It won’t take many scratched-up couch legs or pockmarked tables for you to realize that your cat desperately needs a scratching post to file their nails on. Not only will this satisfy their natural urge to sharpen their claws, but it will also help stretch their backs and develop the muscles in their spine.
But it only works if you buy a scratching post that’s more appealing to them than everything else in your house. Most scratching posts are boring and unimaginative, but the models featured in these reviews are intriguing, well-made, and sure to keep your cat coming back for more.
We can’t guarantee that your cat will leave your furniture alone if you provide them with one of these scratching posts, but at the very least, your couch should move down the list of their favorite things to destroy.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Hepper Hi-Lo Scratcher||
|Best Value||Catit Lounge Scratcher||
|Premium Choice||PetFusion Jumbo Lounger||
|Tiger Tough Farmhouse||
|Kong Naturals Cat Scratcher||
The 10 Best Cat Scratching Posts to File Nails
1. Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher – Best Overall
It’s a bit odd to use the word “advanced” to describe a scratching post, but it’s the best descriptor for the Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher. This is a high-end post, and it has all sorts of features that you never knew that you wanted in a cat scratcher.
It can adjust to sit in five different positions, so you can set it up in a way that your cat is most likely to use it. If they like to tear up the legs of your couches, then set it up vertically; if they prefer to rip up your carpet, you can lay it flat on the ground. It’s large enough that kitties of any size can use it comfortably.
You’ll find extra-thick cardboard on each side, so it should take even the most dedicated scratcher a while to work their way through this thing. There’s also an anti-slip grip on the metal legs to ensure that it doesn’t go anywhere while your kitty is ripping it to shreds.
It’s also an attractive scratching post. You won’t have to hide a bunch of raggedy cardboard blocks when company comes over with this post, as it can actually blend in with most décor.
Of course, all these advantages don’t come cheap, and you might do a double-take at the price tag. That said, it should last an extremely long time, so comparing it to the disposable models that you can pick up at the pet store might not be fair.
All in all, the Hepper Hi-Lo Scratcher is brilliantly designed and a clear choice for cats to file their nails on. Buying it will hurt the wallet a bit, but it’s well worth it in the end.
At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
2. Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip — Best Value
The Catit Lounge Scratcher with Catnip doesn’t offer any bells and whistles, nor is its design anything revolutionary. It’s just a simple cardboard scratching post, but it’s the best scratch post to file nails for the money.
The first thing your cat will notice is that it comes with a bag of catnip that you can rub all over it. They may not scratch it at first, in fact, preferring to just cuddle with it for a little while.
Once they start feeling destructive, the corrugated cardboard will help take the edge off their claws. It’s thick enough that you should get plenty of use out of it, but once it’s destroyed, replacing it is hardly an issue given the low sticker price.
Unfortunately, there’s no solid surface underneath the cardboard, so when you sprinkle the catnip on the board, it just falls through to the floor. This creates a mess and wastes catnip.
While it’s not super attractive, it does come in two different designs. They won’t do much to improve your home’s resale value, but one benefit the wild patterns have is that it makes the post easy to find if your cat decides to hide it from you. It’s easy to put away too, as it’s quite small.
If you want an inexpensive post that works as well as many higher-dollar models, the Catit Lounge Scratcher is definitely the way to go.
3. PetFusion Jumbo Lounger Scratcher With Catnip – Premium Choice
The PetFusion Jumbo Lounger Cat Scratcher Toy With Catnip is a pricey model, but this scratcher gives you plenty of bang for your buck. This model does double duty, as it’s also a comfy lounger that your cat can laze around on when they’re done trying to rip it apart. The eco-friendly recycled cardboard is surprisingly soft, and cats seem to love stretching out on it.
It’s as fun to shred as it is to lie on, and the beauty of it is that as soon as one side gets torn to ribbons, you can simply turn it over and start the whole process over again. The cardboard is thick enough that you shouldn’t need to do that too soon, though.
Many cats love to hide inside the hole in the middle, so it’s a great choice for skittish cats because it gives them a feeling of security while also enabling you to keep an eye on them. The only downside to this product is that many cats will use the different levels as battle stations from which to attack their siblings (or owner), so it may not be a good idea if you have kitties that don’t get along.
If you have the cash and want to spoil your kitty, the PetFusion Jumbo Lounger is hard to beat.
4. Tiger Tough Farmhouse Corrugated Cat Scratcher – Best for Kittens
The Tiger Tough Farmhouse Playground Corrugated Cat Scratcher is more like a playroom that your cat can destroy than a full-fledged scratching post, and little kittens (as well as those who are still kittens at heart) should love it.
The house has two levels, giving your cat something to climb and giving multiple cats multiple places to lounge. Each level has several windows where a cat can peek out, making them feel like they’re in their own little fortress.
If that’s not enough to keep them entertained, four toys hang from the top level and dangle in front of the entryways to the bottom. This can keep your cat entertained for quite some time, especially if you dip the toys in the included bag of catnip. Just don’t expect those toys to last forever (or longer than a few weeks, really).
As your cat matures, though, the farmhouse might start to get a little cramped. Smaller breeds can continue to use it, but if you have, say, a Maine Coon, there will come a time when they won’t fit through the front door.
Kittens will absolutely love the Tiger Tough Farmhouse, so don’t be surprised if you’re quickly replaced in their heart. Just be there to help them deal with the heartbreak once they outgrow it.
5. Kong Naturals Cat Scratcher
There’s not much to this option from Kong Naturals Cat Scratcher. It’s a long, flat expanse of cardboard that does a good job of filing down a cat’s claws while being incredibly inexpensive — what more could you ask for?
You can definitely buy a handful of these and just toss them in every room of your house. That would make your cat happy and save some furniture, all without costing you much cash.
Each one is infused with catnip, ensuring that your cat will be instantly attracted to them. They’re also made from renewable resources, so you don’t have to feel guilty for going through a fresh one every month.
Of course, there are a few drawbacks, but you shouldn’t expect a perfect scratcher for what this costs. It tends to move around when in use, and don’t expect it to last long if used heavily. Also, the flat design may not be interesting to some cats, so you’ll have to figure out a way to dress it up if the catnip doesn’t lure them in.
Don’t expect this scratcher to be a life-changing purpose, but for something that gets the job done cheaply, it’s hard to quibble with.
6. Frisco 21-in. Sisal Cat Scratching Post With Toy
The Frisco 21-in. Sisal Cat Scratching Post With Toy is your basic, sisal-wrapped scratching post, an old design that hasn’t really been improved upon because there aren’t many weaknesses in it.
At just shy of 2 feet tall, it’s the perfect height for most kitties, as they can reach up to scratch the top or stretch out to tear at the base. There’s also a sisal-wrapped toy hanging from the top, which only encourages them to interact with it more.
It doesn’t come assembled, but all you have to do is screw the base onto the tower — it literally takes seconds. It can also be taken apart if it gets in your way, or you can take it with you if you and your cat need to travel.
The weight isn’t well-balanced, though, and your cat may tip it over if they scratch it too vigorously. The sisal can come off over time as well, leaving you with a fuzzy mess to clean up. The pom-pom is going to be the first thing to go, as it doesn’t seem to be durably constructed.
The Frisco Sisal Post is a good option that deserves a spot in your home, but it probably shouldn’t be the only post that you buy for your cat.
7. Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Cat Toy with Catnip
This option isn’t just a scratcher, but a toy as well. The Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Cat Toy with Catnip has a cardboard centerpiece that’s surrounded by a track with a jingly ball inside; your cat can try to snag the ball or sharpen their claws, depending on their mood at the time.
This is likely to attract their attention more than just a plain old scratching post will, but that’s also a problem, as there’s not much of a scratching post here. The cardboard is a small circle, and it will go quickly if it’s used frequently, so this will quickly turn into just a toy.
You can reorder scratchers fairly cheaply, but replacing them can be a pain, and it may not be something that you’re willing to do for the money that you’ll save. It’s not likely that the original piece or the replacement will stay in place for long either.
It’s not a huge investment, though, so replacing it isn’t likely to break you financially. It’s also large enough to accommodate cats of just about any breed, and many cats will enjoy just lounging on it from time to time.
A bigger concern is the possibility that a cat might get a paw or claw stuck inside the toy. It’s not likely, but neither is it impossible, so be sure to monitor them while they play.
The Frisco Scratch & Roll is a decent toy and a decent scratching post, but it might have been better if it had just decided to be one thing or the other.
8. Necoichi Cozy Scratcher Cat Bed
What’s better than a scratching post? A scratching post you can sleep in, of course, and that’s just what the Necoichi Cozy Scratcher Cat Bed is.
However, this model might have been better off deciding to either be a bed or a scratcher. Once your cat starts to tear it up (and it doesn’t take long for the cardboard to start falling apart), it will become far less comfortable, and they may stop wanting to lie on it.
The good news is that it’s made of recycled paper and chemical-free cornstarch glue, so there aren’t any nasty chemicals that your kitty will come in contact with when they lie on it. It’s also replaceable, but you may not feel that it’s worth it. Eventually, you may just want to tuck an actual bed in here and call it a day.
It’s also fairly stylish (for a scratching post, anyway), so you can set it in a highly visible place without fear of embarrassment. It’s not that large, though, so cats bigger than about 10 pounds will have difficulty cramming themselves into it. There’s not much room for them to scratch on it either, unless they hang halfway out.
The Necoichi Cozy Scratcher Bed is nice for what it is, but we recommend buying your cat a bed and a scratching post, rather than trying to get both in one.
9. Omega Paw Ripple Board Scratch Massage Cat Bed
The Omega Paw Ripple Board Scratch Massage Cat Bed is supposed to be a bed, but most cats won’t even bother with that aspect of it. You’re better off thinking of it strictly as a three-sided scratching post.
There are three layers of cardboard on each side, so as one layer gets worn, you can simply rip it off to expose the fresh paper underneath. It also supposedly massages your cat’s toes as they use it; we can’t speak to that personally, but it certainly sounds good.
Those three layers may not last long, though, as the cardboard shreds easily once the cat gets at it (maybe the toe massage encourages them to keep going!). The fact that it’s allegedly also a bed may drive up the price, as it’s quite expensive.
If your cat does lie on it, though, expect it to flatten over time. That can make it harder for them to scratch it effectively, so you might want to convince them to sleep somewhere else. There’s also a chin scratcher on one side, but most cats seem unable to understand what it is, so they ignore it entirely.
The Omega Paw Ripple Board can be fun for your cat, but you can probably find a better option for the money that you’d spend on it.
10. Petlinks Scratcher’s Choice Hammock Scratcher with Catnip
The Petlinks Scratcher’s Choice Perch Hammock Cat Scratcher Toy With Catnip may look more like a modern art installation than a scratching post, but that won’t stop your cat from trying to rip it to shreds.
It’s infused with catnip throughout, so your cat should want to tear at every single part of it (even the undersides). They may want to roll on it too, and don’t be surprised to find them draped over it from time to time.
You may not want to let a chubby cat lie on it, though, because it may crumple, especially on the sides. If you have two cats that want to share it simultaneously, don’t be surprised if it collapses or tips over, so try to limit it to one cat at a time.
The design makes it difficult for cats to use. There aren’t enough continuous, straight surfaces for them to really stretch out and claw at it. It’s not that interesting either, and it could definitely benefit from a toy or two. The shape makes it hard to place in a room without it taking up an inordinate amount of space.
The Petlinks Scratcher’s Choice Perch is an interesting scratcher, but it has a few flaws that may cause your cat to look elsewhere for something to tear up.
Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Cat Scratching Posts to File Nails
Scratching posts are fairly basic devices, so you might think that they’re all the same and that you should just buy the cheapest one that you can find. That’s not the case, though, and there are a few things that you should look for in a post before you buy one.
Here, we look at the questions that you should ask yourself before investing in a scratching post.
What Should I Look For in a Scratching Post?
There are a few things that you should consider when comparing different posts, but they ultimately boil down to size, safety, and engagement.
You want a post that’s big enough for your cat to use comfortably. Many cats like to stretch out when sharpening their claws, and a bigger post or mat will enable them to do just that. However, larger models will also take up more space in your home.
You also want to make sure that whatever you buy is safe for them to use. It shouldn’t wobble, tip over, fall apart, or be a threat to snag their claws.
Engagement is the tricky part, and you’ll need to know your cat well to be able to predict that. The scratcher needs to be made of a material that the cat will want to tear at and be designed in such a way that they’ll want to interact with it. For some cats, that means a plain box, while others need a full-on house.
Finding the perfect scratching post for your cat can take trial and error, but fortunately, most are not that expensive. You may want to buy several posts in different shapes and sizes to give your cats options.
Does My Cat Really Need a Scratching Post?
Yes. If your cat doesn’t have something to sharpen their claws on, they’ll find something — and you’re not likely to be pleased about what they use instead. Having a scratching post on hand enables you to redirect their natural urge to scratch without sacrificing your couch, kitchen table, or leg in the process.
Scratching also lets them stretch and build muscle tone, and many cats find it soothing, even relieving stress and anxiety. It also keeps their nails healthy because it prevents them from growing too long while removing dead parts of the claw.
The Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher is the best scratching post to file nails that we’ve found because it’s durable and entertaining for your cat to use. At the opposite end of the financial spectrum is the Catit Lounge Scratcher, which despite being fairly basic, is effective and inexpensive.
At the end of the day, any of the products in these reviews will help your cat work out their need to scratch without taking it out on your furniture. Their claws will stay short yet sharp, so don’t worry about them not being able to take their aggressions out on you if they feel like it.
Featured Image Credit: Chewy