In Search Of The Best Cat Scratching Post
All cat owners have been there; claw marks up the side of your furniture due to your furry friend needing to satisfy their urges. There is a simple way of preventing this however. You need to buy a cat scratching post.
In this article we will take a close look at 5 of the best scratching posts for cats you can currently buy. Check out the table below for our choices at a glance. For full reviews of each and a dedicated buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Top 5 Best Cat Scratching Posts
|TOP PICK:The Refined FelineLotus Cat Tower|
|Molly and Friends4 Tier ScratchingPost|
Sleepy InnCat Furniture60 inch
|Molly and FriendsTunnel and Cradle|
Sisal Scratching Post
- 1 Top 5 Best Cat Scratching Posts
- 2 Why Your Cat Needs a Scratching Post
- 3 Why You Need A Scratching Post
- 4 Cat Scratching Post Buyer’s Guide
- 5 Best Cat Scratching Post Reviews
- 6 TOP PICK: The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower
- 7 Molly and Friends Four-Tier Scratching Post Furniture
- 8 PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
- 9 Miller’s Cats 1004 Sleepy Inn Cat Furniture with 4 Plush Carpeted Platforms
- 10 Molly and Friends Tunnel and Cradle Sisal Scratching Post
- 11 Training Your Cat to use a Scratching Post
Why Your Cat Needs a Scratching Post
A scratching post at home is an important addition for the mental and physical state of your cat. A scratching post allows them to fulfil their innate urge to scratch.
One of the main reasons they scratch is to keep their nails in order. While the nails on your cat’s rear paws are used for itching and climbing, the nails on the front are used for grabbing and catching prey.
Obviously, the cat’s nails grow throughout their lives. In order to maintain healthy nails up to the job nature intended, cats have learned to look after them.
For their rear claws, cats do this by using their teeth to pull at the old nails revealing the new claw sheaths beneath.
When it comes to their front claws, cats will hook their nails into a material and pull downwards. This achieves the same outcome as the TLC conducted on the rear claws, i.e the new sheaths are revealed beneath the old.
And of course, the domesticated cat is in a position to use a good old scratching post.
Why You Need A Scratching Post
This one should be obvious to most cat owners. If you don’t have a scratching post in the home, your cat will look for other material with which to keep their front claws in order.
Needless to say, this could easily end up being the side of your sofa, or at the base of your curtain drapes.
If you want to keep your furniture in good condition with a cat around, you are going to need a scratching post.
Cat Scratching Post Buyer’s Guide
There are many types of cat scratching post available. There’s simple, small cardboard types that can be used to satisfy your cat’s urges. There’s also large cat condos that incorporate textured components designed to give your cat the traction they need.
When looking to buy a cat scratching post, these are some of the elements you should consider.
Scratching Post Material
Just as the design and size of a scratching post for cats can vary, so can the types of materials used.
One of the most popular options is a post covered with rough sisal rope. The texture is course enough for your cat to really dig their claws in, (much the same way as tree bark does for cats in the wild)
Sisal posts are great as they are durable. Your cat will be able to claw away at the material for years. For this reason you can buy large, posts with different tiers. Sisal based scratching posts are designed to be used for a long time before they need replacing.
Some cat scratching posts are covered in rough carpet.
While these do look good and provide the cat with the coarse material they need to maintain their claws, some cats may end up mistaking your own carpet as a place they can fulfil their urges.
Carpeted scratching areas are actually better if they feature a sisal area too. The comfort areas of the post are covered in carpet, with a designated scratching area being made from sisal.
Many of the larger scratching posts in our review round up opt for this design.
Corrugated cardboard is another material you can choose when looking to buy a scratching post.
As you would expect, these are cheaper to buy when compared to other materials. However they are also less hard-wearing.
A benefit of cardboard posts stem from the fact that they are easy and affordable to replace. Most cats like them too.
They are normally designed to lie flat on the floor and may also feature a toy on a string for your cat to play with.
Shape & Design
As I mentioned earlier, cat scratching posts come in various shapes and sizes.
Traditionally, a scratching post would consist of a thin base with a rod or rectangular shape vertical post covered in course material.
These simple versions are still available of course, however more sophisticated designs that incorporate shelves and cubby holes are becoming very popular.
There are also types available that are designed so well, they become a point of focus for the room they are in. They resemble a beautiful piece of furniture rather than something designed for your cat to fulfil their scratching needs.
Beyond the aesthetics, (which are clearly designed to appeal to use humans rather than your cat), your furry friend will be able to provide clues on the type of scratching post you should opt for:
- A cat that likes to stretch upwards to scratch will prefer a tall, vertical design
- A cat that likes to climb and survey from up high will like a tiered design
- Cats who like to stretch low while they scratch will need a large flat scratching area. (A tilted scratcher would also be suitable)
- A cat that likes to roll or rub their faces on the scratcher will enjoy S shaped designs, or posts with curves this.
Whether you choose a simple post, or an elaborate 5 tiered tower that stretches from floor to ceiling, the product of choice needs to be stable.
Most cats will not take to an area that lacks the sturdiness they require. A lot of force goes into their scratching fulfilment. They can’t dig their claws in if the post falls over under the strain.
On the taller, multi-level platform designs you can buy make sure to read customer reviews to get an idea on what the product is like in practice.
If other users have found that their cat could knock it over with relative ease, it is probably best avoided.
Height of the scratching post
Generally speaking, the taller and more sturdy the post, the more likely your cat will enjoy it. At the end of the day, you want them to prefer the post to the other options for scratching in your home.
This is why the multi-tiered platform designs are so popular these days. They appeal to the majority of cats due to the range of choices they have to fulfil their scratching needs.
From dangling toys on strings, windows to pop their heads into and little boxes they can use to hide and nap, today’s scratching posts have all manner of features to appeal to you kitty.
It all really depends on your budget and your needs.
A simple post on a platform may fulfil their scratching urges, however one of the larger designs will be able to provide so much more.
Best Cat Scratching Post Reviews
The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower is a real gem of a scratching post. It is clearly much more than that however.
Featuring soft cushions with washable faux suede covers an inside hide-a-way with cubby holes, the finished result is a play area your cat will understandably enjoy.
The all important scratching area is made from sisal, and stretches a total 20 inches in length.
Other sections of the tower are covered with brown Berber carpet that is attached with velcro for easy cleaning. The soft cushions also use machine washable covers.
The design goes further than just satisfying your cat mind you. The Refined Feline Lotus is made to the specifications of a quality piece of furniture.
The sleek, organic design blends symmetry, functionality, and minimalism into a contemporary finish that really will become a talking point when placed within your home.
The manufacturers have done a wonderful job of fitting the towers large platforms and stepped shelves into a unit that looks this good. The diverse arrangement is also suitable for multiple cats if you have them.
And if your cat likes to perch in high places to survey their surroundings, they will be in their element here. At 69 inches tall, your cat has borderline bird’s eye view of the room.
For felines that prefer a lower enclosed profile, they can rest in the bottom hide-a-way cushioned cubby hole. To ensure that the tower will last for many years to come, all parts that wear are replaceable.
One thing to bare in mind is the fact that the unit has to be assembled upon arrival. This is simple enough to carry out and the relevant tools are provided. Put simply, if you can knock up an Ikea bookcase, you will have no problem putting the lotus cat scratching tower together.
Total dimensions come in at 69 inch tall by 20 inch wide and 20 inch deep.
Pros of the The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower
- Beautiful, sleek, organic design
- Durable ply construction with oak veneer finish.
- Sturdy ad course 20″ long sisal scratcher
- Easy clean soft cushions include washable covers
- Carpeted platforms are velcro’d
- Parts that wear over time are completely replaceable.
- Suitable for multiple cats
- Assembly is required, (although relevant tools are included).
- The cost of the tower could make it unsuitable for some budgets
The Refined Feline Lotus Tower gets is our top pick, best scratching posts for cats because it blends sturdy construction and functionality with a high quality aesthetic.
This looks more than just a standard piece of cat furniture. It’s contemporary, sleek design really is something to marvel upon. Add that to the fact your cat is likely to love all the tower has to offer, make it an excellent buy.
Molly and Friends Four-Tier Scratching Post Furniture
The Molly and Friends brand have a wide range of cat beds, condos and combined scratchers available. In our opinion the 66 inch four tiered scratching post is the one to buy.
The construction is designed to give your cat large rest areas, as well as sections that will entice stretching and playing.
Most important of all, is the all natural thick sisal rope that is used. Covering areas of the tree, your cat will be able to dig his claws into it as and when he pleases.
The build quality is impressive from Molly and Friends too. This particular model utilises solid pine poles for the main structure. Heavy duty screws and bolts and then used to ensure a stable construction.
Another big plus point in our eyes is the fact the scratching post is handmade in the U.S.A. It requires no assembly either – Molly and Friends take care of that for you.
There’s a good reason for this. With the furniture being built in the manufacturers workshop, rather than “modular” built in the home, you can be assured that everything is pieced together firmly.
The cat scratching post you have in your home will withstand the vigorous activity of any number of cats.
The 66 inch model contains two beds and two cradles. A total area of 30 inches is covered in natural sisal rope for scratching.
Pros of the Molly & Friends Four-Tier Scratching Post
- Quality construction – solid pine posts and sturdy weighted base to prevent tipping
- Soft carpet as well as durable, rough sisal rope covering
- 2 beds and 2 cradles for lounging
- Made in the USA
- Some users have stated that the tower is not quite straight enough considering the cost
- Not all the posts have sisal covering
The four-tiered cat scratching tower from Molly & Friends has proved to be a real hit with many customers. Sturdy and well built with plenty of space for more than one cat to be comfortable, this post comes highly recommended.
PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
The first two reviews in our best scratching posts for cats round up have concentrated on large offerings that provide your cat will a full range of options beyond being able to simply satisfy their urge to scratch.
Now we will take it back a notch and look at a very good option if your budget is lower and you just want an appealing scratching pad / lounger for your cat.
The Ultimate Cat Scratcher from PetFusion goes for a funky curved design that will appeal to cats that like to roll around as they scratch, (or lounge around after a really heavy scratch).
PetFusion have opted for a recycled corrugated cardboard construction, (that understandably brings the cost down), however that is not to say that the product feels cheap.
Yes of course the PetFusion will not last the long haul when compared to the pine construction used on the Molly and Friends, or the robust ply and oak veneer Lotus lounger, however it still feels very sturdy.
What you have here is a stylish and attractive, yet simple and functional scratching lounger for your cat to enjoy.
In the words of PetFusion:”Finally a pet product with a stylish design that flows with your home decor.”
Take one look at the photographs and you will have to agree that they are not wrong. If you’re a fan of the contemporary look, this will suit your home very well indeed.
Furthermore, if you care about the environment you will pleased to hear that the product design actually won a 2015 Eco-Excellence Award.
So it is pretty much guaranteed that you will like the PetFusion in your home. But will your cat take to it? To help with that, the manufacturers include some premium USA organic catnip to train your cat.
A 7 month return policy based on a pursuit of 100% customer satisfaction is also another great selling point.
Finally, for those that would prefer not to pick up a screwdriver, no assembly required. (Total dimensions come in at: 34 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches (LWH))
Pros of the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
- The product won a 2015 Eco-Excellence Award.
- Affordable price point
- Stylish and contemporary design made of recycled corrugated cardboard
- Acts as both a scratcher and a lounger
- The curved shape provides easier scratching
- Large surface area to hold more than one cat
- Includes premium USA organic catnip.
- PetFusion offer a 7 month return policy and 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
- If your cat likes high places they are not going to get that here.
- Other cat scratching centres reviewed in our top 5 offer a lot more versatility
If you are on a budget and you want a simple yet attractive way of helping your cat get rid of their urge to scratch, the cat scratcher lounger from PetFusion is definitely worth checking out. It looks great and it works. Just don’t expect it to last as long as some of the other scratching centres reviewed here.
Miller’s Cats 1004 Sleepy Inn Cat Furniture with 4 Plush Carpeted Platforms
Miller’s Cat have come up with a great cat scratching post built over 4 tiers. The Sleepy Inn features fabric covered lounging areas for your cat to snuggle up and nap.
The plush carpet is so soft it’s enough to make you wish they made a version for humans.
Connecting the tiers together are sisal rope wrapped posts that provide your cat with the scratching material they need.
Cats can either stretch and scratch as they climb the Sleepy Inn, or simple tug on the rope from inside one of the lounge areas.
At 60-Inch tall with a 23-inch by 20-inch base, the tower is sturdy while providing enough room for multiple cats to play, lounge and scratch.
This is another manufacturer originating from inside the USA. Miller’s Cats has been making quality cat furniture since 1983. All of their product lines are proudly made in America.
Pros of the Miller’s Cats 1004 Sleepy Inn Cat Furniture with 4 Plush Carpeted Platforms
- Four elevated platforms providing very comfortable napping space
- More than one cat can play, sleep and lounge
- The construction posts are wrapped in sisal rope throughout
- Built in America
- Some customers have stated that the unit can wobble if the cat jumps to aggressively
- If your cats are large, the lounge platforms may be a bit snug for them
The Miller’s Cat Sleepy Inn is a good 4 tiered cat scratcher that we definitely recommend. However, do consider the fact in larger cats may be too big for the platforms.
Molly and Friends Tunnel and Cradle Sisal Scratching Post
Another cat scratcher from Molly and Friends makes our list. This time its the Tunnel and Cradle Sisal Scratching Post.
Featuring a raised napping tunnel and a higher cradle for lookout duty, with a center piece of a tall sisal covered scratching post, this solution is great for owners that don’t want the large scratching post units, but still want to offer their cat a little variation.
This multi-level cat scratcher is handmade, with the tunnel and cradle (as well as the base) fully wrapped in carpet. The base is weighted too, to ensure that your cat can jump onto the scratcher without any concern that it will tip over.
The tightly woven sisal rope post will stand up to the demands of the most aggressive scratcher. You should have no problems convincing your furry friend to use this rather than your sofa.
The scratcher looks great and doesn’t take up much room. It comes in a variety of carpet color options for you to choose from in accordance with your home decor.
Pros of the Tunnel and Cradle Sisal Scratching Post
- Features a fun tunnel for play or rest as well as a cradle for lookout
- Tall sisal covered scratching post runs the height of the center
- Easy to clean carpet covering, (vacuum or wipe down with damp cloth)
- Sturdy carpet covered base to avoid tipping
- Frame material includes manufactured wood, with solid wood pole
- Handmade in the USA, no assembly required
- Some owners have complained that the top shelf is not large enough
- A minority of owners state that their cats didn’t take to the tunnel
The Molly and Friends Tunnel and Cradle Sisal Scratching Post is a great option for those that do want a large multi-tiered scratcher, but would still like their cat to have fun. The unit is well made and sturdy enough for playful cats, and comes in a range of colours.
Training Your Cat to use a Scratching Post
If your cat is not trained to scratch on scratching post then we have some solid tips for you to teach your cat how to scratch on a scratching post.
Note one thing, if you have an adult cat you have never tried to teach, then this may take some time.
Teaching an adult cat to scratch on scratching pad (or anything new for that matter) can be really difficult. So with that in mind, let’s move on to our first tip.
Kitten-hood is best for learning
Cats in their kitten-hood learn and adopt new things quickly, they anticipate their environment and learn to get used to it, so that is the perfect time for a cat owner to spend time teaching him some lessons.
If you have a grown up cat too then by teaching little kitten, the adult cat may also follow the pattern.
The position of the scratching post is very important
When a cat wakes up from their sleep, they will often stretch. This is the time they are likely to use a scratching pad too.
Placing the scratching post near where your cat is taking a nap is a good starting point.
Furthermore, if they scratch a specific piece of furniture, try to block it off. You can even place the new post in the way of the area where your cat has been ruining your belongings.
If you want your cat to scratch on the scratching post but your cat is not interested, spend some time watching their patterns.
If your cat scratches some places more often, it might be because they are marking their territory. Those spots may prove an effective place to put the post.
Clearly you shouldn’t place the post in an area where your cat spends little time.
Introduce your cat slowly – don’t force it
Don’t try too hard to convince your cat to scratch on a surface you want. If you do so in result cat will start scratching everything else but not scratching post.
In essence they will rebel.
The worst thing you can do is drag them to the post, or punish too hard for scratching your furniture and then haul them to where you want them to do it.
Your cat will associate the entire ordeal (along with the scratching post) with punishment and therefore fear.
Watch their habits and buy accordingly
As we have stated throughout this article, scratching surfaces can be vertical, angular or horizontal.
Because there are so many different types of scratching posts available you can observe your cat when she is scratching either on sofa, bed or any other thing then buy a scratching post to suit their habits.
Reward your cat
Last but not the least your cat loves rewards. Reward your cat when she scratches on her scratching post. Serve up your cat some yummy food, treats or may be just a hug would work.
Whenever your cat has a relapse, make her understand what she did is wrong. You can do this by making loud nose, staring and expressing your displeasure with expressions.
Once your cat starts using scratching post regularly then all your efforts will have paid off.