Updated: October 2017

Scratching Post Reviews:

Owning a cat brings problems just like with any other type of pet. Cats have a need to scratch - both for marking their territory with scent glands that are found in their paws and for keeping their claws sharp and clean. Beyond just having your cats claws removed (this would solve the scratching problem), there are solutions like buying a scratching post. Cat owners should be aware that removing the claws of your cat pretty much makes them defenseless outdoors and they should then become an indoor only feline. Most cat owners see their cat(s) clawing or scratching at the legs of furniture. We've had many a ruined coffee table and even the back side of recliner chairs where the material meets the wood. Cats love these surfaces so finding a cheap replacement for them is a must. In fact, most vets recommend having a couple cat scratching posts located throughout your house to help them along. Cat experts also say there are several other ways to get them to use the cat scratching post and not the sofa. You can rub catnip on the post or spray it with catnip, put kitty treats on the post, or some have said hanging a shoelace gets their attention. All are good ideas and worth the effort to get your cat scratching the post and not your furniture.
cat scratching posts

Choosing a Cat Scratching Post - What type of post should you buy? Materials - The most common types are sisal mesh fabric, carpet, sisal rope, corrugated cardboard, and cedar. The sisal fabric scratching posts have proven to be the top rated models by cat owners but you may have to try a few different kinds to see what your cat prefers. Size - Short is NO good. Cats need to stretch while working over the post - vertical posts are better than horizontal. Look for scratchings posts that are at least 24" and up to 36 inches. Also, the shape of the post can be important. The posts that are at a slight angle work well. Only consider cat scratching posts with a sturdy base. You don't want the post to fall over every time the cat goes to scratch it. Where do you buy a cat scratching post - Believe it or not, some pet stores carry a limited supply of these and you may need to order online through specialty stores. We were able to find plenty at Amazon.com with prices ranging from $15 to $65. Cat Scratching Post Reviews - The real question is 'which posts perform the best'? In reviews, the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post was top rated although at over $50 you may be able to do nearly as good with something a bit less expensive. The SmartCat Bootsie's Combination Scratcher is under $30 and gets solid praise as well. The Petlinks System Dream Curl Curvy Two-Surface Scratcher is even cheaper at $22 with a uniquely curved shaped and owners say their cats can't get enough. We even read stories of people buying sisal and carpet and making their own scratching boards/posts. You can browse the best selling cat scratching posts online here.

Best Scratching Post:

RECOMMENDED - #1 rated on several sites and preferred by cat lovers everywhere, the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post at $50 is a great purchase. The fibrous, durable sisal is what cats prefer. Now we did reach some negative reviews from cat owners saying their cats avoid this, but over 400 owners gave it a 5 out of 5 star rating which means it holds up to the ranking. The post is 32 inches high so most cats can get that 'full' stretch we are all familiar with. Assembly is quick and easy and the sturdy base will keep the post from tipping over. The SmartCat Bootsie's Combination Scratcher is the other one cat owners talk highly of. The scratcher can be mounted to a wall (vertical) or kept on the floor in a horizontal position with rubber feet that keep it in place. Again, the majority of cats prefer the larger scratching posts, but some do like these models that lay on the floor. See all the SmartCat scratching posts here.

Scratching Post for Cats:

RECOMMENDED - How about a post with a perch? The Molly and Friends "Kitty Cot" Premium Handmade One Tier Sisal Cat Scratching Post is built for cats of all sizes. It stands 35 inches tall and the base is 19" x 19". There is no assembly required so just set it up in your house and let the cats have at it. It's made with natural thick sisal rope. Comments online include "very solid construction" and "kitty heaven". If you have a smaller cat, you could go with the shorter posts - several are 20 inches tall - the negative reviews for those products are all based on larger cats not wanting to scratch. When in doubt, go with the taller scratching posts and let your cat fully stretch out while scratching. We found reviews for posts on About.com in their cats/feline section and Franny Syufy supplies readers with some great insights into cat products - specifically the top selling cat scratching posts. Above all, keep in mind that scratching is a normal behavior for cats and if you don't give them an alternative to your furniture, it's not their fault.