Does your cat scratch your furniture? Are you looking to protect your sofa from claw marks? Does your carpet have bare patches where your cat has really gone to town? Cats need to scratch, and most people nowadays know that they need a proper outlet for their instincts.
Sisal scratching posts are a great choice for their durability, and most cats love them! The Branch-Out Cat Scratching Post from PetFusion caught our attention for its tree-like design that any house panther would gladly shred instead of your sofa. However, it was hard to narrow down our top ten choices! There are so many practical and pretty designs that both you and your cat will love. So, keep reading and check out our buying guide for tips on choosing a new sisal scratching post.
Does My Cat Want a Sisal Scratching Post?
Any cat owner knows they need to scratch. It’s how cats keep their claws healthy and mark their territory. So if you don’t want your furniture marked up, sisal is an excellent material to offer your kitty instead!
What is Sisal?
Sisal comes from the agave plant and is usually harvested in Brazil. Both rope and fabric versions are available. This natural material is generally safe for cats and often comes in different colors, but plain brown is most common. Cats tend to prefer brown because it looks like a tree.
Sisal rope scratching posts are widely available. Their advantage is durability, and they can easily be repaired by winding and gluing new rope. However, as the fibers come off, some are a bit sharp and may cause splinters.
Sisal fabric or carpet is less durable but softens as it’s scratched. Both sisal rope and fabric are popular with kitties, so it’s really your choice which one you buy. Even better, just get one of each!
Is Sisal Better Than Other Materials?
It’s not really a matter of better or worse, but each material has its pros and cons. The most important thing is to find scratching posts your cat likes and uses.
Carpet tends to get caught in a cat’s claws, and you may not want to encourage your cat to scratch something that reminds them of your expensive rugs or carpeting. Cardboard is loved by felines, but it sheds little bits of paper all over.
Another option is actual wood, which is what wild cats naturally scratch most often. But wooden scratching posts are hard to find and usually expensive. Sisal is a good alternative because it matches the texture, shape, and color of a tree well.
10 Best Sisal Scratching Posts
There are a lot of highly-reviewed scratching posts on Amazon, so we tried to go beyond the bestsellers and look for unique products that offer something more!
1/ PetFusion – Branch-Out Cat Scratching Post $49.95
|Materials||Sisal rope with wooden base|
|Highlights||12-month warranty, replacement posts available|
2/ Catry – Cat Tree Bed $49.99
|Materials||Sisal rope, jute fiber, fleece, felt, MDF base|
|Highlights||Adjustable angle scratching pad, teaser toy|
3/ Sofa-Scratcher – Couch Corner Scratching Post $54.99
|Materials||Sisal fabric, polycarbonate base|
|Highlights||Felt backing to protect furniture|
|Size||24″ high, 10″ wide|
4/ Dimaka – Ultimate Cat Scratching Post $28.99
|Materials||Sisal rope, chipboard base, plush fabric covering|
|Highlights||Different textures, teaser toy|
5/ 7 Ruby Road – Scratching Post for Floor or Wall $38.99
|Materials||Woven sisal, wooden frame|
|Highlights||30-day money-back guarantee|
|Size||22″ high, 5.75″ wide|
6/ PetnPurr – Cactus Cat Scratcher $39.98
|Materials||Sisal rope, carpeting|
7/ PAWZ Road – Scratching Post and Pad $19.99
|Materials||Sisal rope, sisal fabric, carpeting, MDF base|
|Size||15.7″ long, 12.4 wide, 6.3″ tall|
8/ Petmaker – 3-Pole Cat Scratcher $35.99
|Materials||Sisal rope, polyester fabric|
|Highlights||3 teaser toys|
9/ SmartyKat – Sisal Angle Scratcher $14.84
|Materials||Sisal fabric, wooden base|
|Size||15.25″ long, 7″ wide|
10/ SmartCat – Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post $44.99
|Materials||Woven sisal, MDF base|
How to Choose a Sisal Scratching Post – Buying Guide
The most important things when choosing any pet product are safety and durability (and sometimes cuteness). Let’s look at those in more detail.
Make Sure the Scratching Post is Durable
A lot of sisal scratching posts have similar designs that are nearly indistinguishable from each other. Instead of going by appearance or relying on the manufacturer’s description, dive into the user reviews to make sure you’re buying a quality product.
Check the Quality of Materials
The rope used for scratching posts is usually 1/4 or 3/8 inch sisal. 1/4-inch is less durable because it’s thinner, but it’s easier to use for repairs because it’s more flexible. Manila and hemp rope are also available, and there’s not much difference between them all.
Sisal fabric is sometimes called sisal carpeting, but for scratching posts it’s a bit tougher. It’s still less durable than rope, but it sheds less, too.
Regardless of the outer material, many scratchers have a core. Some are heavy-duty cardboard tubes, which are obviously not good for outdoor use. If you want a scratching post for a catio look for one with a heavy wood core.
Get One That’s Very Stable
Cats pull really hard when they scratch; remember, the whole point of scratching is to remove their old dull outer-claw sheath. A top-heavy or unstable scratching post can scare the cat and make them lose interest, or worse, cause injury.
For an uprights scratcher, look for a low center of gravity and heavy base. For other shapes, see if it can be fastened securely to a wall or the floor. Some are designed so the weight of a cat sitting on it keeps it in place.
Choose a Size and Shape That You and Your Cat Will Love
Many people think of a “post” shape, naturally, but in addition to tree-like objects, cats love to scratch in different positions, too!
Choose Vertical, Horizontal, or Angled
Vertical posts are great tree substitutes. They let your house panther get a full stretch! It’s recommended to get a post that is 20 inches tall for kittens and about 40 inches for adult cats. Of course, taller posts need wide, stable bases.
Shorter heights are fine for a horizontal or angled post. It’s a great idea to offer a variety of shapes, as they work different muscle groups when your cat scratches.
Decide If You Want Other Features Besides a Scratching Surface
A lot of cat trees come with sisal rope posts, but many scratchers have extra features that can attract your cat and keep it busy.
If you get one with a hammock or toys, look for ones that are sturdy and safe. It’s hard to predict what your cat will like, but for kittens, almost any dangling toy will do! You can even consider a DIY addition if you have a toy, some string, and a staple gun!
Another fun feature for your cat is materials and surfaces which can act as “scent-soakers.” If you’re a fan of Jackson Galaxy, you’ve heard him talk about how cats feel secure when they smell themselves in their territory. (That’s why they rub on your legs, too!) Look for absorbent surfaces your cat might enjoy rubbing on while scratching.
How to Get Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post
The whole point is to save your furniture, walls, and carpets, so you need to convince your kitty that the great scratching post you bought just for them is a better choice!
Absolutely consider the location first. If your cat has attempted to scratch your sofa before, put a scratching post in front of the couch. Try putting it near their favorite sleeping spot so they can use it for a good stretch when they wake up.
As scratching is also a territorial behavior, it’s a good idea to have posts in areas where they can leave their mark as a sign of their presence. Cats’ paws have scent glands, so they leave a message to other cats anywhere they walk or scratch.
Examples of territorially-significant areas include places where humans and other animals pass by, such as hallways and doorways. The bedroom is important to a cat because your smell is strong there, so they love to mix in their scent by scratching something in the bedroom.
Most of the time, it’s not hard to get a cat interested in a new scratching post. You can also try rubbing some catnip on it! Give them time and just let them check it out. Oddly enough, though, if you act like you’re using it yourself, sometimes they’ll get the message!