The Purr-fect Cat Scratching Posts for Your Clawing Kitty
Don't wait until your cat shreds your sofa to invest in a scratching post.
"Domestic cats share a lot of behaviors with their wild counterparts, and that includes scratching," says Bruce Kornreich, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, and director of the Cornell Feline Health Center.
Cats scratch to mark their territories, remove the dead nails, and express emotion. While it's a natural behavior, it can also be destructive, and it's one of the top reasons cats are surrendered to shelters, according to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Angell Animal Medical Center. It's crucial to provide your cat with a scratching post so she has an acceptable spot to satisfy her urge to scratch and stimulate her mind.
Kornreich says that it can take some trial and error to find the right match: Some cats prefer scratching on a horizontal surface while others prefer a vertical option. Material matters, too! Cats might show a preference for a scratching post made from carpet, sisal, wood, or even cardboard.
Luckily, there are countless options on the market, and we've rounded up 10 of our favorites to satisfy your clawing kitty.
The Best Cat Scratching Posts
- Best Overall: MidWest Cat Furniture
- Best Splurge: Happy Camper Scratching Post
- Best Budget: Boots & Barkley Tunnel Cat Scratcher
- Best Design: Refined Feline Calypso Cat Scratcher
- Best Interactive: Ultimate Cat Kicker Toy
- Best Wall-Mounted: MyZoo Cylinder Sisal Cat Scratcher
- Best for Multiple Cats: Borrego Scratching Board
- Best for Small Spaces: EveryYay Scratchin' Cardboard Scratcher
- Best Multi-Surface: ScratchLadder Ultimate Cat Scratcher
- Best Dual Purpose: Whisker City Scratch and Play
Best Overall: MidWest Cat Furniture
The ultimate cat scratching post from MidWest Cat Furniture offers vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces in a mix of carpet and sisal as well as places to hide, perch, nap, and play. It's ideal for multi-cat households and offers finicky cats multiple options to ensure their scratching preferences are met.
Shop now: MidWest Cat Furniture, $145; amazon.com
Best Splurge: Happy Camper Scratching Post
The "Happy Camper" is more than a scratching post. The tent-shaped design is made with reversible panels; one side is covered with scratch-resistant felt and the other side is wood veneer. When your cat is tired of scratching, she can curl up for a nap on the faux fur cushion tucked inside the structure.
Shop now: Happy Camper Scratching Post, $249; tuftandpaw.com
Best Budget: Boots & Barkley Tunnel Cat Scratcher
This lightweight tunnel scratcher is made from durable corrugated material covered in sisal that stands up to vigorous scratching. The tunnel-shaped design gives your cat a spot to hide out (as well as an additional horizontal spot for keeping their nails in tip-top shape).
Shop now: Boots & Barkley Tunnel Cat Scratcher, $20; target.com
Best Design: Refined Feline Calypso Cat Scratcher
Looking for a scratching post that blends with your contemporary style? The wire frame of this cat scratching post is covered in a sturdy poly-rattan fabric that will stand up to the most persistent clawing. It's a tip-resistant design and stands 30 inches tall to appeal to cats that like to stretch and scratch.
Shop Now: Refined Feline Calypso Cat Scratcher, $89; petco.com
Best Interactive: Ultimate Cat Kicker Toy
Your cat can scratch, rattle, and roll with this combination scratching post and interactive toy. The tubular toy is covered in natural sisal and filled with a combination of catnip, valerian root, and jingle bells to encourage your cat to chase it around the room. It comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large) and four colors.
Shop now: Ultimate Cat Kicker Toy, $15; etsy.com
Best Wall-Mounted: MyZoo Cylinder Sisal Cat Scratcher
Standing 20.5 inches tall, this sisal scratching post was designed to be mounted on the wall, providing a sturdy surface for scratching. It can be mounted vertically or horizontally and paired with wall-mounted shelving to make the ultimate cat paradise.
Shop now: MyZoo Cylinder Sisal Cat Scratcher, $72; chewy.com
Best for Multiple Cats: Borrego Scratching Board
This spherical design ensures that there is plenty of scratching surface to go around. Designed with a sturdy non-skid base, the Borrego allows cats to pounce on top of the sisal-covered surface or scratch their way around the ball to maintain their nails—a feather tassel also encourages interactive play.
Shop now: Borrego Scratching Board, $40; wayfair.com
Best for Small Spaces: EveryYay Scratchin' Cardboard Scratcher
No space, no problem. The double-wide cardboard cat scratcher is small in size but big enough for cats to satisfy their urge to scratch. It's made from recycled paper and cardboard and filled with catnip to encourage cats to dig in.
Shop Now: EveryYay Scratchin' Cardboard Scratcher, $14; petco.com
Best Multi-Surface: ScratchLadder Ultimate Cat Scratcher
Not sure which scratching surface your cat likes best? This scratching ladder gives them lots of options! Handcrafted from cedar, each section of the "ladder" is covered in a different material: fabric, carpet, sisal, and wood. Your cat can choose their favorite or use them all.
Shop Now: ScratchLadder Ultimate Cat Scratcher, $119; etsy.com
Best Dual Purpose: Whisker City Scratch and Play
For a cat that needs spots to scratch and sleep, choose a product that offers both. The posts that hold up the elevated cat bed are covered in carpet and sisal, offering two surfaces for cats to test the strength of their claws, and the carpet-covered bed is a purr-fect spot to sleep.
Shop now: Whisker City Scratch and Play, $40; petsmart.com