Best Cat Scratching Posts of 2023 · The Wildest

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The Best Cat Scratching Posts, Pads and Everything In Between

Your cat’s claws are out. Do you have scratchers at the ready?

by Avery Felman
31 October 2023
Grey cat sitting on on stairs scratching at the cactus shaped Meyou Paris Vegas Scratcher
Courtesy of Meyou Paris

If there’s one thing new cat parents learn pretty quickly is that felines possess an instinctual need to scratch sh*t up. If you don’t indulge this primal need – by way of strategically placed scratching posts and pads, cat trees, towers and toys – they may turn their claws on your couch. You may think that removing scratching posts from your home will suppress said need. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. This can actually backfire, cause cat anxiety and lead to more destructive behaviours. Ugh.

Your cat isn’t trying to destroy your furniture, trust us. In addition to trimming their own nails and getting a good stretch in, scratching is a healthy expression of emotion – rather, a range of emotions from excitement to stress. It’s also a way in which they mark their territory, as they release pheromones through their pads. Trimming your cat’s nails is an important part of their grooming routine, but won’t save your furniture or curb their need to claw. So we asked veterinarian and The Wildest Collective member, Dr John Iovino, to weigh in on the best cat scratchers.

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

District 70 Can Cardboard Scratcher

The most important reason to invest in a scratcher for your cat, aside from the fact that it brings them joy and might help fill space in the corner you haven’t known what to do with since you moved in, is that it’s good for the health of your feline.  Overgrown nails may puncture your cat’s paw pads leading to ingrown nails, sores and infection. You also have to be careful of the materials on the scratchers your cat is using to dull their nails. “If cats start to get their claws stuck in a material, it may turn them off to that texture, and if they get their claws caught, it may cause damage to the nail,” says Dr Iovino. “Bark and cardboard have also been good textures that a lot of cats seem to like.”

PAWZ Road Coconut Palm Cat Scratching Post

Cat scratchers come in all shapes and sizes, but experts agree that height is the most important feature to consider. “The best example of a good cat scratcher would be a tree,” says Dr Iovino. “It’s tall enough to allow cats to stretch their full bodies. It’s heavy, sturdy and won’t move while cats forcefully scratch to sharpen their nails and mark their territory. Lastly, it has a rough texture helping to remove the outer portions of the nail to help them sharpen.”

the black cat scratcher

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to encounter a pet product that our cats gravitate towards and isn’t a total eyesore. Meyou Paris’s cactus-shaped scratching post is one such item. Made of woven rope, this desert-inspired vertical scratcher is the perfect way to accessorise your home and engage your cat’s clawing instincts. Plus, its scratching surface can be easily replaced by placing a fresh Vegas attachment over its steel base. It’s sustainable, aesthetically pleasing and as functional as they come. Hey, when it works, it works.

Cat Scratching Ball

Other key factors to keep in mind for reliable cat scratchers are those that are durable and provide an interesting texture for cats. “Heavy furniture, carpeting and other furnishings are appealing to cats since they provide those necessary functions for scratching,” says Dr Iovino. However, if your cat confuses your rug or favourite pillow for their favourite scratching post, he recommends “keeping the cat scratcher near the furniture”.

Ready for some DIY? If you’re interested in carpentry, Dr Iovino suggests turning this into a building opportunity. “Using a heavy, wood base that is then covered in your cat’s preferred material can be easy to put together for an appropriate scratcher. From there, the complexity, and creativity would depend on each situation.” We’re more likely to opt for the less involved alternative, but it’s certainly an option.

Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is a writer and producer. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her reading, practicing her Greek on Duolingo, and delving into the Sex and the City discourse. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their cat, Chicken, who rules with an iron fist.