our research and tested out countless scratchers to come up with our list of the Top 10 best scratching posts and cat scratchers on the market.
Top 10 Best Cat Scratchers & Scratching Posts
The SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post has continued to be our number one go-to scratching post for the past 5 years. This scratching post truly stands the test of time. We’ve continued buying more of them because we love them so much. But we’ve never actually had to throw one away. Even after 5 years of use (and abuse), this scratching post still looks presentable and still gets plenty of use. We’ve bought them as gifts for cat-owning family members and friends and they swear by this scratching post’s success as well.
The PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is so much more than your typical cardboard scratcher. While most cardboard cat scratchers are made of inexpensive materials, the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher is made of very high quality corrugated cardboard. This cat scratcher is a heavy-duty scratcher that also serves as a lounge for your cat to sleep on. We personally own this cat scratcher and we think it is an excellent companion scratcher to the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post.
The PetFusion Jumbo Cat Scratcher Lounge is a must-have scratcher for multi-cat households. This cat scratcher is not only larger than most, but it also has an extra level of scratching surface. While the cubbies on the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher are too small for most cats to hang out in, the PetFusion Jumbo Cat Scratcher’s inner area is plenty big. We’ve had the PetFusion Jumbo Cat Scratcher for 1.5 years with heavy use from our two rambunctious Savannah Cats and it is just about ready for replacement. Our cats still enjoy scratching it, but it is starting to look really rough.
The MidWest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post is the tallest scratching post we’ve come across. This giant post is excellent for large cats and multi-cat families. The MidWest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post is extremely stable and won’t tip over even when your cat decides to climb it to the top. This scratching post isn’t quite as modern-looking as some on the market, but we’re ok with that because it is so amazingly tall!
The Sofa-Scratcher Scratching Post is a brilliantly designed product that protects your furniture while giving your cat an appropriate place to scratch. The Sofa-Scratcher won’t fit every couch on the market, so make sure you take some measurements before buying. It comes in a ton of different colors to match just about any furniture.
The PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher comes in two different sizes: Standard and Large. If you are trying to decide between the two, we highly recommend going with the larger one. Not only does it provide a lot more scratching surface area, but the inside is actually large enough for your cat to use as well. This triangular-shaped cardboard scratcher looks cool and it is excellent quality like PetFusion’s entire line of cat scratchers.
The 4CLAWS Wall Mounted Scratching Post is a space-saving scratching post with some pretty nice features. Since this scratching post is wall-mounted, it can be placed at the perfect height for your cat. The wall mounts provide excellent stability. The 4CLAWS Wall Mounted Scratching Post is discrete enough that it’ll blend in with your décor.
The SmartCat Bootsie’s Combination Scratcher is another space-saving scratcher that can either be rested on the floor or mounted on a wall. Unfortunately only one side is meant for scratching, so it is not reversible like others on the market. The woven sisal fiber is a nicer-looking, longer-lasting material than sisal rope and cardboard.
The PetFusion Flip Pad Cat Scratcher is an affordable cat scratcher that’s perfect for small to average sized cats. If you have a large kitty, we recommend going with the larger version of this scratcher – The Flip Lounge.
So that wraps up our list of the Best Cat Scratchers and Scratching Posts of 2018. If you’re still struggling with your selection here’s some useful information about the different scratching post options.
What Scratching Material is the Best?
Anything but Carpet!
There are a number of different scratching post materials on the market and they all have specific pros and cons. Pretty much the only material you should definitely avoid is carpet. Once upon a time carpet used to be the go-to material on all scratching posts and cat trees. But the big problem with carpet is that it encourages your cat to scratch a material that you probably don’t want them scratching outside of their post. Carpet also makes a horrendous mess and looks terrible.
Sisal is our favorite scratching material on the market, but it might take your cat some time to warm up to. We like sisal because it is virtually mess-free, it lasts a long time, and it doesn’t look too bad when it gets worn. The most common type of sisal scratching post uses sisal rope that is wound and glued to a post. There are varying degrees of quality when it comes to sisal rope, but it tends to be the glue that wears out before the sisal on cheaper products. Woven sisal is our preferred material because you don’t have to worry about it unraveling. It also looks much nicer and holds up better over time.
Cardboard cat scratchers have been the newest scratching material to hit the market. If you’ve ever purchased a cheap cardboard cat scratcher from the pet store you might be very hesitant to give cardboard scratchers another try. Cardboard is a very cat-friendly scratching surface, but not all cardboard is of equal quality. Inexpensive cardboard cat scratchers won’t last very long at all and they’ll leave an awful mess for you to clean up. High-quality corrugated cardboard scratchers will last significantly longer, but they’ll still leave some mess for you to clean up.
What Makes a Good Cat Scratcher?
The best cat scratchers and scratching posts have these things in common:
- They are tall or long enough for your cat to get a good stretch on
- They are stable and won’t wobble or topple over
- They’re made with high-quality scratching materials like sisal or corrugated cardboard
- They’re long-lasting and won’t need to be replaced every few months
- They look nice enough that you won’t mind putting them in a prominent spot in your home