Our beloved cats scratch for all sorts of reasons, so it makes perfect sense to make sure you have at least one type of cat scratcher in your home for your cat to enjoy. While many of us might think that our cats scratch to sharpen their claws, that’s actually not the case!
Cats use scratching as a way to release stress, to help stretch and flex their bodies, and to leave a scent and visual mark on their territory — a.k.a. your couch. Scratching also helps remove the outer layers of their claws, which once dead, need to be removed.
So, there are all sorts of reasons that your cat is going to feel like having a scratch, and as good cat parents, it’s up to us to provide opportunities that don’t involve ruining your soft furnishings.
A quick look at popular cat shopping sites will reveal a staggering number of options when it comes to cat scratchers. But how do you know which one is going to suit your cat? That’s where our reviews come in!
A Quick Comparison (updated in 2021)
|Best Overall||K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher||
|Best Value||Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher||
|Premium Choice||Scratch Lounge Cat Scratcher Lounge||
|K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cat Scratcher||
|SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher||
The 10 Best Cat Scratching Posts
1. K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher — Best Overall
If you’re looking for the ultimate cat scratcher, then look no further than the K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher. We awarded this our best overall category due to its clever combination of a scratching ramp and a toy — with catnip! Some cats need a little encouragement to start using their cat scratcher, and with this offering from K&H Pet Products, you get plenty of chances to tempt your cat.
The large cardboard area encourages scratching, while the two balls within a runner will keep your cat entertained and ready to get their claws out (making it the best cat scratcher to file nails). In fact, the only thing we didn’t like about this cat scratcher is that the included bag of catnip is small. You might find yourself wanting to supplement that with more, but of course, your cat might take an instant liking to this scratcher — no catnip required!
If you’re looking for the best cat scratcher for the money, then we definitely recommend the Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher. This offers amazing value for money but is also stylish and won’t look out of place in a modern home. If your cat has taken a liking to scratch seagrass baskets, then this is a great solution because it’s made with the same material!
The sloped surface is great for encouraging cats to stretch out to their full length while scratching, a feature that many vertical scratchers miss. It also comes with a sachet of catnip that you can sprinkle over the surface to encourage your cat to come and investigate this for the first time. The only issue we have with this cat scratcher is that it’s a little too small and lightweight for larger cat breeds.
3. Scratch Lounge Cat Scratcher Lounge — Premium Choice
The Scratch Lounge Original Cat Scratcher Lounge is our premium choice cat scratcher because it is set to revolutionize the way that your cat scratches! The unique, three-sided design allows plenty of space for your cat to scratch horizontally, but it is also designed to indulge your cat’s love of nesting into smaller spaces. This scratcher is made from recycled paper, meaning it’s not only great for your cat but also environmentally friendly!
This scratcher comes with a small sachet of catnip that you can sprinkle on it the first few times your cat uses it. After that, it’s guaranteed to become a favorite toy. If the scratcher starts looking a bit worn, simply turn over the surfaces to reveal a brand-new side. The only reason this missed out on the top two places on this list is that it is more expensive than some of the other cat scratchers out there. But the super durable and double-sided design mean that you shouldn’t need to invest in another cat scratcher for quite some time!
4. K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cat Scratcher
If your cat loves to play as much as a scratch, then the K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cat Scratcher includes everything you need to keep them entertained for hours! Each side of this cat scratcher has an indentation for the included balls to sit in, meaning your cat can have plenty of fun batting them about. You can also add rockers to the base, so this scratcher will tip from one side to the other as your cat plays.
The large size is perfect for bigger breeds, as they’ll have plenty of space to stretch out when they want to scratch. Some cats can easily remove the balls from the runners, in which case, you’ll need to find and then replace them (only for your cats to knock them out again, of course!). This scratcher isn’t reversible, so once the top side has been scratched into oblivion, you’ll need to invest in another one.
5. SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher
The innovative shape of the SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher is designed to allow your cat to use it as a toy at the same time — it even includes a dangly, removable feather to tempt them into playing. The neutral colors blend well into any home and include a combination of carpet and sisal to appeal to all cats!
Just be aware that if you have a larger cat, they probably won’t be able to stretch out to their full length using this scratcher, so while they might play with the toy, the original purpose of the scratcher might be missed! Some cats prefer to snuggle up on or under this scratcher for a nap, but it’s perfect for smaller cats and kittens.
6. Petstages Easy Life Scratch, Snuggle and Rest Cat Scratcher
If you’re looking for a colorful and eye-catching cat scratcher, then the Petstages Easy Life Scratch, Snuggle and Rest Cat Scratcher will suit you and your cats perfectly. The circular central cat scratcher forms a shallow bowl, which is inviting for scratching and is perfect for your small cat to curl into for a nap. As with many of the cat scratchers in our review, this product also includes a small sachet of catnip.
This cardboard scratcher can stand up well to smaller cats, but large cats might not be able to curl up in the central section and can knock the legs off after extended use. This can’t be refilled either, so once the cardboard on the top has been scratched to bits, it’ll be time to invest in a new cat scratcher.
7. Van Ness Cat Scratcher Pad
If you’re looking for a basic and budget cat scratcher pad, then the Van Ness Cat Scratcher Pad is going to do the job. This wide scratcher is made from 100% recycled corrugate cardboard that sits within a cardboard box. It also includes a sachet of USDA Certified Organic catnip that you can sprinkle over the surface.
The design of this scratcher is quite basic, so don’t expect any additional features like balls, rockers, or a slope. In fact, some cats don’t enjoy scratching on a horizontal feature, so you might find that your cat isn’t interested in this. Luckily enough, it is good value for money, so it’s certainly worth trying it out if you need to save your furniture from your cat’s claws!
8. K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Scratcher
The innovative design of this cat scratcher means you can mount it on your window for a double-purpose scratcher and window bed all in one! You can easily and securely fix this to your window using the included suction-cup-mounting system. When you want to pull your curtains or blinds, this can be folded up to sit vertically against the window.
While plenty of cats love sitting up high, they don’t always feel comfortable scratching while they’re up there! So, you might find that your cat loves this as a seat, but they might not use it for its intended purpose! If they do, though, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the integrity of the cardboard as they start to scratch through it. If it looks like it’s starting to weaken, then don’t hesitate to replace it!
9. K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Cat Scratcher with Catnip
If you don’t have much floor space for a cat scratcher but still want to encourage your cat away from your furniture, then the K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Cat Scratcher with Catnip is probably your best bet. This vertical cardboard cat scratcher is designed to fix onto your window using strong suction cups at the top and base of the plastic holder.
It also comes with catnip, which you can sprinkle over it to encourage your cat to use it. But be warned that some cats simply don’t like vertical scratchers! It’s good that you can position this on different heights, but larger cats may be strong enough to pull this off your window, and then they may not use it at all.
10. K&H Pet Products Stretch n’ Scratch Cat Scratcher
If you’re on the lookout for a cat scratcher that’s a touch removed from the standard designs, then the K&H Pet Products Stretch n’ Scratch Cat Scratcher is worth a second glance. This cardboard scratcher can be assembled in three different ways: as an upright large letter “A,” as a double-width ramp, or as a narrow up-and-down ramp.
While the versatility is great, this is still a little too small and lightweight for larger cats. They will easily be able to move this around and knock it over! The main issue is that they won’t actually be able to stretch out to full length, so they may not end up using it at all. It’s also expensive, so if you don’t mind taking a risk, this could be a good choice, but be prepared for the fact that your cat may just reject it entirely.
Providing a cat scratcher is a great way to save your furniture from being attacked by your overenthusiastic cat. All cats have an instinctive urge to scratch, and this isn’t something that we should try and discourage them from doing, as it’s totally normal and healthy behavior. What we can do, though, is encourage our cats to scratch on an appropriate surface, instead of chair legs, couch arms, and door jambs!
When it comes to teaching your cat to use their new scratching post rather than your furniture, catnip is a great hack! Many cat scratchers come with a small sachet of catnip. Simply sprinkle this over the scratcher, and encourage your cat to come and play. They might take a liking to their new scratcher straight away, or you may need to encourage them with a toy or treats as well. Most cats love the opportunity to explore and scratch a new surface.
You can place their new scratcher near where they already enjoy scratching, and you might find that your cat automatically starts to use the scratcher in place of the old surface. If they don’t, gently move them over to it when you see them using whatever surface they scratched before, and see if they’ll transfer that scratch onto what you want them to use instead!
Some cats get bored of scratching in one place or want to mark their territory somewhere different. In that case, it’s a good idea to have a few different scratchers around the house or to move the one scratcher that you do have when you notice that your cat is using it less. Refresh the catnip when you move it, and your cat should love using it afresh!
For the best overall cat scratcher, we picked the K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher. This angled scratcher has plenty of features that your cat will love, including a toy and catnip!
If you’re looking for the best value cat scratcher, check out the Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher instead. This long angled scratcher is perfect for larger cats to get a full stretch, and the minimalist style will suit most homes.
Allowing our cats to explore a full range of natural behaviors is a vital part of keeping your cat happy and healthy, not to mention keeping their nails in check. This applies even more so for indoor cats that have fewer opportunities to find their own place to scratch. So, if you haven’t yet invested in a cat scratcher, don’t delay. Our reviews of best cat scratchers and best cat scratching posts to file nails should have given you plenty of ideas to get started!
Featured Image Credit: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison (updated in 2021)
- The 10 Best Cat Scratching Posts
- 1. K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher — Best Overall
- 2. Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher — Best Value
- 3. Scratch Lounge Cat Scratcher Lounge — Premium Choice
- 4. K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cat Scratcher
- 5. SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher
- 6. Petstages Easy Life Scratch, Snuggle and Rest Cat Scratcher
- 7. Van Ness Cat Scratcher Pad
- 8. K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Scratcher
- 9. K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Cat Scratcher with Catnip
- 10. K&H Pet Products Stretch n’ Scratch Cat Scratcher
- Buyer’s Guide