Cats have very sharp claws that they need to file down to prevent breakage and to keep the nails sharp and short. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch, so trying to break them of shredding the furniture can be a real uphill battle. So, how can you save your furniture and drapes from damage done by your beloved pet? The best cat scratching post is the perfect solution.
But since there are so many different types and styles of scratching posts to choose from, finding the perfect model can take plenty of time and research. As a proud cat owner, I decided to test out several of the top-selling models to find the best models out there, scratching posts that can handle plenty of use and abuse from our feline friends, and a durable design that prevents the post from wobbling, rocking, or falling over. I ended up with four scratching posts that every cat will love and every pet owner can afford. I’ve also put together an in-depth buyer’s guide that goes over the different types of features to look for and how you can choose the right model for your pet.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the four models, their best features, and how each model rated.
Cat Scratching Post Comparison Chart
|PetFusion Scratching Post||Recycled Cardboard||2 Ft.||0|
|SmartCat Scratching Post||Sisal||34 Inches||0|
|AmazonBasics Scratching Post||Jute Fiber||15.8 Inches||1|
|PEEKAB Tall Cat Scratching Post||Cardboard||25 Inches||1|
PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post
This vertical scratching post is made out of nontoxic cornstarch glue and recycled cardboard. It consists of two vertical scratching surfaces and includes a cubbyhole. The curved design provides a variety of scratching surfaces. It also comes with organic catnip, so your pet is sure to love it.
- Perfect for cats of all sizes
- Includes organic catnip
- Made out of recycled materials
- Can wobble during use
This model was in Cat Fancy Magazine and it won the editor’s choice award for best new product. Compact, designed to naturally attract cats, and made out of one hundred percent recycled material, this is a durable and sturdy scratching post that all cats will fall in love with.
SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post
This model features durable and fibrous woven sisal that works to naturally attract cats and is a much safer alternative to carpet, which can snap and tear nails. The post measures in at sixteen by sixteen inches and is thirty-two inches tall. The height of the post allows your cat to fully stretch and works to tone their muscles.
- Tall enough for adults
- Will not rock or wobble during use
- Easy assembly
- Low price
- Does not include cubbyhole
- Sisal frays quickly
This tall scratching post is perfect for large breed adults but will work for all life stages and is even suitable for kittens. Stable, attractive, and featuring a compact design, this model is a steal for the price and offers the type of durable design all pet owners are looking for.
AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock
This scratching post features dual scratching pillars and a plush hammock that will give your cat a comfortable place to nap. This model is made out of natural jute fiber that’s durable and designed to help keep your pet’s nails healthy. The big drawback is the shorter size, which can make it a poor choice for larger breeds, however, the large base provides excellent stability, so this model will not wobble or rock during use.
- Made out of jute fiber
- Dual posts
This model provides the perfect space for your cat to relax, play and sharpen their claws. It’s durable, features a large heavy base that will prevent it from moving during use, and it’s available at an affordable price.
PEEKAB Tall Cat Scratching Post
This post is made out of a combination of sisal and cardboard. It comes equipped with cat toys that will provide hours of stimulation and exercise. The trackball toy also provides mental stimulation and is perfect for younger, hyper cats. The small resting spot allows your pet to nap and relax after playtime is over. This model is designed for cats up to twelve pounds. Larger breeds may have a hard time using this post since it can rock and wobble.
- Includes a variety of toys
- Resting spot
- Made out of sisal and cardboard
- Low price
- Not recommended for larger breeds
Affordable, designed to provide a safe place to sharpen nails, this compact model is a great choice for homes that are short on space. It includes toys that will provide hours of mental stimulation, it’s made out of cardboard and sisal, this is a post that will work well for cats twelve pounds and under. However, if you have a larger cat, you’ll need to continue your search since this model is unable to remain stable and securely in place.
Cat Scratching Post Buyer’s Guide
A cat that doesn’t have a designated space to sharpen their claws can quickly destroy your carpet, furniture, and curtains. Unfortuantely, it’s just not possible to train your cat to not scratch, which is why it’s so important to have scratching posts in the home.
This guide is designed to point you in the right direction, so you can find the perfect post for your pet based on their age, clawing habits, and activity level. But before I start going over the must-have features, let’s first learn about the benefits of these posts and why it’s so important for your pet’s physical and mental health.
Benefits of Cat Scratching Posts
Some new cat owners may not think that a scratching post is a must-have accessory for their cats, but experienced cat owners know that these posts are indispensable. If you’ve just brought a new cat home, then you may not know that these pieces of cat furniture offer plenty of benefits, such as:
- If you have a kitten, then these posts can help your cat burn off a lot of built-up energy. These posts will provide your kitten with a safe and fun way to play and entertain themselves.
- As you probably already know, cats love to scratch pretty much anything they can get their claws on. This means, if you don’t have a scratching post readily available, then they’ll find something available. Bringing a post home will help to prevent unwanted behavior in cats, such as clawing the furniture or the drapes. If your cat is constantly shredding the couch, try placing a cat post a few feet away. This will appeal to your pet and can help to divert their attention elsewhere. Sprinkling the surface of the post with catnip will make the post irresistible.
- While clawing may seem like a bad habit, cats do it for health reasons. Not only will clawing a post keep their nails the proper length, but it also works as a way to minimize stress and get some exercise.
- If you have more than one cat in the home, your cats will end up convening at the post, out of mutual interest. This can make the scratching post a great meeting point or a safe place for your cats to gather and interact. Basically, a scratching post can be used as a way to bring your cats together.
Now that you know more about the benefits of these posts and why every cat household needs one, let’s take a look at the important features to look for.
Other Important Features
How tall should a scratching post be? What type of material should it be covered in? Why do cats sharpen their claws? New cat owners have many questions when it comes to scratching posts and their pet’s need to sharpen there claws. In this part of the guide, I’ll go over the most important features to look for and why cats have a natural instinct to claw.
There are four basic characteristics that you’ll want to search for in a cat scratching post, which I’ll go over below.
Height and Stability
All cats prefer a tall scratching post. Look for a model that’s at least over two feet tall. The post has to be sturdy enough to remain in place, regardless of how hyper your cat is. Taller posts are more stable. Shorter posts tend to easily fall over when an overeager cats sharpen their calls. Should their scratching post fall over during use, your cat will not be likely to use it again. So, look for a tall scratching post and one that earned a high rating for stability.
If you purchase a post that’s not sturdy, one that wobbles, then your cat will refuse to use it. One of the main reasons that a cat loves to scratch a couch is the fact that they’re so sturdy. In the wild, most cats prefer to scratch trees because they provide a stable surface, so it’s understandable why a cat will not trust or use a post that wobbles. A wobbly post will feel unsafe, and your cat will immediately notice this. A post that’s unstable can fall on your cat, flip over, causing your pet to avoid it in the future. The taller a post is, the more stable it must be. A cat can be seriously injured or killed by a heavy, unstable post that lands on them. Look for a model that comes equipped with a large, extra-heavy base. The base should be double-thick. A lightweight, thin base that’s top-heavy is a disaster waiting to happen.
Try to avoid using a scratching post that’s covered in carpet. This can be very confusing for a cat who is often reprimanded for using the living room carpet to sharpen their claws. Carpet also has a tendency to snag nails and can potentially rip your pet’s nails out.
Instead, try to find a model that’s covered in a heavy-duty material such as sisal. Braided sisal is often used on posts, but most felines seem to love sisal fabric, since it more durable. With the fabric, a cat can easily drag their claws down the fabric, using a solid grip. The resistance and texture feel great under their claws. rope doesn’t allow for continual shredding. Instead, a cat will feel interruptions because of the wrapping style of the rope. A cat will claw the rope and will feel the interruption of the rope’s ridge between each layer, which takes away from the satisfying experience. Corrugated carboard is also a great choice. Just like sisal fabric, corrugated cardboard also provides a pleasing feel. Additionally, it makes a great noise when scratched. You can often find corrugated cardboard on angled and flat-sided posts.
A cat will always prefer a material that’s sturdy and one that will shred under their claws. Studies have shown that cats in nature prefer to mark their territory using long shredding marks. The cat’s primal urge still dictates this preference. Additionally, most cats seem to really enjoy shredding and will often do it as a form of entertainment.
Find a model that features both vertical and horizontal surfaces, which will give your cat more variety for scratching and climbing. Many cats like to scratch the ground, while others prefer to stand on their hind legs and stretch as far as they can as they sharpen their claws.
Do not use carpet or a material too similar to your sofa. That will confuse your cat. Make sure the material is tough and designed to withstand a cat’s sharp nails. Both cardboard and sisal are great choices.
Types of Cat Scratching Posts
There are a few basic types of posts to choose from. Each type has its own pros and cons. The type you choose should be based on your cat’s activity level, sharpening needs, and age.
Post is a loose term used to refer to classic cylindrical posts that are covered in a type of textured material. Some may come with hanging balls or other types of enrichment toys. Others may have a nice cubby hole, or even an additional level that your cat can climb.
Aside from sharpening their claws, a cat also loves to nap. These posts feature curved areas where a feline can stretch out and relax.
These posts are designed for homes that are tight on space. These scratching posts can be hung on the wall to prevent taking up any floor space.
Other Important Features
As I mentioned above, posts may feature a single perch, or they can come with a cubby, or a level or two. Of course, the main priority is finding a model that offers an ample amount of scratching space.
Cats not only love to sharpen their nails, but they also love to climb. This is why you’ll run into some taller models that come with multiple levels. These levels allow you cat to climb, sharpen their claws, and rest. It’s also a great choice in multi-cat households or homes with young and hyper cats.
If you have a younger, playful cat, then look for a post that comes with built in toys. Some models will come with ball tracking toys and toys that are suspended from the top of the post. These toys will provide mental stimulation and will also give your cat much-needed exercise.
These posts are available in a variety of colors, designs, and patterns, all of which are meant to capture the eye of the human, not the cat. A cat really won’t care much about colors or patterns. But since they could care less, you can choose any style of color that will work with the existing décor in your home.
A cat scratching post will not last for years, they’re not meant to. Because a cat’s nails can do some serious damage, most scratching posts need to be replaced at least every six to twelve months. Some models will be more durable than others. As an example, carpet covered posts wear out quickly and will begin to fall apart after a month or two, while models made out of sisal will last significantly longer.
Why Cats Scratch
A cat won’t claw your favorite couch or curtains because they’re trying to start trouble. They often claw furniture to keep their claws nicely filed, or they do it to mark their territory.
Another reason cats scratch is to remove the dead outer layer of their claws. Some cats will also claw when they flex and stretch, or they will claw to relieve stress or express excitement.
Because clawing is a behavior that’s impossible to get rid of, purchasing a scratching post is the best way to save your curtains and furniture, while providing your cat with exactly what they need; a safe piece of furniture that they can use to keep their claws filed down, sharp and clean, and a place they can go to in order to destress.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Scratching Posts Should I Have?
A cat should have more than one scratching post, which gives them more variety and allows them to make a choice. If you have several cats in the home, then each cat should have their own scratching post. These posts should be kept in separate areas, since many cats will scratch as a way to claim territory.
Do Scratching Posts Trim Nails?
While a post will not trim a cat’s nails, it does help with maintaining sharp claws by working the outer layer of the claws off so that new and nicely sharpened claws can be exposed.
Is a Scratching Post Necessary?
A scratching post is crucial for any well-adjusted, healthy cat. A cat must have some type of outlet that can satisfy their urge to scratch. By providing a post for your pet, you can provide that outlet, while also saving your carpeting, drapery, and furniture from destruction.
Do Scratching Posts Dull Claws?
No, it will help to remove the sometimes-painful outer layer of the claws to reveal new, sharper nails that are nice and healthy.
The best cat scratching post for your cat will be one that’s tall, stable, and comes equipped with toys, or a place to take their afternoon nap. It should also be covered in a type of durable material that is able to withstand heavy-duty use and won’t need to be replaced every three to six months. This guide, and the products that I’ve included here are designed to help make your search for your new scratching post easier by providing you with all the information you need to know to make the best choice for your pet and your budget.