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Home > Cats > 8 Best Modern Cat Scratching Posts in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

8 Best Modern Cat Scratching Posts in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat fully outstretched using Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher

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.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher
  • Beautiful modern design
  • Suitable for cats of all ages and sizes
  • Three positions keeps cats engaged
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip
  • Cheap
  • Doesn’t dominate the room
  • Includes catnip
  • Third place
    Catastrophicreations Wall Mounted Cat Shelf Catastrophicreations Wall Mounted Cat Shelf
  • Lots to do for your cat
  • Includes planters for feline-friendly plants
  • Hidden brackets
  • Two By Two The Cedar Two By Two The Cedar
  • Two scratching posts
  • Short for kittens
  • Jute is softer than sisal
  • Midwest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post Midwest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post
  • 41-inches tall and suitable for large cats
  • Engineered wood base is stable
  • Top acts as a generous perch
  •  

    The 8 Best Modern Cat Scratching Posts

    1. Hepper Hi-Lo Modern Cat Scratcher – Best Overall

    Tony and Cheetah playing on Hepper Hi Lo Cat Scratcher

    Post type: Scratch pad
    Material: Cardboard
    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!

    Pros
    • Sleek and stylish modern appearance
    • Versatile 3-position setup for ongoing play
    • Crafted from durable, premium materials
    • Shields furniture from scratching damage
    • Enhances your cat’s well-being and joy
    • Priced affordably for value-conscious pet owners
    Cons
    • Scratcher only available in cardboard

    2. Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip – Budget Buy

    Catit Lounge Scratcher with Catnip

    Post type: Lounge
    Material: Cardboard
    Position: Horizontal
    Size: 19.5 inches

    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.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • Doesn’t dominate the room
    • Includes catnip
    Cons
    • Too small for large cats
    • Doesn’t last long
    • Requires a lot of cleaning

    3. Catastrophicreations Garden Complex Wall Mounted Cat Tree Shelf Set

    CatastrophiCreations Gardens Set for Cats

    Post type: Cat tree
    Material: Bamboo, canvas, sisal
    Position: Wall-mounted
    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.

    Pros
    • Lots to do for your cat
    • Includes planters for feline-friendly plants
    • Hidden brackets
    Cons
    • Very expensive
    • Large
    • Doesn’t look so attractive once used

    4. Two By Two The Cedar – Best for Kittens

    Two By Two The Cedar 16.9-in Jute Cat Scratching Post

    Post type: Post
    Material: Engineered wood, felt jute
    Position: Vertical
    Dimensions: 16.9 inches

    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.

    Pros
    • Two scratching posts
    • Short for kittens
    • Jute is softer than sisal
    Cons
    • Jute is not as durable as sisal
    • The string toy is easily destroyed

    5. Midwest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte Scratching Post – Best For Large Cats

    MidWest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte 41-in Cat Scratching Post

    Post type: Post
    Material: Engineered wood, Faux fur, Sisal
    Position: Vertical
    Dimensions: 41 inches

    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.

    Pros
    • 41-inches tall and suitable for large cats
    • Engineered wood base is stable
    • Top acts as a generous perch
    Cons
    • Very big
    • Sisal rope may unravel over time

    6. Frisco Wall Sisal Cat Scratcher

    Frisco Wall Sisal Cat Scratcher

    Post type: Wall pad
    Material: Engineered wood, Faux fur, Sisal
    Position: Wall-mounted
    Dimensions: 27 inches

    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.

    Pros
    • Decent height and width
    • Can be used on the floor or hung on the wall
    • Cheap
    Cons
    • Synthetic sisal is unappealing
    • Adhesive mounting option is ineffective

    7. Trixie Dayna 59.8-in Plush Wall Mounted Cat Tree

    Trixie Dayna 59.8-in Plush Wall Mounted Cat Tree

    Post type: Tree
    Material: Engineered wood, Faux fur, Jute
    Position: Wall-mounted
    Dimensions: 59.8 inches

    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.

    Pros
    • Mounts to the wall, saving space on the floor
    • Includes perches and scratching post sections
    Cons
    • Quite expensive
    • Difficult to mount
    • Jute frays easily

    8. Frisco 21-in Sisal Cat Scratching Post

    Cat Scratching Post_Frisco, Chewy

    Post type: Post
    Material: Engineered wood, Sisal
    Position: Vertical
    Dimensions: 21 inches

    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.

    Pros
    • A budget-friendly option
    • Includes a groomer and scratching post
    Cons
    • Can be a bit wobbly
    • Some cats won’t use the grooming section

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Modern Cat Scratching Post

    Scratching posts are found in many 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 look attractive enough to make a positive focal point in a room. But, above all, it’s 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 who give their feline companions the run of the garden and the outside world.

    Burns Energy

    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 allows them to do that and lets them explore other habits that come naturally to cats.

    russian blue cat on scratcher
    Image By: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock

    Protect Furniture

    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 give them 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.

    Claw Maintenance

    One of the main reasons that cats scratch is to maintain their claws. Cats’ claws are used as a primary hunting tool. They catch small animals and hold them in place while the cat finishes the job. Even domesticated cats, who 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.

    Stress Relief

    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, which means 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.

    funny cats playing on tree
    Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    Scratching Post Type

    There are several main types of scratching posts to choose from:
    • Posts: The post is the quintessential cat-scratching product. It is a vertical post with a wide horizontal base. The post is covered in a material like jute or sisal, and the cat stretches up to scratch. Posts can include a perch on the top or a hanging toy that dangles from the top of the product. They can also vary in height so that there are posts suitable for all ages and sizes of cats.
    • Trees: Trees are more complex than posts but share similarities. They tend to be more vertical than horizontal and have multiple “branches” with elements like condos, hammocks, and toys. A typical cat tree will have multiple scratching post sections, meaning your feline friend can choose its preferred position or alternate according to how it feels. Trees are more expensive and do take up a lot more room.
    • Pads: Scratching pads are really just covered pieces of cardboard or wood. Some are mounted to walls, others are left on the floor for a horizontal scratching experience, and some hang on doorknobs for a convenient alternative to a room-filling cat tree.
    • Trays: The scratching tray resembles a pad but has at least two raised walls. Commonly, these walls are also covered in a scratching material, and this type of product is good for those cats who like to sit in boxes and on pieces of paper. However, if your cat mistakes the scratching tray for a litter tray, it will make a mess and require cleanup.
    • Wall Mounted: Wall-mounted scratching posts can vary from single, short posts to complex trees. They typically screw to the wall using mounting brackets and do require a stud wall to ensure stability. Wall-mounted scratchers provide the same level of entertainment and variety of activities as their freestanding alternatives but take up less floor space.

    Sisal vs Jute vs Cardboard vs Carpet

    Most scratching posts come with a choice of one of four materials as a scratching surface:
    • Sisal: Sisal is widely considered the best scratching material. It is rough and textured, which offers good abrasion for scratching. It is also durable enough to last at least a few months before the scratching surface becomes completely bald. It is a little more expensive than other options, however, and it is harder than jute, so it is not always used for kitten posts, for example.
    • Jute: Jute is another natural material. It is not as durable as sisal but softer and a good option if you are looking for a scratcher for cats with sensitive paws or kittens.
    • Cardboard: Cardboard is cheap; manufacturers can use recycled cardboard for extra environmental credentials. Although a single layer of cardboard is weak and wouldn’t last a minute under vigorous scratching, corrugated cardboard is tougher and longer-lasting, while honeycomb cardboard is even harder. However, no matter how effective the honeycombing is, cardboard is still not as durable or abrasive as sisal.
    • Carpet: Carpet is rarely used in scratching posts anymore. It does not offer a good, abrasive texture, and many owners are put off offering this material because it can encourage cats to start scratching other carpet areas. It is quite cheap, however, because manufacturers can use offcuts and small pieces of carpet.

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    Conclusion

    A cat scratching post should be considered a vital piece of equipment for the modern cat-owning household. It offers exercise, engagement, stress relief, and 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 choose 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 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.

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