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Best Cat Scratching Posts for 2020

Your cat needs to scratch to remove the dead outer layer of their claws.

If you don’t have a cat scratching post or board to hand that they are trained to use, then they will just find some other poor unsuspecting piece of furniture which will do the job until it is ripped to shreds.

Not only do you want to protect your sofa, but you also want to give your cat the best equipment to get the job done. The rough material and strong build of a post will work much better than an armchair or the carpet, and there is a huge variety to choose from as we have discussed below.

We have spent hours researching the different types, sizes and materials of cat scratching post to find you the best.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Ancol Acticat Fat Boy Scratch Post
    • Huge size
    • Sturdy flat base
    • Strong rope
    Check Price
    Trixie Mimi Scratching Wave
    • Curved design
    • Environmentally friendly
    Check Price
    Purrshire Sofa Protect Cat Scratcher
    • Dangly mouse toy
    • Specifically to protect sofas
    Check Price

    Top 10 Best Cat Scratching Posts Reviewed

    1.
    Ancol Acticat Fat Boy Scratch Post

    Not only is this the best scratching post overall, but it is also the best heavy-duty, best sturdy and best large cat scratching post we found. We love a product which ticks all the boxes.

    It features a sisal rope scratching area, as well as a soft plush base which makes it comfortable for them to feel safe on. The pole is covered in 60 metres of rope, so it is strong and sturdy to boot, pretty much unable to unravel.

    A generous height of 70cm means cats who love to stretch up high can reach, and the diameter could accommodate a few cats at once if they tend to fight over the space. Because it is so wide and sturdy, not even the most hyperactive of cats could bring it down, nor will they if they jump on top of it.

    Many users have said that it is the only post their cat will touch as they have turned their noses up at thinner, cheaper and less substantial models. Others have said it has lasted them for years. If you’re struggling to find one your cat will go near but want to ensure it doesn’t fray within hours, it’s a great bet.

    Features

    • Huge size
    • Sturdy flat base
    • Strong rope

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 45.7 x 45.7 x 94 cm
    • Colour: Chocolate/Beige

    2.
    Trixie Mimi Scratching Wave

    Some cats either won’t or can’t reach up high. If this is the case for yours, then a flatter scratching pad could do the trick.

    It is a good idea to get one of these if your cat seems to use the carpet mostly to do their scratching at the moment, as opposed to stretching up. They’d be more likely to use it if comfortable.

    The curved build offers something a bit different and it can also be used as a resting spot for any cats who need a nap but actively avoid any bed you’ve ever bought. As it is quite long, they will still be able to exercise their shoulders and spine by stretching when they wake up.

    It would also be a good product for kittens and younger cats who aren’t quite balanced enough yet to go vertical but need to learn how to scratch from a young age. The entire thing is just made out of cardboard, so if it does get damaged, not only did it not cost much but it can be recycled too. This also offers something a bit more gentle than sisal.

    Features

    • Curved design
    • Environmentally friendly

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 24.13 x 44.45 x 6.35cm
    • Colour: Brown

    3.
    Purrshire Sofa Protect Cat Scratcher

    For cats who adore tearing your sofa to shreds as opposed to using any form of dedicated post, this chair protector could be the answer.

    It just sits alongside your sofa, but rather than them having access to the fabric, they are deceived into using this scratcher. If your cat is beyond training, or if you have a kitten who can’t quite understand ‘no’ yet, it could save you from a lot of damage.

    The scratcher is safe and secure too, as you rest the sofa leg on the base of the unit. This keeps it upright and in the perfect position so there are no injuries. It comes with a dangly mouse attached as a form of encouragement so they are more likely to be drawn towards it.

    Features

    • Dangly mouse toy
    • Specifically to protect sofas

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 35 x 51.5cm
    • Colour: Cream/Black

    4.
    COZY PET Deluxe Fat Boy Super Large Cat Scratching Post

    Chunky scratching posts are great as they are stable and strong enough to cope with the most over-exuberant of scratchers.

    The heavy duty sisal will keep their claws in a fine state without having to seek out anywhere else, and the taller size means even larger cats can fully stretch up and lean against it.

    Thanks to the beige colour, it will match your decor, but you can also buy in light grey or chocolate.

    Features

    • Large size for bigger cats
    • Secure build

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: H74cm, Base 49 x 49cm
    • Colour: Beige, Navy, Chocolate

    5.
    Baby Bea Cardboard Play and Scratch Kitten Toy

    Training your kitten to use a scratching post when they are young could save a lot of ruined furniture and painful claws in later life, but the likelihood is that they are going to have to be doing this without actually realising it.

    A lot of kitten training involves making experiences fun, rewarding and interactive. This pad brings playtime to life. It is a chaser, mimicking real prey, but as they scramble about they can scratch their claws without really knowing that is what they are doing.

    Made from cardboard, it can be more gentle than sisal material, reducing the likelihood of their claws catching and sticking. Catnip is included to increase their activity, and the entire unit contains different textures and colours which should get them used to explore in later life.

    Features

    • Cardboard so can be recycled
    • An all-in-one

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 5 x 30 x 30cm
    • Colour: Cream/Brown

    6.
    Rosewood Parsley Cat Scratching Post

    This jute rope scratcher, infused with catnip to increase levels of hyperactivity, adds a different dimension to keeping claws perfect.

    The rounded shape offers something different, encouraging more of a play centre as opposed to a task. A teaser toy will show them what to do and draw them towards it, but this is removable if you feel they are getting a bit too overactive.

    The height isn’t as tall as a lot of posts, so it could be good for cats who don’t like to stretch and scratch too much but who need something more than a flat panel. As it is round, it has a low centre of gravity so could be good for cats who regularly knock things over.

    Features

    • Round shape
    • Catnip infused

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 33 cm
    • Colour: Brown

    7.
    Bunty Cat Scratching Post

    Cat scratching posts protect your furniture and their overall health.

    The tightly bound sisal rope and faux fur base are not only comfortable and luxurious but also great quality to ensure they don’t become damaged with over-scratching. The frame is made from MDF which is sturdy, and there are two hanging toys which will encourage them to go to the post and play and scratch a the same time.

    Because of the base, you will need a good amount of room, but it should keep it steady and safe.

    Features

    • Tightly bound rope so it doesn't unravel
    • Toys to encourage the use of post

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 31 x 31 x 32cm
    • Colour: Brown, Cream

    8.
    Pets at Home Smyth Scratch and Play Fish

    Scratching surfaces and posts are essential for cats, especially ones which are always indoors, but homes don’t always have the space to keep them.

    This fish, which hangs on your door, not only saves space but gives your cat somewhere to stretch up and keep their claws intact. If they struggle to get used to it, a quick spray with catnip could ensure it appeals to them.

    It doesn’t have to be hung on the door – some users have reported just leaving it in the floor, where it has the same effect as a post but takes up less room, and gives your cat something to move around and play with.

    Features

    • Space saver
    • Can also be used as a toy

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 25.5 x 11 x 4cm
    • Colour: Neutral

    9.
    Kerbl Dolomit Tofana Pro Wall-Mounted Cat Tree

    A wall-mounted scratching post kills a few birds with one stone. You don’t have to set it on the floor where it takes up space, it is secured so you don’t have to monitor your cat and the post at all times, and it also gives them a bit of a play centre.

    They can lounge and play while maintaining their claws. Platforms allow them to climb, and there is space for sleeping so they can have a bit of rest and relaxation in between runs.

    Each post is covered in sisal rope, and there is also an additional top hanging dow which they can stretch up to and play with.

    Features

    • Multi-use
    • Attaches to the wall
    • Feels strong and stable

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 70 x 103 x 112 cm
    • Colour: Beige

    10.
    Gorpets Willow Scratching Post

    Able to attach to a wall, door or piece of furniture securely, this would make an ideal panel for any cats who are a little wild and you don’t trust with a post which could be knocked over.

    It could also be good for any older cats or nervous cats who could become spooked or injured with a wobbly post. As it can attach to furniture it could also protect that sofa or doorframe which your kitty has become partial to ripping to shreds. It comes with the mounting kit which is needed.

    You can lay it down on the floor too if you wish, and the faux fur backing will keep it relatively still against a mat or carpet.

     

     

    Features

    • Securely fits to wall
    • Large surface area

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 64 x 20 x 3 cm
    • Colour: Beige

    Buying Guide

    Types Of Scratching Surfaces

    Post

    The traditional form. A tall pole which allows your cat to reach up and manage their claws, which is good for cats who like to stretch to maintain their back and shoulders

    Pad

    Better for any cats who find it difficult to stretch vertically, or younger cats who may not be balanced enough yet. Some pads may also be able to attach to a wall vertically

    Ball

    These are rarer but can offer another dimension to claw care, by giving a more playful surface. They are also usually more balanced so good for cats who like to launch about

    Hanger

    Often hang on a door handle or from the wall. Perfect for saving floor space in your home, but are often smaller

    Wall Mounted

    A scratcher combined with a bit of a play centre or sleeping surface. They attach to the wall and could be good for cats who like to climb or need something more secure than a freestanding model

    Materials

    A few materials are better than others for scratching posts. Cats prefer something sturdy but which sheds under their claws. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you’ll be buying a replacement every week. It just means they get that destruction feeling. Studies also show they like to leave shredding marks and like the noise which comes with it.

    Firstly, the overall build should be something strong such as wood or solid plastic. Many are also made of substantial corrugated cardboard, which is good for being lightweight yet solid.

    The actual scratch surface should ideally be something like sisal rope which can fray without coming apart. Sisal fabric is found on flatter, non-post surfaces. Try to avoid materials such as carpet or felt if your cat currently uses the lounge floor or your armchair to scratch, as they can find it hard knowing why they can use one and not the other.

    Corrugated cardboard can also act as the scratch surface. Again, it is a pleasing feeling, but can also be gentler on claws which is good for younger cats or those who are indoors.

    What To Look Out For In A New Scratching Post

    • Rigidity – Cats need resistance in order to feel comfortable using the post and to ensure it does a good job. They can only get this from a surface which feels safe, secured and allows them to use their own technique
    • Size – Is it tall or long enough? They like to stretch while caring for their claws, so it is no good getting a tiny post for a cat who is very long
    • Placement – Cats love to stretch and scratch after waking up. Because of this, it is a good idea to place the surface near their bed. Ensure they have enough space to move about freely but still have their own little corner

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Why Are Cat Scratching Posts Essential?

    Cats scratch to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, keeping them sharp and in good condition. This natural behaviour also allows them to mark their territory, as well as stretching their back and shoulder muscles.

    They are going to do it whether you have a cat scratching pole in your home or not, so we would strongly suggest getting one. It will protect your sofas, chairs and other furniture from attack, as well as being perfect for your kitties claws.

    Will Buying A Scratching Post Stop My Cat From Using The Carpet/Sofa/Stairs?

    Not all cats will automatically take to your post and know what it does, but after some time getting used to it and using the right encouragement, it should put a stop to this.

    Things like a catnip spray or play toy attached could help the attraction, and when their claws connect with the surface, it will hopefully promote scratching.

    Place it in an area they seem to like and give them positive reinforcement. Continue to discourage them to use their previous favourite surface with anti-scratch sprays and always remember that when they scratch your sofa, you shouldn’t tell them off because they don’t know they are doing anything wrong.

    How Can I Choose The Best Scratching Surface?

    Many cats actually like to have some choice, whether that be both vertical and horizontal or different materials. So, you may decide to opt for two or three of the above, such as one vertical sisal post and another horizontal cardboard option.

    Are There Any Alternatives To Posts?

    Posts are much better than solid wood such as trees or doorframes, as they’re specially made for your cat’s claws. But as opposed to a standard post, you could buy a cat tree which contains one or two posts, and some beds even have scratching sections.

    Many cats love to have everything in one area, such as their bed and play centre, so this could help very active cats.