As humans, we see a brand new piece of furniture as an exciting decor addition to our space. However, our cats? Well, through their beady little eyes, any new piece of furniture is a new toy to scratch.
To save our furniture, curtains and carpets looking like shredded cheese, every kitten or cat owner's best friend is a cat scratching post.
Usually made from rope or cardboard, scratching posts are specifically designed for cats to let loose on. There are many types, like flower or cactus scratching posts, floor to ceiling scratching posts, scratching balls and scratching posts that double as a cat bed. So which is the best for your furry friend?
Here at Take A Break Pets, we've compiled a list of the best cat scratching posts to buy online in the UK, with a variety of designs and functions.
What is a cat scratching post used for?
In the wild, big cats such as lions and tigers spend their mornings stretching up against trees and scratching their claws on the trunks. Our little cats have the same urge, which is why you need a scratching post because if not, they'll eye up the edge of your sofa instead.
Cats use scratching posts for a variety of reasons. It's a way to stretch out their bodies and muscles and helps trim and sharpen their claws. It also helps shed dead layers of nail, therefore preventing ingrown claws, and is a way for them to mark territory using the scent glands in their paws. Finally, scratching posts can be used as a playing stimulant, especially if there is a toy attached.
Do cat scratching posts trim nails?
They do indeed. Some pet owners, especially ones with indoor cats, will use nail clippers to trim their cat's nails. However, trimming your cat's claws using clippers can be a stressful task for both you and your cat, and you risk hurting their paw pads which are extremely sensitive. Therefore, buying your cat a scratching post means they're able to regulate their claws themselves, preventing ingrown nails.
The best cat scratching posts UK 2022
Pets at Home Purdy Play and Scratch Cat Post
Best cat scratching post simple design
If you want a cat scratching post that is simple and sweet, the Purdy Play and Scratch Cat Post is ideal. With plush fabric on the base and top, with an added pom-pom toy, this is a back-to-basics classic. Size: 58 x 34 x 34cm Tried and tested by TABP writer Ruby Barry: "My family has used this cat scratching post for ages and its still holding its intergrity almost six months after purchase. It doesn't draw attention to itself which is what we wanted and the cats love it. The rope hasn't come off the pole, and the base is easy to hoover".
Pets at Home Thompson Tall Cat Scratch Post
Best cat scratching post tall
If you have a larger cat or have noticed that your cat loves to stretch out their body, you may want to go for a taller post. The Giant Scratch and Stretch by Pets at Home is an extra tall sisal scratching post, which will allow your cat to extend all their muscles. Size: 90 x 38 x 38cm Review: "My six month old kitten loves this, it's the first thing she uses when she wakes up in the morning and she loves climbing up it and being able to scratch all four paws at once. It feels sturdy although I wish the base was slightly heavier as our chunky kitten throws herself at it and nearly tips it over, although if your cat isn't as excited about it as ours I'm sure it will be fine :-) I've had it for a few months now and although it looks a bit scratched up I'm sure we will get at least another year or two out of it before happily replacing it."
Petface Big Boy Cat Scratcher
Best cat scratching post strong
If your cat manages to knock down every cat scratcher, due to weight or energy, buying a chunky scratcher is the solution. Argos markets this post as "one of the biggest scratching posts available" to buy, and is constructed with MDF sisal & fleece. Size: H72 x W49 x D49cm Review: "This is a large, strong and steady cat scratch post. My cat took to it straight away. It is large enough for him to climb up and sit on. Great purchase. Strongly recommend for cats of all sizes. Easy to assemble."
Trixie Sisal Cat Scratching Board XL
Best cat scratching post for walls
Cat scratchers don't have to take up much space, case and point, this Sisal Cat Scratching Board from Trixie is designed to be placed on a wall. As a bonus, you can place this scratching board next to say your sofa or curtain that your kitty loves to claw, and slowly ween them off by encouraging the use of the scratching board instead. Size: 70 x 17cm Review: "Iu2019ve bought my cat several scratching boards which he uses for a while then stops. This is by far his favourite and he completely stopped scratching the sofa when I put this next to the sofa with a little bit of catnip. Now he loves it even without catnip. If I am to order a new scratching board, Iu2019ll probably get this one again."
PetKit 4-in-1 Cat Scratcher
Best cat scratching post with toy
If your cat has an affliction with your carpets, a floor scratcher is best. The PetKit 4-1 Cat Scratcher combines a scratching post, a ball track toy, fresh catnip and a bell. The thick corrugated carboard can be replaced whenever worn out and is thick enough for your kitty to play and sleep on. Size: H44 x W7.1 x D44 cm
Sofa Cat Scratcher
Best cat scratching post for sofas
If you've tried everything, but your cat just cannot resist scratching your sofa, why not meet in the middle and purchase a sofa scratcher? This scratching post from BigPurr is designed to sit on the corner of your sofa and has four different colours available. Size: You can order custom sizes to fit your particular couch. Review: "LOVE this! I was having a hard time finding something to protect my sofa and this was perfect. I was able to get a shorter height and the gray color to match the fabric. My kitties love it!"
Cactus Cat Tree
Best cat scratching post cactus shape
Cactus-designed cat scratching posts are very popular and for good reason. They look both stylish and a little quirky and gives your cat multiple levels to climb on. This cactus post from Argos is covered in jute and has a plush base. Size: H68 x W30 x D30cm Review: "I have been wanting one of these for ages always out of stock and now I have one I know why, our cat loves this scratch post which is THE most important thing, however it also looks fantastic in the living room as a stand alone piece, delighted with this purchase."
Brown Cardboard Cat Scratcher
Best cat scratching post budget friendly
You don't have to spend a lot of money on a cat scratcher if your cat is prone to ripping them to spreads within weeks. For cats whose life goal is to destroy scratching posts, your best bet is buying a cheap and cheerful scratcher that you can easily replace, such as this option from Aldi. Size: 15 x 15 x 30cm Review: "Fantastic toy well worth the price and kitten loves it. She claws and bites it and rolls it about floor."
PawHut Cats Floor to Ceiling Scratching Post w/ 5-Tier Plush Leisure Platforms
Best cat scratching post floor-to-ceiling
Get your furry friend a floor-to-ceiling scratching post, and they are guaranteed a lifetime of fun. These extremely tall posts can simulate large trees in the wild, so your cat will be endlessly entertained with its five platforms (including a bed!). This PawHut scratching post is made with solid, P2 grade particle board and its height can be adjusted to fit any room. Size: 40L x 34W x 230-260H cm Review: "I felt compelled to leave a review as I'm so pleasantly surprised with how good this product and the service was. Very good quality and a quarter of the price of some other trees on the market. Arrived next day too. Top marks."
Cat Climbing Sisal Scratcher 360 Degree Rotating Hanging Ball
Best cat scratching post with extra features
If only we had enough hours to play with our cats in a day, but alas, someone must pay the bills. However, this Sisal Scratcher from XJD will cover you while you're away. It features a mixture of sisal and carpet, for interesting textures, and has two different interactive toys built-in. There is a 360-degree rotating ball on top and circle grooves in the base where your cat can play with the included marbles. It comes in brown or grey. Size: 26 x 26 x 55 cm Review: "My three month old cat loves it. Discovered the balls at the base immediately and has been playing non-stop for the last 30 minutes. He also likes scratching his nails at the post. Assembly was easy."
Scarlett Scratching Post by Archie & Oscar
Best cat scratching post for stylish homes
There's no stopping your cat scratching post from becoming a signature decor piece in your home. This mushroom scratching post is so adorable and brightens up any space, and your furry friend can hop from cap to cap like a woodland fairy. Size: 37 x 30 x 30 cm Review: "So cute. And the cat loves it! Sheu2019s usually fussy about scratching so I am super pleased!"
My cat will not use a scratching post...
What should I do?
If your cat has always refused to use a scratching post, it's hard not to get frustrated. However, there are ways you can encourage them to start using their post while making them think it was their idea...
One way to encourage the use of a scratching post is to place the post next to the place where your kitty likes to scratch, whether that be a sofa leg, curtains or a space on your carpet. Next, cover the scratching post with catnip and your cat won't be able to resist rubbing up against it, which in turn will embolden them to test it out on their claws. You can get many types of catnip, but for this task spray or sprinkled catnip would be best.
Also, having a misting bottle on hand filled with water is useful if you need to quickly remind your furry friend not to destroy your furniture and treats ready if you want to reward them for using the scratching post.
Read our full guide here: How to stop your cat from scratching your furniture