Today, we’re talking all about the best scratching posts for older cats.
Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important factors to consider.
Then, we’ll dive into some reviews for my top 10 favorite options.
We have lots to discuss, so let’s get started!
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Top scratching posts for older cats at a glance
- SMARTCAT PIONEER PET ULTIMATE SCRATCHING POST – Prevents tipping and wobbling with excellent stability.
- PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post – Made with eco-friendly materials.
- PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge – Curvy design makes it comfy both for scratching and napping.
- Under Table Cat Scratching Pole – Natural seagrass scratching material.
- Catry Activity Center – Made from high-quality particleboard and natural jute fiber.
Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!
Related: Best Scratching Posts for Large Cats
10 Best Scratching Posts for Older Cats (Review)
I will assume that if you wanted the best cat trees for older cats, you would have searched for that instead.
So we’re focusing solely on products designed to satisfy your cat’s urge to scratch.
I get SO frustrated when I search for something, and the top results have absolutely nothing to do with what I asked.
That said, some of them aren’t precisely “posts,” as I wanted to include some flat options as well.
1. winner: SMARTCAT PIONEER PET ULTIMATE SCRATCHING POST
The Smartcat Pioneer is a highly rated scratching post for cats of all sizes and ages.
But honestly, my favorite attribute would have to be its wide base component.
It’s a crucial feature that helps prevent issues such as tipping and wobbling.
I wouldn’t have to worry about my older cat knocking it over on themselves.
- Made with durable woven sisal rope
- Wide base component
- It comes with two screws and dowels for assembly
- Elevated top perch
- All life stages
- 13.5 Pounds
Benefits & drawbacks of SmartCar Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post
|Tall enough to satisfy the kitty’s need to stretch while scratching.||A bit expensive|
|Covered with long-lasting woven sisal||Some complaints that it smells funny.|
|Prevents tipping and wobbling with excellent stabilit|
|Nice modern design|
|Easy to put together|
Any worthwhile scratching post needs to be tall enough for a cat’s stretching exercises. This one’s design certainly meets those qualifications.
More importantly, it offers high-quality stability with a wide base. I doubt even large cats would have much luck knocking it over.
The scratching post material is second-to-none, as well. Its natural sisal fabric rope has much higher durability than most other options.
Plus, the assembly process for this model couldn’t be easier. I doubt even a kid or teenager would have trouble putting it together.
Lastly, it has a modern design that won’t have problems meshing into most decors. So it won’t be an eyesore like so many competing cat trees and scratching posts.
My only wish is that this product didn’t have such a high price tag. It’s easily one of the more expensive options on our entire list.
I also must note that some reviewers did report it “smelled funny.” But I’m not too worried about this smell problem, as it seems to go away over time.
How it Compares to Others and Why
The minimalist style should fit in nicely with your home decor (or as nicely as any piece of cat furniture can).
One reviewer mentioned that her 20lb cat plays with it all of the time, and it never once tipped over, which makes me feel very confident in the Pioneer’s safety features.
Others talk about its durability, which is a plus given the somewhat high price.
- Be careful; as one Amazon reviewer pointed out, “the directions are ON THE POST. They look like the tag, but the directions are there.”
Check out this video!
- DURABLE SISAL: A durable sisal fiber design ensures the SmartCat...
- TALL AND STRONG: The sturdy design of the scratching tower allows...
- GOODBYE CLAW MARKS: Satisfy your indoor cat’s natural urge to...
2. PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post
The 3-Sided ScratMade with eco-friendly materials Made with eco-friendly materializing Post has three scratching surfaces to accommodate more than one cat. It also your cat to select which side she wants to scratch.
While that version wasn’t ideal for seniors, this model is! Let’s see why.
benefits & drawbacks of PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post
|For a cardboard scratcher, it is extremely durable.||Will slide on hardwood floors|
|The triangular shape allows for excellent horizontal stretch||It releases cardboard flakes, so you’ll need to clean up around it with a broom from time to time.|
|It is stable and does not topple over.|
This scratching post is made totally of recycled cardboard and has a curved slant to compliment a cat’s natural posture.
The cubby hole is a fantastic addition; it will let your cat play, explore, and nap in addition to scratching her post.
Additionally, it is totally pre-assembled, so you won’t have to worry about manually assembling everything. The best part is that it’s not too tall, your elderly cat can perch on it without falling.
3. Best for Napping: PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
If your cat prefers something flat rather than tall, this one by PetFusion is an outstanding option.
Additionally, it can hold multiple cats at once for their napping sessions.
This post should also last much longer than other cardboard options due to its reversible design.
- Made with recycled cardboard and non-toxic starch glue
- It comes with organic catnip
- Three different color options
- A reversible, curvy design
- Large surface area
- 34 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches
Benefits & drawbacks of the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge
|Scratcher doubles as a fun little lounger.||Made from cardboard, so it will inevitably shred.|
|Curvy design makes it comfy both for scratching and napping.||Pricey for cardboard|
|Won multiple awards, including the 2015 Eco-Excellence Award|
|Plenty of room for scratching|
|Holds multiple cats at once|
How it Compares to Others and Why
It’s very well designed. As PetFusion puts it, “Our scratchers are glued together piece by piece, making them much more durable than the cheaper pre-glued versions.”
- If you have an energetic kitty or senior cat, one buyer recommends “cutting hash marks into [the holes” to soften up the cardboard.”
- CATS LOVE IT: This wide infinity cat lounge cat scratcher is...
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4. Under Table Cat Scratching Pole
If you don’t really have the floor space for a big scratching post, this is a fabulous option. As the name implies, it fits right under your table.
benefits & drawbacks of under table cat scratching pole
|Natural seagrass scratching material||Unclear as to where it’s made|
|Works under most tables from 26.75” to 31” tall||Only one color|
|Cats can’t tip it, and it’s easy to remove/relocate.|
|Pads on the bottom protect your floor.|
What is it with cat scratching posts costing $50? I don’t know, maybe I’m just cheap!
Anyway, aside from the price and unclear origins (Cats Play clearly labels things that are made in the USA), I can’t really see anything wrong with this option.
I love that you can put it under just about any table.
So, if your senior cat spends a lot of time under your desk like mine did, you can put it nearby.
It’s great for small spaces, too, like apartments.
|I saw it on CatsPlay Cat Furniture|
Under Table Cat Scratching Pole — $49.99
Under Table Cat Scratching Pole – Cat Beds – The Under Table Cat Scratch Pole is a sleek and sturdy cat scratching post that takes up minimal space in your home. Easily adjusts to fit under most tables.
5. Best Option for a Cat’s Claws: Catry Activity Center
This is a neat option for those who want something more tree-like for a very petite cat.
It’s not so big that your senior can’t climb it, but still offers plenty of fun features.
More importantly, the paper rope scratching posts are great for a senior cat’s health.
This material is easier on their claws and promotes better skin health.
- Three-level design
- Made from high-quality particleboard and natural jute fiber.
- Scratching posts are wrapped with a special type of paper rope
- Cat condo on the ground level.
- Removable mats
- Top-level perch
- 17.22 x 13.87 x 7.4 inches
- 13.13 Pounds
Benefits & drawbacks of Catry Activity Center
|The paper rope is gentler on your aging cat’s skin.||At full price, it’s pretty expensive for what it is (it’s on sale, though)|
|Perch is easy enough for seniors to reach||Cubby is only big enough for very petite cats.|
|Easy to clean with removable mats|
|Perfect place for a senior cat to relax|
How it Compares to Others and Why
It makes my list because of the paper rope material because it’s fantastic for cats with aging skin.
- One Amazon reviewer, Igott, noted, “the mat that comes with it is very thin, and it does need some extra padding inside.”
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6. best bargain: AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock
If your cat has a spring in her step, AmazonBasics’ post with a hammock is an inexpensive fit.
But this low price doesn’t keep it from exciting, valuable features.
Every senior cat will love its top perch hammock and hanging ball toy.
It’ll keep them entertained when keeping an eye on everything around their homes.
- Two jute-wrapped scratching posts.
- Plush cat hammock on top of the scratching posts
- neutral color scheme
- Hanging ball toy
- Sturdy base component
- 15.75 x 19.69 x 15.75 (LxWxH) inches
- 8.38 pounds
Benefits & drawbacks of AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock
|A more affordable purchase||Hammock isn’t washable.|
|The attached toy breaks away for added safety||The hammock is too small for larger senior cats.|
|A comfy place to sleep with a hammock|
|Easy to assemble|
|Prevents wobbling and tipping|
How it Compares to Others and Why
Customers complain that the hammock is too small for larger cats, so it’s not a good fit for a Maine Coon.
However, if you have a kitten and an older cat, it could be just right!
Honestly, considering that it costs half the price of many of the other options out there, you could even buy two.
- If the scratching posts wear down, there’s no need to replace the entire thing. You should instead “grab some sisal rope, a glue gun, and recover.”
- Cat tower designed to engage indoor cats in climbing and scratching...
- Includes a plush beige cat hammock suspended between 2 sturdy...
- Posts wrapped in natural jute fiber provide an optimal texture for...
7. Best for Mobility Issues: Kitty City XL Wide Cat Scratching Pad
Okay, so this option stretches the definition of “scratching post.”
But I wanted to offer one good flat option for those on a super tight budget.
After all, it gives those senior kids with creaky joints a suitable scratching area.
- It comes with three pieces
- Double-sided, flat-on-the-ground design
- Made of non-toxic recycled corrugated paper.
- It consists of recycled cardboard
- Suitable for all cats
- 18 x 10 x 1.5 inches
Benefits & drawbacks of Kitty City XL Wide Cat Scratching Pad
|Perfect for much older cats with major mobility issues.||It isn’t made in the US.|
|When you’re done with it, toss it in with your recycling.||Not built to last.|
|Stops cats from clawing furniture|
|Easily movable, lightweight design|
How it Compares to Others and Why
I love the fact that I won’t go broke buying this option! While the collection comes with three pieces, each is double-sided, so it’s more like getting six for one low price.
The flat design also stands out among other choices. Any senior cat with health issues will more than appreciate them.
- One reviewer recommends “[removing] the paper frame when they use the bottom side to maximize the scratching surface.”
- Best wide scratcher product. Size:18 x 10 x 1.5 inches
- Made of non-toxic corrugated paper, SAFE for playing.
- Helps protect furniture from claw damage
8. Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Scratch Pad
The Coching Scratch Pad is another excellent choice for senior cats, particularly those that prefer not to or are unable to stand on their hind legs.
The distinctive pattern of this scratcher closely resembles tree barks, making it enticing to cats.
benefits & drawbacks of coching scratch pad
|Natural and repurposed resources were used to create this product.||Not reccommended for bigger cats|
|Unlike other corrugated cardboard cat scratchers, this one is quite durable.|
|Scratchpads are reversible, so you may use them both ways.|
|Excellent value for money|
Aside from its aesthetic, it is also highly sturdy. This scratcher is made from recycled heavy-duty corrugated cardboard and is tough enough to withstand even the most ferocious claws.
As a result, you’ll have it for many years before needing to replace it.
It’s also reversible; simply turn it over and you have a fresh scratchpad to use!
- Unique Design: Premium scratching textures design, our cat scratching...
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9. Good Life Carpeted Ladder Scratching Post
Good Life’s Carpeted Ladder Scratching Post is ideal for multiple cat households.
For instance, its step ladder design can hold up to 70 pounds.
Multiple senior cats can have ball while demonstrating their scratching behavior.
- Covered with faux fleece material
- Built with a pressed wood base construction
- A step ladder consisting of 4 or 5 steps
- Beige color scheme
- Holds up to 70 pounds
- 25″ Tall, 24″ Deep, and 16″ Wide
Benefits & drawbacks of Good Life 25″ Carpeted Ladder Scratching Post
|Excellent stability, fit for even larger cats||Time-consuming assembly, some customers also noted “a lack of instructions.”|
|Lightweight, portable design||Steps could be a “little wider.”|
|Suitable for multiple cats|
|Reliable, durable base construction|
|Easy to climb for senior cats with step ladder platforms|
How it Compares to Others and Why
Aside from its large step ladder design, this model stands out by being portable. I doubt anyone would have issues moving it around their homes.
- Buyers recommend “always screw in the stair tops to the legs first!”
- Upgraded! Widened the highest steps, which can be used as a resting...
- Made of sturdy and lasting material yet lightweight and portable.
- overing Material: Faux Fleece ● Board Material: Pressed Wood ●...
10. Kitty City Premium Scratching Post
Our selection for the finest scratching post for big cats on a budget is the Kitty City Premium Scratching Post. It has a neutral tint and will look well in any setting.
benefits & drawbacks of kitty city premium scratching post
|Color that is neutral||Quickly wear out|
|A solid base||Has a bad smell|
|Hanging toy is included.|
|Simple to assemble|
It features a big 17-inch base that will keep the post in place while your cat uses it, and it measures 32-inches tall, making it suitable for both large and tiny cats.
A little dangling toy with a bell may aid lure your cat to the post so it will become accustomed to using it. It’s simple to put up, and we had it up in a matter of minutes.
- Attractive and neutrally toned to fit any decor.
- Perfect, stable Width and extra-tall Height designed for cats
- Overall Size: 17. 7"(L) x 17. 7"(W) x 32"(H)
What features to look for in scratching posts for older cats
Let’s quickly go over what I looked at while shopping for my top picks, then we’ll dive into my reviews.
When choosing ANY cat furniture, the first thing I look at is whether it’s safe for my beloved felines.
As far as scratching posts go, I look for items with a heavy base and other anti-toppling features (if it’s an upright tree).
I also look at the glue that holds the material in place to ensure it’s non-toxic.
When it comes to scratching posts for cats of any age, it’s essential to choose something that lets them do the “stretch and scratch.”
So, choose something as tall (or as long) as your cat is when he stretches himself out.
On the other hand, something too tall is a waste of money because they’re not likely to spend a lot of time scaling tall trees to reach the top.
At least, not in my experience, and one of my cats lived to age 21.
She spent the last few years of her life relatively close to the ground unless I stacked things just right to make climbing easier.
So, unless your senior is still super active, don’t waste your money on a ginormous cat gym just because it has a nice scratching surface.
If you want to learn more about the debate between cat trees and cat gyms, look at our article “CAT TREE VS. CAT GYM: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?”
Tall vs. long
Should you get a tall scratching post or a flat one? It’s an oddly controversial question in the world of senior cat parents, with no “correct” answer.
The answer depends entirely on your cat. If he’s suffering from weakness or arthritis in his back legs, opt for something flat.
If you notice that he still loves to reach up and scratch the heck out of your door jams, go with upright.
While material always matters when choosing the perfect scratching post, it’s vital for senior kitties.
Carpeting is too loose, and your cat’s claws can get caught up in it. On the other hand, wood or a wooden base is a bit too hard for senior kitties.
Both materials can lead to painful problems, like torn or broken nails.
Stick with materials like sisal, jute, and other natural fibers. Corrugated cardboard is a good option, too.
I also look at things like “is it a good value for the money” and “do other cat owners think it’s a good buy,” but my significant considerations are above.
How do you get an old cat to use a scratching post?
Getting an old cat to use a scratching post requires positive reinforcement techniques. I’d recommend sprinkling some catnip on it or giving them extra scratches when they use it.
Do older cats use scratching posts?
Older cats use scratching posts, but it could require a little encouragement. You’ll need to make them appealing and a place of comfort for the senior cats.
I love the SmartCar Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post. It’s such a highly-rated option, and I can’t imagine choosing anything else!
1. Scratching Posts [Internet]. SF SPCA. Available from: https://www.sfspca.org/resource/scratching-posts/
Last update on 2023-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API