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10 Best Cat Scratching Posts of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

A Russian Blue cat sitting on a scratcher

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!

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A Quick Comparison (updated in 2021)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher
  • Long lasting
  • Easy to assemble
  • Includes toys and catnip
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher
  • Great value for money
  • Stylish design
  • Sloped to encourage scratching
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Scratch Lounge Cat Scratcher Lounge Scratch Lounge Cat Scratcher Lounge
  • Unique design
  • Comes with catnip
  • Reversible construction
  • K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cat Scratcher K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cat Scratcher
  • Good for large cats
  • Includes catnip
  • Plenty of interactive features
  • SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher
  • Includes a toy
  • Innovative shape
  • Different surfaces
  • The 10 Best Cat Scratching Posts

    1. K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher — Best Overall

    K&H Pet Products Scratch Ramp Cat Scratcher

    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!

    Pros
    • Great value for money
    • Includes toys and catnip
    • Long lasting
    • Easy to assemble
    Cons
    • Bag of catnip is small

    2. Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher — Best Value

    Petlinks Sea Ramp Cat Scratcher

    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.

    Pros
    • Great value for money
    • Stylish design
    • Sloped to encourage scratching
    • Includes catnip
    Cons
    • Not heavyweight for larger cats

    3. Scratch Lounge Cat Scratcher Lounge — Premium Choice

    Scratch Lounge Cat Scratcher Lounge

    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!

    Pros
    • Long lasting
    • Unique design
    • Comes with catnip
    • Reversible construction
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. K&H Pet Products Kitty Tippy Scratch n’ Track Cat Scratcher

    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.

    Pros
    • Good for large cats
    • Plenty of interactive features
    • Includes catnip
    Cons
    • Not reversible
    • Balls can pop out of runners

    5. SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher

    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.

    Pros
    • Innovative shape
    • Different surfaces
    • Includes a toy
    Cons
    • Cats can’t reach full stretch
    • Not carpeted underneath
    • Not large enough for big cats

    6. Petstages Easy Life Scratch, Snuggle and Rest Cat Scratcher

    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.

    Pros
    • Includes catnip
    • Curved scratching surface
    • Can also be used as a bed
    Cons
    • Legs can come unstuck
    • Not large enough for big cats
    • Not refillable

    7. Van Ness Cat Scratcher Pad

    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!

    Pros
    • Good value for money
    • Includes catnip
    Cons
    • Basic design
    • Some cats don’t like a flat surface
    • Not reversible

    8. K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Scratcher

    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!

    Pros
    • Double-purpose design
    • Includes catnip
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Some cats won’t use it to scratch
    • Cords can get in the way

    9. K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Cat Scratcher with Catnip

    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.

    Pros
    • Doesn’t take up floor space
    Cons
    • Small
    • Expensive
    • Can get pulled off the window
    • Cats may not use it

    10. K&H Pet Products Stretch n’ Scratch Cat Scratcher

    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.

    Pros
    • Multi-purpose design
    Cons
    • Too small for large cats
    • Lightweight design
    • Can topple over
    • Expensive

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    Buyer’s Guide

    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!

    Here are a few things to look out for when choosing the best scratcher to suit your cat:
    • This is logical, but the bigger your cat, the bigger scratcher you’ll need! Cats love to be able to reach a full body stretch while scratching and may just ignore a scratcher that doesn’t allow them to do that. If you’re looking at horizontal or angled scratchers, aim for one that is at least the same length as your cat’s body, minus their tail.
    • Some cat scratchers, especially the cardboard types, can be easily knocked over. This only has to happen once or twice before your cat decides to ignore it and move onto something that feels more stable and secure under their paws.
    • All the cat scratchers in this review are made from cardboard, seagrass, carpet, or sisal. Some are made from a combination of materials. Most cats love cardboard scratchers, as they can feel the cardboard give under their claws, but plenty of cats also enjoy other materials too. It may be a little bit of trial and error to find the combination that best suits your cat. Of course, the best solution is to provide a few different scratchers with different materials, but that isn’t always an option either financially or in terms of space available.
    • Cat scratching posts can be vertical, horizontal, or at an angle. Some cat scratchers allow you to place them at different angles, and others are fixed. Angled cat scratchers are usually a safe bet because your cat can get a full muscle stretch on them. Many cats also love both vertical and horizontal scratchers, so again, it might be a case of trying a few and seeing which they prefer. You can also make your own DIY cat scratching post and combine this with cheaper cardboard versions for a full collection of options.
    • It’s true that cardboard cat scratchers are inevitably going to be less durable than those made with materials like carpet or sisal. But the fact that cats just love cardboard scratchers is a good enough reason to invest in one, and they’re usually cheaper than other versions. Look for a cardboard scratcher with reversible sides, so as it wears out, you can flip the cardboard over and effectively double the time that it will last.

    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!

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    Conclusion

    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