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11 Best Modern Cat Scratching Posts in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

kitty on cat tree

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 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Scratching Post Hepper Scratching Post
  • Marble game at base
  • Sisal and plush tower
  • Hanging toy with fuzzy ball
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip
  • Cheap
  • Doesn’t dominate the room
  • Includes catnip
  • Premium Choice
    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
  • Best for Kittens
    Two By Two The Cedar Two By Two The Cedar
  • Two scratching posts
  • Short for kittens
  • Jute is softer than sisal
  • Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher
  • Good looking design
  • Suitable for small and large cats
  • Five positions prevents boredom
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    The 11 Best Modern Cat Scratching Posts

    1. Hepper Scratching Post – Best Overall

    Hepper scratching post

    Post type: Post
    Material: Pressed wood, sisal, plush fabric
    Position: Vertical
    Dimensions: 29.5cm x 29.5 cm x 80 cm

    The Hepper Scratching Post is the best overall modern cat scratcher post. With its sleek design, the scratching post fits into any décor and gives your cat the enrichment it needs. Plenty of features keep your cat entertained, including a sisal-wrapped tower and a hanging toy with a plush ball on the end. The toy is set high, so your cat can exercise its leaping and pouncing skills.

    The top of the tower is sisal, and the base is plush, giving your cat a variety of materials to hold its interest. The base has a marble game on pressed wood, ensuring the tower is sturdy enough for your cat’s most rigorous play. If you want to change things up, the post comes with instructions for alternate construction. Most cats will get hours of enjoyment from this post, but it may not be ideal for older cats or cats with mobility issues.

    At PetKeen.com, 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
    • Sisal and plush tower
    • Hanging toy with fuzzy ball
    • Marble game at base
    • Sturdy, anti-tip design
    Cons
    • Not ideal for older cats or cats with mobility issues

    2. Catit Lounge Scratcher With Catnip – Best Value

    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 the best modern cat scratching post for the money.

    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 – Premium Choice

    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. Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher

    Hepper Hi-lo Cat Scratcher

    Post type: Scratch pad
    Material: Cardboard
    Position: Diagonal
    Size: 24 inches

    The Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher has a modern design that includes metal stand legs and a gray scratcher frame that will fit any décor. The scratcher itself is made from a reinforced cardboard design that is textured to encourage cats to scratch, saving your furniture and giving them somewhere safe to sharpen their claws.

    The Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher is our choice as the best modern cat scratching post because it can be set in any of five positions including a lounger; a low position that is suitable for kittens and lazy scratchers; and the high position that allows your feline friend to really stretch out while scratching: a position preferred by a lot of cats. Because the scratcher position can be changed, it prevents boredom. If your cat is starting to ignore your scratcher, turn it to a different position and it will be like they’ve got a new toy.

    Although the scratcher is a little expensive, it does have a modern, attractive design. The cardboard doesn’t withstand as much brutal scratching as natural sisal, but there is a large scratching surface that can be rotated so your sharp-clawed pet will get a lot of use out of the design.

    At PetKeen.com, 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
    • Good looking design
    • Suitable for small and large cats
    • Five positions prevents boredom
    Cons
    • Cardboard isn’t as long lasting as sisal

    6. 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

    7. 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

    8. Frisco Nesting Cat Scratcher Toy With Catnip

    Frisco Nesting Cat Scratcher Toy with Catnip

    Post type: Wedges
    Material: Cardboard
    Position: Floor
    Dimensions: 17 inches

    The Frisco Nesting Cat Scratcher Toy is a nesting set of three cat scratching toys that are shaped like wedges and allow stretching as well as scratching. The scratching surface is made from corrugated recycled cardboard and because these are nesting wedges, there are three different sizes of toy included, making the low price even greater value for money. The set even comes with catnip, which can be sprinkled on the toys to encourage your cats to investigate.

    This is a low-priced set of scratching toys that are decent quality for a short period of time. Not only does the cardboard become bald and unscratchable but it sheds, which means you will have a lot of cleanup to do. The cardboard, corrugated or not, does not hold up to regular and incessant scratching, and although the nesting idea is good, in theory, it means that you are unlikely to have use of either the smallest or the largest of the wedges, according to the size of your cat or kitten.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • Includes set of three scratchers and catnip
    Cons
    • Unlikely to need the smallest and largest wedges
    • Cardboard quickly loses its scratch appeal
    • Shredded cardboard needs picking up regularly

    9. 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

    10. 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
    • Cheap
    • Includes a groomer and scratching post
    Cons
    • Wobbly
    • A lot of cats don’t understand the groomer
    • Not much scratching post

    11. Omega Paw Door Hanging Cat Scratchy Pad

    Omega Paw Door Hanging Cat Scratchy Pad

    Post type: Scratch pad
    Material: Carpet
    Position: Door-hanging
    Dimensions: 16 inches

    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.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • Easily hangs from the door handle
    Cons
    • Carpet is not as textured as other scratching materials
    • Pad is quite small
    • Encourages carpet scratching
    • Not stable

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    Buyer’s Guide

    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.

    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 not only allows them to do that but it also lets them explore other habits that come naturally to cats.

    russian blue cat on scratcher
    Image Credit: 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 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.

    Claw Maintenance

    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.

    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, 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.

    funny cats playing on tree
    Image Credit: 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 cat.
    • Trees – Trees are more complex than posts but do share some 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 different scratching post sections, which means that 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 there are even those that hang on doorknobs for a convenient alternative to a room-filling cat tree.
    • Trays – The scratching tray is similar to 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 that 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 clean up.
    • 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 they 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 that it should 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 the likes of jute so is not always used for kitten posts, for example.
    • Jute – Jute is another natural material. It is not as durable as sisal but it is softer and it is a good option if you are looking for a scratcher for cats with sensitive paws or for kittens.
    • Cardboard – Cardboard is cheap and 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, 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 a lot of owners are put off offering this material because it can encourage cats to start scratching other areas of carpet. 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, 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 Scratching Post to be the best modern cat scratching post thanks to its attractive design and additional toys. The Catit Lounge Scratcher is a really cheap, albeit somewhat basic, scratching post and includes catnip to encourage your cat to get involved.


    Featured Image Credit: 5 Second Studio, Shutterstock

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