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

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Editor's Choice
Preview
Ultimate Scratching Post- Gray, Large (32-Inch)
Top Benefit
Prevents tipping and wobbling with excellent stability
Check Latest Price
Best for Napping
Preview
PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge, Reversible Infinity Scratcher in Multiple Colors. Made from Recycled Corrugated Cardboard, Durable & Long Lasting. 1 Yr Warranty
Top Benefit
Curvy design makes it comfy both for scratching and napping.
Check Latest Price
Preview
under the table scratching post
Product Name
Top Benefit
Natural seagrass scratching material
Check Latest Price
Best Option for a Cat's Claws
Preview
Catry Kitten Cat Tree Condo with Paper Rope Covered Scratching Post Activity Center for Climbing Relaxing and Playing Natural Jute Fiber Pet Stand
Top Benefit
Made from high-quality particleboard and natural jute fiber.
Check Latest Price

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

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.

Attributes 

  • Made with durable woven sisal rope
  • Wide base component
  • It comes with two screws and dowels for assembly
  • Elevated top perch
  • All life stages

Measurements 

  • 16x16x32
  • 13.5 Pounds

Benefits & drawbacks of SmartCar Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post

BenefitsDrawbacks
Tall enough to satisfy the kitty’s need to stretch while scratching.A bit expensive
Covered with long-lasting woven sisalSome 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.

Expert Tips 

  • 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!

Ultimate Scratching Post- Gray, Large (32-Inch)
  • 32″ height allows cats to stretch fully and tone muscles
  • Sturdy 16″ by 16″ base eliminates tipping and wobbling
  • Fibrous and durable woven sisal naturally inspires scratching
  • Superior to carpeted posts that may snag nail
  • Assembles with two included screws
  • Age Range Description: All Life Stages
  • Included Components: Screws And Dowels

2. PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post

PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post | Available in 18” & 24” | Multiple Angle Cat Scratching Pad, 6 Usable Sides. Scratch, Play, & Perch | 100% Recyclable Cardboard Cat Lounge. 1 Yr Warr

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

BenefitsDrawbacks
For a cardboard scratcher, it is extremely durable.Will slide on hardwood floors
The triangular shape allows for excellent horizontal stretchIt 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.

RECOMMENDATION

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

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. 

Attributes 

  • 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

Measurements 

  • 34 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches

Benefits & drawbacks of the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge

BenefitsDrawbacks
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.”

Expert Tips

  • If you have an energetic kitty or senior cat, one buyer recommends “cutting hash marks into [the holes” to soften up the cardboard.”
PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge, Reversible Infinity Scratcher in Multiple Colors. Made from Recycled Corrugated Cardboard, Durable & Long Lasting. 1 Yr Warranty
  • CATS LOVE IT: This wide infinity cat lounge cat scratcher is reversible and provides two sides for 2 times the scratching. The PetFusion cat scratcher includes organic catnip to sprinkle on the cat lounger. Designed to last longer than a cheaper cat scratch pad and a great addition to your cat accessories and cat supplies.
  • YOU'LL LOVE IT: Made of recycled corrugated cardboard and non-toxic glue this large cat scratcher for indoor cats will keep your cats engaged and will help protect your furniture as a cat scratch deterrent. The modern lounge cat scratcher design in gray, brown or white will look good in any home
  • LONG LASTING CORRUGATED CARDBOARD CAT SCRATCHER: Each piece of Petfusion's cat scratchers for indoor cats is connected for greater strength and durability to keep the lounge scratcher in use for much longer than competitors.
  • LARGE CAT SCRATCHER AT A GREAT VALUE: Ultimate Cat Scratcher measures 34" x 10.5" x 10.5". The large cat lounger is large enough for multiple indoor cats, is a perfect replacement for other cat scratch pads, and a great addition to cat beds & furniture, cat tree for indoor cats, cat toys, cat tower, cat scratching post, and cat window perch.

4. Under Table Cat Scratching Pole

under the table scratching post

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

BenefitsDrawbacks
Tension-mounted.Price
Natural seagrass scratching materialUnclear as to where it’s made
Works under most tables from 26.75” to 31” tallOnly one color
Cats can’t tip it, and it’s easy to remove/relocate.
Pads on the bottom protect your floor.

Recommendation 

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

best scratching posts for older cats by Catry

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.

Attributes 

  • 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

Measurements

  • 17.22 x 13.87 x 7.4 inches
  • 13.13 Pounds

Benefits & drawbacks of Catry Activity Center

BenefitsDrawbacks
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 reachCubby is only big enough for very petite cats.
Easy to clean with removable mats
Perfect place for a senior cat to relax
Durable construction

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.

Expert Tips

  • One Amazon reviewer, Igott, noted, “the mat that comes with it is very thin, and it does need some extra padding inside.”
Sale
Catry Kitten Cat Tree Condo with Paper Rope Covered Scratching Post Activity Center for Climbing Relaxing and Playing Natural Jute Fiber Pet Stand
  • WHAT YOU NEED: If you have an active kitten that needs a place to play and relax, we have the answer with the newly designed cat tree with paper roped covered scratch post, an interactive playground specially made for your cat to have fun and consume its energy!
  • QUALITY AND PROTECTIVE MATERIALS: The cat tree is composed with high quality particle board and natural jute fiber. The reinforced scratch posts are wrapped with our special paper rope instead of traditional sisal rope for skin-friendly.
  • LOVELY DESIGN: This simple-design three level cat tree combines two platforms for relaxing and a condo for sleeping, all for the comfort of your kitten. All the mats are removable for easy clean.
  • PROTECT YOUR HOME: Our cat tree is a great alternative for leaving your kitten alone without it damaging your furniture. Your lovely pet can scratch the paper rope post, play with the toy mouse and have fun while leaving your sofa and tiles free of scratches.
  • DURABLE CONSTRAUCTION: The cat tree will look lovely in your home due to the nice design and combination of colors. At the same time, the high quality particle board ensures stability, while the combination of jute fiber and paper rope is a joy for your cat that gets to play with all these textures without hurting its nails and paws.

6. best bargain: AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock

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.

Attributes

  • Two jute-wrapped scratching posts.
  • Plush cat hammock on top of the scratching posts
  • neutral color scheme
  • Hanging ball toy
  • Sturdy base component 

Measurements

  • 15.75 x 19.69 x 15.75 (LxWxH) inches
  • 8.38 pounds

Benefits & drawbacks of AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock

BenefitsDrawbacks
A more affordable purchaseHammock isn’t washable.
The attached toy breaks away for added safetyThe 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.

Expert Tips:

  • 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.”
Amazon Basics Cat Tower with Hammock and Scratching Posts for Indoor Cats, 15.8 x 15.8 x 19.7 Inches, Beige
  • Cat tower designed to engage indoor cats in climbing and scratching and cozy naptime
  • Includes a plush beige cat hammock suspended between 2 sturdy scratching posts, plus a replaceable dangle soft toy
  • Posts wrapped in natural jute fiber provide an optimal texture for cats to sharpen claws and keep nails healthy
  • Ideal for redirecting cats away from scratching household carpet or furniture
  • Sturdy base for secure placement
  • Easy to assemble in a matter of minutes
  • Product dimensions: 15.8 x 15.8 x 19.7 inches (LxWxH); weighs 9 pounds

7. Best for Mobility Issues: Kitty City XL Wide Cat Scratching Pad

best scratching posts for older cats by Kitty City

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. 

Attributes

  • 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

Measurements 

  • 18 x 10 x 1.5 inches

Benefits & drawbacks of Kitty City XL Wide Cat Scratching Pad 

BenefitsDrawbacks
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 
Affordable choice
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. 

Expert Tips

  • One reviewer recommends “[removing] the paper frame when they use the bottom side to maximize the scratching surface.”
Kitty City XL Wide Corrugate Cat Scratchers 3 Pieces, Cat Scratching, Cat Scratch Pad, Vary, 18 x 10 x 1.5 inches (CM-0204-CS01)
  • 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
  • Recycled Cardboard
  • 3 pack option available for better value, Color Will Vary
  • Color Will Vary

8. Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Scratch Pad 

Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Cat Scratch Pad with Premium Scratch Textures Design Durable Cat Scratching Pad Reversible

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

BenefitsDrawbacks
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

RECOMMENDATION

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!

Sale
Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Cat Scratch Pad with Premium Scratch Textures Design Durable Cat Scratching Pad Reversible
  • Unique Design: Premium scratching textures design, our cat scratching pad more closely mimics tree bark. Different touching experience makes it more irresistible for the cats. More importantly with this design, The cat scratch pad is 50% more durable than the normal ones. Size reference: 15.7 L x 7.7 W x 2 H inches.
  • Save Your Furniture: Satisfied cats‘ scratching instinct, bring your favorite furry friend the healthy claws, a place to release stress and great exercise. Saving your furniture and carpets from the cats since they are the “natural cardboard” at home.
  • Durable & Natural Material: Made of heavy duty corrugated and 100% recycled cardboard, so the cardboard cat scratcher is strong enough to resist the sharpest claws for a fair enough long time. It is also safe and non-toxic. Even the glue used in the construction is corn-starch.Perfectly healthy for your adorable cats.
  • Reversible Feature: The cat scratcher cardboard is reversible, so two sides can be scratched, making the cat scratching cardboard life last longer and more cost-effective. We offer 3 patterns with two different sizes for customers to choose, simple and modern design fits for just about anywhere, including crates, floor and any room in your home.
  • Warranty: As cat lovers and experts, we believe that every cat has its own personality. We are extremely positive of our cat cardboard scratcher. But we can’t be sure every individual cat will love it the same. So we are providing a 6 months warranty to this product. Feel free to contact us if you need any help of the product.

9. Good Life Carpeted Ladder Scratching Post

Good Life 25

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.

Attributes 

  • 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

Measurements 

  • 25″ Tall, 24″  Deep, and 16″ Wide

Benefits & drawbacks of Good Life 25″ Carpeted Ladder Scratching Post

BenefitsDrawbacks
Excellent stability, fit for even larger catsTime-consuming assembly, some customers also noted “a lack of instructions.”
Lightweight, portable designSteps 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.

Expert Tips 

  • Buyers recommend “always screw in the stair tops to the legs first!”
Good Life 25" 4 or 5 Steps Pet Stairs Carpeted Ladder Ramp Cats Scratching Post Cat Tree Climber for Cat Small Dogs Rabbit Beige, Gray (4 Step, Beige)
  • Upgraded! Widened the highest steps, which can be used as a resting platform
  • Made of sturdy and lasting material yet lightweight and portable.
  • overing Material: Faux Fleece ● Board Material: Pressed Wood ● Overall Dimensions: 25" inches Tall, 24" inches Deep and 16" inches Wide. ● Stair Dimensions: 16" L x 6" W
  • Max Holding Weight: 70 pounds ● Color: Beige ● Size: 25" inches ● Style: 4 or 5 Steps
  • It's optimal for senior, arthritic or recovering pets to continue their daily routines with ease

10. Kitty City Premium Scratching Post

Kitty City Premium Woven Sisal Scratching Collection, Scratching Post, Perch Cushion

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

BenefitsDrawbacks
Color that is neutralQuickly wear out
A solid baseHas a bad smell
Hanging toy is included.
Simple to assemble

RECOMMENDATION

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.

Sale
Kitty City Premium 32 inch Tall Woven Sisal Carpet Cat Scratching Post, Cat Scratching Furniture, Cat Post, 15.8 x 15.8 x 32 inches, Model Number: CM-0262-CS01
  • 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)
  • Fun, jingle Ball toy included at the top of the post. B pet safety Certified
  • Easy assembly: with 3 screws, The post conveniently and quickly mounts to the base.

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.

Safety first

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.

Size

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.

Scratching Materials

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.

faqs

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.[1]

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.

Final Recommendation

I love the SmartCar Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post. It’s such a highly-rated option, and I can’t imagine choosing anything else!

What do you think of these best scratching posts for older cats? Share your favorites below!

References

1. Scratching Posts [Internet]. SF SPCA. Available from: https://www.sfspca.org/resource/scratching-posts/

Nicole Etolen
Nicole Etolen

Nicole is one of the writers here on CatVills. She’s been a cat lover most of her life and-at one point- counted five felines as part of her family. Today, she’s proud cat mom to two indoor kitties and caregiver for a slew of ferals.

Find her on Linkedin. Read her latest articles.

Learn more about Nicole Here

Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API