Want to stop your cat from completely shredding your furniture to bits? Our list covers different types of cat scratchers, designed to suit every feline’s needs and quirks.
Best Cat Scratchers
You might not be too thrilled about your cat’s scratching habits, but it is completely normal behavior for our feline friends. In fact, if you want your pet to be happy, you shouldn’t prevent them from scratching things- just make sure they are scratching something that’s not valuable to you. That’s where cat scratchers come into play. Instead of letting your cat ruin your furniture or wooden fixtures, give them something that will entice them more than your valuables. Best cat scratchers are designed so they are interesting for your cat to dig her claw in, and efficient as they help kitties groom their nails.
Our Picks for the Best Cat Scratchers to Consider
To help you figure out which cat scratcher is worth getting for your furry companion, we’ve compiled a list of 10 scratchers that boast stellar qualities. Our list covers various different types of cat scratchers, designed to suit every felines’ needs and quirks. From basic models to those with some bells and whistles, all of the scratchers from our list are bound to inspire your cat to get her claws out. It’s up to you, though, to make sure you’re picking the right type- otherwise, those claws might be aimed at your unsuspecting leg.
1. Editor’s choice: PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
If you are in search of an interesting looking cat scratcher that will fit in more easily with your chic décor, look no further than the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge. Made out of recycled cardboard and put together with non-toxic corn starch glue, this modern cat scratcher lounge is natural, eco-friendly, and completely safe for your precious pet to use. Add some catnip to this scratcher to attract your kitty to it, and before you know it, she will be using it all the time. The curves help make it easier for your cat to scratch, and because this sits horizontally, it’s great for kitties that like to scratch on the floor rather than reaching up to a post. It’s also quite sturdy and durable, and it will give your pet many months of fun. In addition to being perfectly shaped for cat naps, it’s also ideal for stretching and scratching. The sleek and futuristic design makes this cardboard scratcher stand out among the usual plain ones, which can stick out like a sore thumb in your living room. It also comes in three colors to fit in with all living space styles: cloud white, slate gray, and walnut brown. And the best part is that, when one side gets worn out, you can simply flip it right over to let your cat use the other side of it—this feature helps make this scratcher long-lasting, and it helps you save money in the long run. The dimensions of this versatile cat scratcher lounge are 34 by 10.5 by 10.5 inches.
- Catnip entices pets to play
- Doubles as a nap spot
- Durable and versatile
- 3 color styles
- Doesn’t last as long as sturdier scratchers
2. Runner up: SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat
The combination of sisal and carpeted scratching surfaces will please even the pickiest of felines. After all, the fact that it is the most similar they can get to scratching furniture is itself enough to pique their interest in this scratcher. The unique shape of a scroll is also a great choice for most cats, as it offers different scratching positions and even a place to hide or nap in, which is always appreciated with kitties. To boot, the scratcher comes with a teasing feather dangle that will definitely motivate your cat to get her claws out. Plus, this is a great choice when you are looking for a scratcher that won’t take up a lot of space and will more easily blend in with the rest of your furniture and décor. And because it is made of durable materials, it can be a good way to go if you have more than one cat that will be using the same scratcher. And since this scroll cat scratcher measures 18.5 by 11.42 by 7.09 inches, it will suit most cats regardless of their weight and body type.
- Sisal and carpeted scratching surfaces
- Scroll shape makes it versatile
- Cats can use it to hide or take naps
- Elegant design
- Teaser feather
- Not really suited fo larger cars
3. Customer’s choice: Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post
When a cat scratcher is sturdy, looks elegant and subtle, and felines love to go to town on it, it’s kind of a perfect storm. This scratching post ticks all the boxes – which explains literally thousands of raving reviews. The wooden post is lined with fibrous, durable sisal that won’t budge no matter how feral your feline is when scratching things. And sisal might be the better way to go if your kitty’s claws tend to get caught in scratching posts that are covered in carpet. The whole thing is 32 inches high, which gives most cats plenty enough space to fully stretch vertically! Also, if you’re worried about wobbling, there’s no need- the sturdy and heavy base, which measures 16” x 16”, keeps the scratching post in place. It does require some assembly, but it’s simple, as you can just use the two screws that come with the product. Once it’s set up, your cat will know exactly what to do, as she’ll be attracted to the sisal texture that encourages scratching. With all that in mind, it’s easy to see why this particular cat scratcher is the #1 Best Seller in Cat Scratching Posts category – and why so many pet parents love it.
- Elegant design
- Can seamlessly fit in with the decor
- Sisal scratching surface
- Plenty of space for stretching
- Sturdy and heavy
- Comes in two colors
- Needs to be screwed into the floor for added safety
4. Best for window: K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Scratcher
I wonder, is there a cat that doesn’t love looking out the window? Whether it’s sitting at the windowsill to chatter at unsuspecting birds and insects, or to soak up some vitamin D, most felines spend hours looking out of the window. Especially indoor only cats! So, it’s only logical that a combination of window-mounted lounge space and a cat scratcher is an absolute hit with kitties. The cardboard scratcher lounge is attached to the window with a suction cup system, and will give your cat a place to bask in the sun and groom her claws both. Have in mind that this window-mounted cat scratcher measures 20 by 11 by 2 inches, so it’s not the best fit for larger kitties.
- Easy mounting system
- Corrugated cardboard great for clawing
- Curved design for napping and lounging
- Gives your pet an out-of-reach private spot
- Refills available
- Not for heavier cats
5. Best bed scratcher: Necoichi Cat-Headed Scratcher Bed
How adorable is this- a cat scratcher in the shape of a cat’s head? The unusual shape of this scratcher makes it possible for it to double as a cat bed. Your pet can easily curl up inside the hollowed center for a nap after she finishes her scratching session. Your pet might not be able to appreciate the cute design, but you certainly can. That’s why the Necoichi cat scratcher comes in two mono color designs- birch and whitewood, as well as in two fun patterns – Nala Cat and Waffles the Cat! Thanks to its casual and modern design options, this cute little cat scratcher bed will fit in seamlessly with any home decor without sticking out as a sore thumb, whether you prefer sleek and classic furnishings or funky and contemporary interiors. To boot, this cardboard scratcher is made from fully natural materials – the glue is made from natural corn starch – so it’s a great choice if you want to ensure that your kitty’s scratcher is fully non-toxic and chemical free. It doesn’t really surprise, taking into account all its great features, that this cat head-shaped scratcher has been awarded the Amazon’s Choice badge! It’s worth noting that the dimensions of this cat bed scratcher are 14.2 by 14.2 by 5.9 inches so it’s best suited for small cats and kittens.
- Doubles as a bed
- Two color options
- Cute cat-shaped design
- Chemical-free and non-toxic (cardboard glued with starch glue)
- Great for curling up
- Could be bigger
- Needs replacing after a while
6. Best on a budget: Go Pets Premium Cat Scratcher
This traditional incline cardboard cat scratcher may look basic, but let us tell you—cats go crazy for it. Maybe it’s because the angle is most similar to what they prefer when they’re scratching or kneading their paws. Maybe it’s the included catnip that entices them to come play and then have a good scratch or two. Maybe it’s the additional cut outs that you can put a cat toy in to keep your kitty interested and motivated to get to and paw at.
We don’t think that the fact that it’s environmentally friendly and recyclable hurts either. Although your cat may not care too much about that, Mother Nature does. It’s made with recycled corrugated cardboard and even better, when your cat is done, it’s still recyclable. Talk about lowering your carbon footprint—you can’t do that with a scratching post. Well, not as easily. It’s a lightweight, easy-to-move scratcher your cat will find a constant favorite and at that price, so will you. It measures 15.5 by 8.5 by 8 inches and will be a good fit for most cats regardless of their size.
- Comes with catnip
- Incline allows for natural scratching pose
- Cut outs for hiding toys and treats
- Eco-friendly and recyclable
- Can be used for enrichment
- Well made
7. Best self-grooming: Fukumaru Scratching Pad and Self Groomer
Bye-bye hairballs. Yes, it’s true. The Fukumaru Scratching Pad and Self Groomer will help your cat get rid of them every time they walk through the arched bristles. The corrugated cardboard feels incredible on your kitty’s paws (incredible enough to scratch silly, that is) and the bristles are gentle self-groomers that help take up less of your cat’s day. Did you know they spend over a third of their day grooming themselves? Or that they had scent glands in their cheeks that they use to mark territory?
That’s why this self-groomer is also a little bit of an anxiety reliever for cats—especially territorial cats—as it lets them express natural territorial behaviors right from their own groomer. Not to mention, while taking away shedding at the same time! That’s what we call a multipurpose win. It’s lightweight enough to easily move around (or reasonably priced enough to have a couple) so your cat has sufficient enrichment and grooming opportunity in all his favorite spots, and can be used on two sides, as well. The cat brush arch is made of high quality PVC and steel bar to ensure durability and the scratching pad is made of eco-friendly corrugated paper your kitty’s claws will love to shred. The scratcher measures 16.5 inches in length and 9.8” in height, so it will suit smaller cats better.
And just in case you are worried your kitty won’t be impressed by their new self-grooming station, the seller offers Satisfaction Guarantee , which means that if you have any dissatisfaction with this scratcher (or your cat does) in a period of 30 days after purchase, you can contact them though Amazon and your issues will be solved in 48h.
- Minimizes shedding and hairballs
- Helps with anxiety
- Multiple benefits
- Great for territorial cats
- Made from pet-safe materials
- Bigger cats could knock out the brush arch
8. Best for enrichment: Made4Pets Wooden Cat Scratching Post
If you have a kitten, or an indoor-only cat that will appreciate the extra enrichment value, this multifunctional cat scratcher is the way to go. Designed to offer mental stimulation as well as an outlet for those curious claws, Made4Pets Wooden Cat Scratching Post will keep your kitty occupied for hours on end. The post is covered with 100% natural sisal to keep your pet’s nails trim, and the hanging fluffy ball that dangles from the post will certainly catch your feline friend’s eye – they’ll be batting their paws at it quicker than you say meow.
The bottom base is made of heavy chipboard to ensure stability of the whole scratcher, but that’s not the only great thing about the base. It features 3 levels of tracks with 4 moving balls, all made out of wood, to give your pet an additional level of enrichment – they’ll love to lounge by the scratcher, rolling the balls with their paw. To boot, the rolling sound of wood on wood will entice you kitty and engage their hunting instincts! This also means that this scratching post is made out of natural materials that are safe for your pet. Easy to install with a 4-step assembly process that takes minutes, this interactive cat scratcher will quickly become your cat’s new favorite toy.
- Made from natural materials
- Doubles as a play space
- Sisal scratching surface
- Suited for kittens and adult cats
- Unique sound of wooden balls entices cats
- Easy to put together
- Wooden balls can pop out
9. Best wall-mounted: 7 Ruby Road Wall Mounted Cat Scratching Post
Some cats like to stretch up and scratch on walls or on corners. That can lead to a lot of damage! Choosing the right scratcher, though, can allow your cat to do her thing without wreaking havoc on your beautifully painted walls. And even if your kitty doesn’t go after your walls, if your cat prefers scratching vertically, a wall mounted cat post is a great idea. 7 Ruby Road is made from woven sisal, and it’s quite durable. Even if you have an aggressive scratcher or multiple cats, this will last you a long time. It’s easy to mount and the adhesive stainless steel mounting hooks are included in the package. To boot, if you have a kitty that’s used to sharpening her claws on your wooden fixtures or walls, the transition to this cat scratcher will be seamless. Plus, if you’re worried about the design, don’t fret, as this cat scratcher features a modern look, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. A good choice for cats and kittens of all sizes, this wall-mounted cat scratcher gives your kitty ample space to sharpen claws.
- Great for cats that like to stretch
- Suited for multi-cat households
- Doesn’t take up a lot of space
- Minimalistic design
- Easy to mount
- Could be considered a bit too expensive
10. Best for doors: Omega Paw Door Hanging Cat Scratchy Pad
Does your kitty tend to scratch on your doors? Then the Omega Paw Door Hanging Cat Scratchy Pad might be the ideal choice for her. This is also a great option for cats that like to stretch up and scratch vertically, and it can provide a bit of variety because it’s different from other scratchers out there. This handy scratcher is thin and lightweight. It is constructed from carpet that is durable and can help your scratcher last a long time. A rope is attached to one end, so all you have to do is hang it from any doorknob and show your kitty that it’s there. Plus, the carpet is even treated with catnip to help attract your pet to it and entice her to scratch on it rather than on your door. Once it’s up, your pet can stretch up and scratch right on the door without damaging it, and you’ll also have the added perk of being able to save floor space that would otherwise be taken up by other scratchers. It might be a compact scratcher with dimensions of 16 by 4.5 by 0.3 inches, but it still does the job well!
- Lightweight and portable
- Treated with catnip
- Durable carpet material
- Space-saving design
- Not all cats are enticed by this design
Why Trust Us:
Just like you, we’re pet parents. For the past 10 years, we’ve spent our days researching a broad range of products in every product category we cover to bring you a perfectly curated list of recommendations. With 50 pets on staff and over 40 years of pet industry experience writing and testing products, we’ve got an uncanny sense of what’s worth your money and what isn’t. Our aim is to give you the most accurate and unbiased reviews to help you pick the best products for your furry, hairy, feathery, and/or scaly family.
Why Do Cats Feel the Need to Scratch, Anyway?
Felines are mysterious creatures, but we’ve managed to decipher the majority of their behaviors, scratching induced. When they scratch things, cats stretch and release stress and tension simultaneously – it literally makes them feel good. Similarly, scratching is part of their innate, instinctual behavior. Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching marks their territory – the claw marks are also there to reinforce their claim. Apart from the beneficial impact on their state of mind, scratching things also helps cat remove soft, outer layers of their nails, helping them keep their claws tidy and in check. So, you see, there’s much more to cat scratching things than them being keen on destroying your precious stuff. (That’s just an added bonus for our feline tyrants.)
So Many Cat Scratcher Designs to Choose From!
Now that you know why it is essential for a cat to have something she can scratch in the house, it’s clear why you have to find them a scratcher they’ll love to use. Best cat scratchers come in all shapes and sizes: from posts and lounges to simple cardboard pads. Sometimes, to make your kitty’s transition from furniture to designated scratcher smoother, these cat scratchers come with catnip. Each design has its own pros and cons, and it will largely depend on your cat’s own preferences. Do they like to stretch and claw the door frame or sides of the furniture? Wall-mounted cat scratchers or those with a natural incline might be the best choice. Do you have a kitten or a playful cat that digs her nails only when playing? Consider multifunctional cat scratchers with added teasers or cubbies, that would also encourage your cat’s playful side. It all comes down to the fact you have to know what your kitty likes in order to choose the right type of cat scratcher for them. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of best cat scratchers- to help you save time (and money) in your search for the perfect one.
Things to Consider as You Shop for a Scratching Post
As you shop for the right scratching post for your cat, consider your pet’s unique personality, preferences, and needs. And as you browse the many options that are available on the pet product market today, check out item details like size, sturdiness, and texture, as well as whether a post is vertical or horizontal. Reading customer reviews can give you even more insight into whether or not a product will withstand your kitty’s scratching behavior or if it will end up falling apart before you know it.
You might also decide that you want to get your kitty more than one scratcher, with each one being a different style from the next. Doing so can provide your cat with the variety that will help keep her environment interesting and fun. Plus, it’s a great idea to buy more than one scratcher for your feline friend because you can place them strategically around your home where your cat likes to stretch and scratch. You might, for example, put one in your bedroom so your pet can use it when she wakes up in the morning, and you might also put one in your living room to keep her from using your sofa as her scratching area.
Have Fun Shopping!
Shopping for your kitty should be fun, and the best part is that you can do it from the comfort of home by making your purchase online and having it delivered right to your door. And don’t worry, odds are that your pet will appreciate whatever scratcher you choose to get her. But bear in mind that it might be a matter of trial and error at first while you work on finding the type of scratcher that your cat will absolutely love to use throughout the day every day, without growing bored with it. As an example, you might find that your cat prefers her horizontal scratcher instead of her vertical scratcher that doesn’t get used as much—in that case, you’d know to stick with horizontal designs in the future.
What’s really nice is that, with so many different types of scratchers to choose from these days, you don’t have to go with an unattractive one that will clash with your décor. Instead, you can find one that you and your kitty will like, and you can rest assured that she will use the scratcher, rather than your rugs, carpets, and furniture, to stretch, leave her mark, and keep her claws in tip-top shape.
Why do cats love scratching posts?
For cats, scratching things is an instinctual need, and scratching posts satisfy it perfectly. Cats have scent glands in their paws, so while they scratch, they leave behind their scent on the object as well as their visual mark in the form of scratches – telling everyone it’s their territory. In addition to territorial aspects of the scratching behavior, cats also sharpen their claws by scratching and get a boost of the “happy hormone” thanks to the stretching that the clawing process involves. All in all, there are many reasons why cats love scratching posts – and why they are so beneficial for felines.
What surfaces do cats like to scratch?
Cats like to scratch various things, especially those that are forbidden to claw at (brand new sofa or door frame, for instance). But, apart from the appeal of the forbidden, cats do have some preferences when it comes to the texture of scratching surfaces. Sisal, corrugated cardboard, tree bark, and untreated wood are some of their favorites when it comes to letting their claws out and going to town on the object in question. If you notice your cat is favoring a certain spot in the house it might be because they are drawn to the texture – e.g. upholstery or carpeting – so try to mimic that with an appropriate scratcher that has a similar surface.
How do you redirect a cat scratching?
Getting your cat to scratch something you’d like them to instead of something that they want to scratch can be a daunting task – but with the right method, it can be achieved. To redirect cat’s scratching, first block access to the object you don’t want to get scratched, and if it’s not manageable, make it undesirable to scratch by applying sticky tape over it or spritzing with a citrus-scented spray if your cat dislikes the smell as many cats do. Another great tip is to use an enzyme cleaner to treat the area in order to remove cat scent from the glands so they wouldn’t get tempted to scratch it over and over again. After that, put a scratcher near the spot, and if additional encouragement is needed – douse it in catnip spray or cat-attractant spray.
Do cat scratchers file nails?
Yes, they do – to a certain degree. Depending on the texture of the scratcher and how abrasive it is, cat scratchers can help keep your pet’s nail filed down and in top form. Be sure to keep an eye on their claws, though: just because they use a scratching post doesn’t necessarily have to mean that they won’t need their nails clipped every so often.
Why does my cat scratch aggressively?
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats: it can be a form of play and fun, a way to mark their territory, or it can be a form of aggression. If your cat is scratching aggressively at people or other cats, there might be behavioral issues to be addressed, ranging from anxiety to stress. In case they are aggressively scratching their scratching post (or your furniture) it might just be their “style” and there’s nothing to worry about – unless they are destroying your valuables, in which case you should be redirecting them to a scratching post.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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