The 5 Best Cat Scratching Posts To File Nails

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Scratching is a natural behavior for cats that keeps their nails healthy. Rather than try to battle a cat's innate desire to scratch, redirecting the cat's scratching behavior away from the furniture in your home and towards a designated cat scratching post is a far better idea. And, believe it or not, the best cat scratching posts to file nails can keep your pet's claws tidy, and prevent them from damaging your expensive furniture.

To ensure your cat's claws are filed with every use, you'll want to avoid posts that are covered with carpet and instead look for posts made of durable fibers like sisal or corrugated cardboard. The rest of your decision will come down to your cat's favorite style of scratching.

For cats that like to scratch the corners of sofas and chairs, a vertical scratching post will likely be the best option. Alternatively, a cat that prefers to scratch its claws on the floor may be better off with a horizontal, rather than vertical, scratching spot.

In a hurry? These are the best cat scratching posts to file nails:

1. The Overall Best: SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post

2. The Runner-Up: PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post

3. The Best Budget: MECOOL Cat Scratcher (3-Pack)

4. The Best Horizontal Scratcher With A Comfy Curve: 4CLAWS Curve Scratching Pad

5. The Best With A Built-In Toy: Bergan Turboscratcher Cat Toy

Keep in mind that if your cat has never used a scratching post before, it may take some encouragement before they begin using it regularly. Feline experts recommend rewarding cats with a treat whenever you see them using the scratching post in order to encourage the behavior.

Scroll down for more details on the best cat scratching posts to file nails.


The Overall Best

Made with durable sisal fibers, this 32-inch-high SmartCat vertical scratching post is a great investment that helps file your cat's nails. Even the largest of cats can scratch to their heart's content while fully extended on this four-sided post. Plus, this scratching post has a wide base that prevents it from tipping over and is super easy to assemble. With more than 17,000 positive Amazon reviews, this post is beloved by pet parents and cats everywhere.

What fans say: “My two cats love it, it files down their nails so I have to clip them less often. It allows them to fully stretch out their body. Absolutely a necessity in any cat household [...]"


The Runner-Up

If you're not sure of your cat's preferred scratching style, this PetFusion three-sided cat scratching post will cover all of the bases. On two sides of the triangle are 18-inch-tall vertical scratch boards, and the third side is 16 inches in length. This allows cats to scratch from multiple positions and angles, filing their nails in the process. Even better, you can rotate it to get the most use out of all three sides of the triangle. Made of durable recycled corrugated cardboard, this scratching post has silicone grippers on the bottom to keep it in place and is available in both a standard and a larger size to accommodate different-sized cats. Plus, your cat can scratch at both the interior and exterior of this triangular post — every side is covered in the same cardboard, perfect for filing your cat's nails.

What fans say: “My cat loves this cat scratcher!!! She wouldn't even let me fully unwrap this out of the box first - she was on the corner of it scratching her nails. It's definitely a winning design & heavy duty construction [...]”


The Best Budget

If your cat prefers a horizontal scratcher, opt for this budget-friendly three-pack of cardboard scratch pads. They’re made from heavy-duty, recycled corrugated cardboard with a fun polka dot design along the edges. Most importantly, each piece of cardboard is reversible, so this set will last through lots of scratching. Three packs of catnip are included, which you can sprinkle on the cardboard to entice your cat to scratch.

What fans say: “Usually I buy one scratcher for this price, so I really like the value here. The outside cardboard and scratching pad are quite good, and can be flipped. I have a 18 pound cat and it holds up quite well [...]”


The Best Horizontal Scratcher With A Comfy Curve

Some cats may find this curved scratcher to be the most comfortable option. Ideal for cats who prefer to scratch horizontally, each side of this pad offers a 17.7-inch scratching surface made of recycled cardboard that's wide enough to accommodate most adult cats. The scratch pad is also reversible so your cat can choose between two different configurations. Some pet owners even find that this scratching pad has also become a favorite place for their cats to nap and lounge.

What fans say: “My cat began using this right away to keep her nails trimmed. She sleeps on it sometimes. Put a little catnip on it to make kitty extra happy.”


The Editor’s Pick

The Bergan Turboscratcher is recommended by Associate Commerce Editor, Cristina Sanza, and it has an impressive 4.7 overall star rating after more than 19,000 Amazon reviewers weighed in. This interactive cat toy has a circular cardboard cat scratcher in the center that’s surrounded by a rolling ball. Cats can entertain themselves and enjoy some satisfying scratches at the same time, and the toy has a nonslip bottom to keep it in place while your kitty plays. Replacements pads are available, so the scratcher is easy to swap out when it gets worn down, and catnip is included.

What fans say: “The cats love to play with this, and use the center to scratch their nails. It's really fun to watch them playing with the ball, they get pretty rowdy with it! I also catch the kitten falling asleep on it after getting all tuckered out from playing.”