Best Cat Scratching Post Reviews – Buyer’s Guide
When a cat starts to scratch the furniture or the carpets in a home, it can be very destructive, but they are not doing it simply because they have a mischievous streak in them. Scratching is a perfectly natural behaviour in a cat and they do it for a number of different reasons, including marking their territory, removing the outer layer of their claws, and flexing their bodies and paws.
The fact that it is natural behaviour isn’t much comfort when you have to replace your furniture, though, so that’s why people buy cat scratching posts. The scratching posts could save you the cost of new carpets and furniture, so read on, and we’ll tell you more about some of the best cat scratching posts that are currently available on the market today.
I. Some Main Scratcher Types On The Market
Scratching posts provide a cat with something that they can scratch at and that will deter them from scratching at furniture or carpets. They are usually covered with sisal rope, sisal fabric, or compressed cardboard, and they come in a variety of different types.
1. Upright Cat Scratching Post or Tall Vertical Scratching Post
In the wild, a cat would have most likely have marked its territory by leaving scratches on a tree, so a cat will instinctively be drawn tall vertical scratching post. A tall, upright scratching post allows that cat to stretch all its muscles and that is important for a cat’s health and flexibility.
2. Incline Cat Scratcher
Ideally, a cat would like to be able to scratch on a variety of surfaces around the home and they are just as fond of horizontal or inclined surfaces as they are the vertical ones. That’s why cats tend to scratch at the back of the furniture and scratch at carpets. An incline cat scratcher will give a cat an alternative place to scratch and they can also be fun for the cats too. Incline cat scratchers are not very expensive; so many people will have both a vertical and an Incline cat scratcher in their home.
3. Multi-surface cat scratcher
You can also buy some very good multi-surface cat scratchers, like the PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher that we have reviewed below. These come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including triangles and figure of eights, and some of the larger ones also act as a perch that a cat may like to sleep on.
4. Cat trees
As well as the basic scratching posts and cat scratchers, you can also buy cat trees and cat condos. The best cat trees feature numerous scratching posts, cat houses for cats to sleep in and platforms and cradles as well. Cat trees provide a place for cats to play and sleep and they provide the scratching posts for cats to scratch at. You can find out more about cat trees here: Best Cat Tree Reviews – Best Cat Furniture for Your Pet.
II. How To Choose The Best Cat Scratching Post
When you are looking for a cat scratcher for your cat, there are a lot of choices available to you, so we have put together this buying guide
When you are looking at scratching posts, make sure that the base of the cat scratcher is big enough and heavy enough to stop it toppling over. The best cat scratching posts are the ones that are made of wood. They will be solid and heavy enough to take the weight of a cat scratching.
The height of a scratching post is important too. They need to be tall enough to allow your cat so stretch to its full length when scratching. One of the reasons that cats scratch is that it stretches their muscles. It’s a little bit like why a human might do yoga or workout.
Any scratching post will wear over time, that’s inevitable, but a good quality scratching post will last a lot longer than a poorly made one. The best way to check this out is to look at the materials that have been used in the product and to read the customer reviews.
The scratching surface
The material that is used as the scratching surface of cat scratching posts vary with different manufacturers, but the most common types are sisal rope, sisal fabric and compressed cardboard. The most important thing to remember is that cats want to leave their mark, so the scratching material must be something that, literally, the cat can get its claws into. Cats do seem to like the sound of something shredding as well, which is why compressed cardboard is often used, but cardboard can create more of a mess on the floor than sisal rope or fabric will. Sisal will also last longer.
Avoid carpet covered cat scratching posts
You will find that quite a lot of scratching posts are covered in carpet, but we don’t think that is a good idea. The whole point of scratching post is to convince your cat not to scratch at your furniture and your carpets, so a scratcher should be made of a material that is different from those things. A cat will find it difficult to understand why scratching at one piece of carpet is Ok, but another is not.
One thing that many people overlook is how a cat scratching post will look inside the home. While cute, brightly coloured cat furniture may look like fun in a photo, when they are actually situated in the home, you may not feel quite the same way about them. Some scratching posts are also quite big, so you can’t just ignore them. That’s why we think that scratching posts are the ones that make use of neutral colours and wood finishes, so they look like just another piece of furniture.
Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
We think that one of the best cat scratching posts on the market at the moment is the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post, which has all the features that you need. At 32 inches high, this scratching post will allow a cat to get a good stretch, and the durable sisal covering will last well. It also has a good solid construction, a good sized base, and it is nice looking, so it will blend in nicely with other furniture in a room. You can read our full review of the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post below.
III. Cat Scratching Post Reviews
A. Best Upright Scratching Posts
Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post
We have included the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post as our choice of best scratching post overall. The post is a full 32 inches high, which will allow cats to stretch to their full length when they scratch the post. The post is covered in a fibrous sisal material that will encourage scratching and it allows the cat to leave marks, which is what a cat would want to do in the wild. The post is set on a nice sturdy base, so even a heavy cat will have trouble knocking this one over.
This cat scratching post also looks very nice too. The base and the top are finished in polished wood and it actually looks like a small piece of furniture, so it doesn’t look at all out of place in the home. Another big plus for this model was that, when a cat scratches on it, it doesn’t leave loads of loose fibres on the ground, which can be a problem with some of the cheaper scratching posts.
Our only real criticism of this otherwise wonderful cat scratching post is that the metal screws on the underside of the base could make the post a bit unstable on hard floor if they are not screwed in properly. Other than that, the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post only takes a few minutes to assemble and feels like quality from the moment you first pick it up. It’s a smart, sturdy, tall scratching post that should give your cat something else to scratch other than your furniture!
Things We Liked
- Very smart looking
- Durable woven sisal fibre for scratching
- Well-built and stable on the ground
- Good height to allow full stretching
- Easy, 2-screw, assembly
Things We Disliked
- This is a tall cat scratching post – may look a bit too much in a very small room
TRIXIE Pet Products Parla Scratching Post
Our next choice of tall scratching posts is the TRIXIE Pet Products Parla Scratching Post, which gets our vote as the best value for money cat scratcher. This post is wrapped in hardwearing sisal rope, which some cats actually prefer to the fibrous sisal material that is used on some other models. The TRIXIE Pet Products Parla Scratching Post comes in a choice of two colour schemes. You can have a beige base with white sisal rope, or a platinum grey base with a natural colour sisal rope. The tones of both the colour schemes are fairly neutral, but in our opinion, this Trixie cat scratching post does not look quite as smart as the Pioneer Pet Smart Scratching Post, but that is just down to personal preference.
The post is 24 inches high, so that will give most cats a good stretch when they use it, and the base, which is covered in plush, carpet like, material,is wide enough to keep the post stable when it is being scratched. The Trixie cat stretching post is very easy to assemble; it took less than a minute to put together.
Things We Liked
- Very easy to assemble
- Tall enough for cats to get a good a stretch when they are scratching
- Wide base keeps the post stable
- Good quality sisal rope on the post
Things We Disliked
- The scratching post has quite a small diameter
- Cats might scratch the carpet covered base
- Could be packaged better for shipping
B. Incline Cat Scratcher
KONG Naturals Incline Scratcher Cat Toy
The KONG Incline Scratcher Cat Toy is a toy with a purpose, because it will stop your cat scratching at your furniture and curtains. This cat scratcher is made of all natural materials from renewable resources, so it has perfect green credentials. The honeycombed scratching surface is set at an enticing angle for cats to scratch and your pets will love playing on this one too.
One thing that we really liked about this cat scratcher is that the scratching surface is reversible, so you can just flip it over when one side gets a bit worn, and you can also buy replacement scratching surfaces, which we think is a great idea.
You even get some catnip with this incline cat scratcher and you get a little toy too, although we doubt very much the toy will last very long. The build quality is pretty good too, it is fairly strong, but if you leave the KONG Naturals Incline Scratcher Cat Toy on hard, shiny floor, your cat will probably be able to push the scratcher around the room.
Whether they lay on it, play on it, or scratch at it, cats just seem to love this cat scratcher. Cat owners will love it too, because when cats scratch it, it doesn’t create too much of a mess on the floor.
Things We Disliked
- The free toy inside the scratcher may not last very long
- Lightweight design means that it may slide along hard floor
- Side access holes to the toy are a bit too small
C. Vertical Cat Scratcher
PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher and Post
This is our choice of cat scratching post for sheer versatility. The PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher provides two, near vertical, scratching areas, one vertical side, depending on which way up on the ground you sit the scratcher, plus horizontal scratching surfaces too. We loved the hollowed out triangular design of this model too. It makes a fun plaything for cats and it means that you can rotate it, so that the wear is evenly distributed over all the surfaces.
The PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher is made out of recycled cardboard and non-toxic corn starch glue, so it’s both safe and environmentally friendly, and it comes with a one month warranty. Don’t let the cardboard aspect of this cat scratcher fool you, though, it’s tough and it’s hardwearing. No cat scratcher is going last you a lifetime, but you will get your money’s worth out of this one.
When compared to other scratching posts made out of cardboard, the PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher and Post looks and feels like a much better quality than most. The manufacturer says that, even after a full year of being scratched at, this model will still have plenty of life left in it. The quality of this model, plus its interesting shape and novel design, put the PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher and Post well up there amongst the good selection.
Things We Liked
- Innovative design
- Environmentally friendly materialsot of different scratching surfaces
- Tough and strong
- Cats love it!
Things We Disliked
- Not very large, so large cats may not get a full stretch when they use it
- May slip along the floor on a hard floor
- Some cats just prefer upright scratching posts
D. Best Cat Trees with Scratching Posts
Armarkat Cat tree Furniture Condo, Height -50-Inch to 60-Inch
You could consider buying a cat tree like the Armarkat Cat tree Furniture Condo. This cat tree has three sisal rope covered scratching posts combined with soft, faux fur covered platforms and a condo.
Cat trees give you all the benefits of a cat scratching post with the addition of being pieces of furniture that your cats will know is their own. That gives them a place to play and sleep and it reinforces the fact that is Ok to scratch at the posts on the tree, so cats will be less likely to scratch at the other furniture in the home.
The Armarkat Cat tree Furniture Condo is just one example of the many great designs of cat trees, which come in all shapes and sizes and a wide variety of different designs. If you want to find out more about cat trees and learn how to choose the best cat tree for your pet, check out our Best Cat Tree Reviews – Best Cat Furniture for Your Pet.
If your cat is scratching, there are a few things you can do alongside purchasing a scratching post from this article.
- Discipline. This is a huge one! Some of the best ways to create an atmosphere for discipline are through spraying and training. With sprays, you are strategic about making sure your cat knows exactly what is right and what is wrong. Lightly spray them when they disobey. With training, you show your cat what to do and what not to do, and practically guide them to do the right thing.
- Cut or tape their nails. It's not great to remove their nails altogether, but you can cut or tape them! Keep a schedule where you cut them every so often, depending on how fast they grow, or purchase tape to go over them. This will keep the impact of their scratching in your home to a minimum.
Cats like to have a variety of surfaces that can scratch on, so we would recommend that you think about buying more than one type of cat scratcher. If your cat has, at least, a vertical cat scratching pole and an inclined or horizontal scratcher, whether your cat tries to scratch your carpets or the back of your furniture, you will always have something else that you can entice your pet to scratch instated.