Modern cat scratching posts are made from durable but attractive materials and while the traditional sisal-covered posts do still exist, numerous designs include horizontal and leaning scratchers, loungers, and trees that incorporate multiple layers such as condos, hammocks, and perches. They can include hanging toys and some even come with a free pouch of catnip to help encourage your feline friend on to the scratcher for the first time.
Below, you will find reviews of ten of the best modern cat scratching posts that fulfill your cat’s natural desire to scratch, sharpen their claws, and vent their anxiety. We have included posts that are suitable for kittens and adults, as well as those for large cat breeds and for cat owners on a budget that don’t want to spend a fortune.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher||
|Budget Buy||Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip||
|Catastrophicreations Wall Mounted Cat Shelf||
|Two By Two The Cedar||
|Midwest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post||
The 9 Best Modern Cat Scratching Posts
1. Hepper Hi-Lo Modern Cat Scratcher – Best Overall
|Post type:||Scratch pad|
|Position:||3 Configurations (High, Low, and Lower)|
|Size:||21 x 15.1 x 13.1 inches|
The Hi-Lo Modern Cat Scratcher by Hepper is the ultimate modern cat scratcher that checks all the right boxes. It’s not just a simple scratching post; it’s a total game-changer and adds an element of design to any room. Imagine having a hip piece of furniture tailor-made for your cat – that’s exactly what this scratcher brings to the table.
This scratcher offers three different positions – high, low, and even lower – giving your cat a fresh realm to explore as often as you change it around. The scratching surface is basically a feline paradise, crafted from durable materials that allow cats to scratch away to their heart’s content without any worries. This scratcher acts like a cat’s personal fitness coach, keeping them engaged and on their toes, all while sparing your couch from their scratching antics. With its solid and secure frame made from stylish birch plywood and B-flute cardboard as a scratch-worthy surface, it’s like a secret weapon against boredom, ensuring your cat’s happiness and well-being all in one trendy package. The only downside we can think of is that currently, only cardboard is available, which is a fantastic option for all cats, but Hepper plans to offer more scratcher material options in the future to cater to hooman preferences.
For all of the reasons we shared above and more, we think this is the best modern cat scratcher out there.
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 – Budget Buy
The Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip is a horizontal lounger style scratcher that is low price and fairly basic but offers everything a small to medium-sized adult cat needs from a scratcher. It is also one of the lowest-priced scratchers available, making it our budget buy choice on our list of best modern cat scratching posts.
The horizontal lounge has raised ends and a corrugated cardboard surface and comes with a jungle stripe design on the sides. It is quite small, which is beneficial because it means that it doesn’t take over the room, but does mean that this isn’t a suitable scratcher for giant cats that like to stretch out. The Catit includes catnip to further pique your cat’s interest.
The low cost of the Catit means that it is inexpensive to replace, but the cardboard is easily torn after regular scratching and there’s no base, which means that sprinkling the catnip over the lounge will result in it being left on the floor underneath, along with shredded cardboard, so it does require some cleanup.
3. Catastrophicreations Garden Complex Wall Mounted Cat Tree Shelf Set
|Post type:||Cat tree|
|Material:||Bamboo, canvas, sisal|
|Dimensions:||11 x 113 x 63 inches|
The Catastrophicreations Garden Complex Wall Mounted Cat Tree Shelf Set is a large, premium cat tree set. It is designed to be fixed to a solid wall using floating brackets, which give the appearance that the tree is floating. The frame material is bamboo, chosen because it is lightweight and tough, and the tree also incorporates soft material, which can be removed for cleaning, and sisal rope to cover the scratch post sections. There are also four planters, which sit in the planter holes and allow you to grow cat grass or another feline-friendly plant like a spider plant or lemon button fern.
The tree is very expensive, even compared to other premium options, and while it looks great when it’s new, once your cat has torn away some of the sisal and chewed at the plants, it looks a lot less desirable hung on the wall of your home. Measuring 11 inches x 113 inches x 63 inches, and requiring some room around the outside of the tree, it does require a lot of wall space to get the most from this piece of feline kit.
4. Two By Two The Cedar – Best for Kittens
|Material:||Engineered wood, felt jute|
Kittens naturally start to scratch when they are just a few weeks old, and if you don’t have an appropriate scratching post by that time, your young feline will start to look for alternative surfaces where they can sharpen their needle-like claws. Even with a post, there may be some occasions when the kitten forgets what is considered acceptable, but having a kitten-appropriate post in place enables you to correct unwanted behavior and ensures that your young pet has somewhere appropriate to fulfil their natural desires.
The Two By Two The Cedar is a reasonably priced product with two scratching post columns connecting a base and a perch top, with a ball toy hanging down from the top. The product’s simplicity and decent design mean that it is easy to put together once it arrives, too.
Where most modern cat scratching posts use sisal or cardboard, this is one of few that uses jute. Jute is a softer fabric than sisal, which is softer on kittens’ paws, but it does mean that it is less durable and may not be suitable when your cat gets older. Similarly, the string toy might survive a kitten onslaught but will not hold up against older and stronger cats.
5. Midwest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post – Best For Large Cats
|Material:||Engineered wood, Faux fur, Sisal|
A lot o scratch posts, especially those that are considered inexpensive or reasonably priced, tend to be on the small side. They are great for kittens and small to medium adult cats but are not big enough to offer a comfortable scratching experience for breeds like Maine Coons or even some shorthaired.
The Midwest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post is 41 inches tall, which will allow cats of any size to reach up and scratch, and it is one of the surprisingly few options for big cats. It is also a good option for cats that like to jump and wrap themselves around the scratching post or climb up using their claws. To facilitate these actions, the post is coated in a thick sisal rope. It has a faux fur base and top cap, and the base frame is made from engineered wood to offer stability. The extra size does come at a cost, but it is not exorbitantly priced, by any means.
It is a very large scratcher, but it is designed to be. The rope is also thicker than is used on a lot of scratching posts, and this is worth bearing in mind. Like most rope-covered scratchers, if your cat is especially destructive, it may find a way to unravel the string and leave a bare cat pole.
6. Frisco Wall Sisal Cat Scratcher
|Post type:||Wall pad|
|Material:||Engineered wood, Faux fur, Sisal|
The Frisco Sisal Cat Scratcher is a wall-mounted scratching pad that has a faux fur top and bottom with sisal fabric scratching midsections. The double scratcher is wider than a lot of the alternatives and they mean that your cat should have plenty of room to really go to town on the sisal fabric.
The pad is 27 inches tall, and because it can be hung several inches from the ground, this provides ample room for bigger cats, as well as small kitties, to get their fill. The pad is very reasonably priced and even comes in packs of two, if desired, saving you a little more money and providing your cat with more scratching opportunities.
It comes with a choice of adhesive or screwed hook and loop fittings, although the adhesive is ineffective because the top and bottom section of the scratcher sticks out further than the scratcher itself. Also, the sisal is a synthetic sisal fabric and is not as durable or appealing as natural sisal.
7. Trixie Dayna 59.8-in Plush Wall Mounted Cat Tree
|Material:||Engineered wood, Faux fur, Jute|
The Trixie Dayna 59.8-in Plush Wall Mounted Cat Tree fixes to wall studs and includes all the hardware required to mount it. It measures 59.8 inches high, and, when allowing some clearance at the bottom, this means that it will come to several feet high. It incorporates four scratching post sections, two lower perches, a top perch, a hidden lounge section, and a hammock. The perches and hammock are made from a plush faux fur material while the scratching posts are covered in jute rope.
Jute is softer than sisal, which means it is softer on paws but also means that the rope is less durable and more likely to fray under heavy use. The tree is quite expensive, although not the most expensive on the list, and its design means that the scratching post sections are individually quite short. The vertical design also means that less agile cats might struggle to get from one layer to the next. It is also quite challenging to put up and is only suitable if you have stud walls available for hanging.
8. Frisco 21-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post
|Material:||Engineered wood, Sisal|
The Frisco 21-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post is a 21-inch tall scratching post that incorporates a grooming section and a scratching post section. The groomer has a knobby surface that is supposed to encourage your cat to rub against it, while the top half of the post is covered in natural sisal for scratching. There is also a hanging toy that dangles, at least initially, from the top of the post and the base and very top are covered in a faux fur material. The base is made from engineered wood, which is supposed to offer stability and prevent the post from toppling or falling over when in use.
Although the Frisco 21-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post is reasonably priced and Frisco has tried something different by offering a grooming section, the knobbly bottom won’t appeal to all cats and it reduces the amount of post that is used as a scratching surface. Also, the base is not sturdy enough to prevent the post from wobbling, and the rope toy is easily torn off.
9. Omega Paw Door Hanging Cat Scratchy Pad
|Post type:||Scratch pad|
The Omega Paw Door Hanging Cat Scratchy Pad is a carpeted pad with a length of rope that hangs over the door handle and keeps the pad in place while your cat scratches. It is a really cheap scratching pad and comes in a variety of designs, which means that you can find something suitable for your home.
However, the carpet is not as rough as sisal, which means that it will do little to help maintain claws. What’s more, if your cat is taught that it’s OK to scratch carpets, it is understandable if your feline friend then scratches other carpets. Because the pad hangs loosely from the door handle, it means that it rocks and swings around during use so it does not provide a stable and secure scratching post, which most cats want.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Modern Cat Scratching Post
Scratching posts are found in a lot of homes, and they can vary from the small single post to the multi-level and multi-faceted cat tree. Modern scratching posts may use different materials to the traditional jute or sisal or they may have a modern design that better utilizes the space in your home while offering your cat plenty of activity. Some of them look attractive enough that they can make a positive focal point in a room. But, above all, it is important to remember that the primary function of a scratching post is to give your cat something to scratch.
Benefits Of A Modern Cat Scratching Post
But, why does your cat need a scratching post? It’s a common question, especially among cat owners that give their feline companions the run of the garden and the outside world.
If you’ve ever seen a determined cat having a go at a scratching post, it is not difficult to believe that it burns calories and provides cats with some exercise. This is especially beneficial for kittens. They don’t need to do much movement to burn off energy and a cat post not only allows them to do that but it also lets them explore other habits that come naturally to cats.
Cats naturally scratch. In the wild, they would scratch objects like trees and fences. In your home, they are more likely to scratch furniture, door frames, carpets, and even walls. If you do not provide them with something safe and acceptable to scratch, your cats will almost certainly find something themselves. Even a cheap scratching post could save you hundreds of dollars in furniture replacement and redecoration costs. It could also save your relationship if it prevents your cat from scratching your favorite sofa and you from getting mad.
One of the main reasons that cats do scratch is to maintain their claws. Cats’ claws are used as a primary hunting tool. They catch small animals and then hold them in place while the cat finishes the job. Even domesticated cats, who really only have to hunt as far as a full food bowl, still have the same basal instincts that demand they maintain their claws. Doing so also prevents the pain that can come from having dull and poorly maintained ones. Furthermore, scratching is one method that allows cats to get rid of the dead layers of claws that could otherwise hang around and cause discomfort.
You may have noticed that your cat goes off and scratches its post after it has been told not to do something or if it is getting hungry and its calls are being ignored. This is because scratching is a means of relieving stress and anxiety so it not only helps maintain claw health but also feline mental health.
A Water Cooler Moment
If you have multiple cats in your home, the scratching post can be quite a sociable environment. All of your cats are likely to use it, sometimes with a little encouragement, and this means that they will meet around the post. If your cats don’t get along or don’t mix, having a post or a cat tree can encourage greater interaction between them.
Scratching Post Type
Sisal vs Jute vs Cardboard vs Carpet
A cat scratching post should be considered a vital piece of equipment for the modern cat-owning household. It offers exercise, engagement, and stress relief, as well as claw management. It may even provide social opportunities if you have multiple cats, and one doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be effective.
Hopefully, our reviews have helped you decide on the best modern cat scratching post for your home.
We believe the Hepper Hi-Lo to be the best modern cat scratching post thanks to its attractive design and multiple scratching positions. The Catit Lounge Scratcher is a really cheap, albeit somewhat basic, scratching post and includes catnip to encourage your cat to get involved, which is why it is our budget buy pick.
Featured Image Credit: 5 Second Studio, Shutterstock