best cat scratching post for older cats

Best Cat Scratching Post For Older Cats: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Thanks to modern medicine, better nutrition, and veterinary care, cats now live longer than ever before. 

A few decades ago, cats at the age of 8 were considered elderly. Now, however, feline ages and life-stages have been redefined. In today’s society, cats are labeled “senior” only once they reach ages 11 to 14. “Super-senior” cats are 15 years old and above. 

Senior cats, understandably, aren’t as energetic as kittens or adult cats. Thus, changes need to be made when caring for them. In this article, I’ve listed the best cat scratching posts for older cats, including a buyer’s guide every cat owner should keep in mind. Let’s get started!

*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

How to Choose a Scratching Post Your Senior Cat Will Actually Use

My cat Bella, bless her, is 14 years old. According to the cat age calculator I’ve found online, that equates to her being 72 in human years! Although she still looks as young as ever, she’s slowly become a shell of her former self.

And as the years pass, I’ve noticed several changes in Bella’s overall physiology and behavior. 

For one, she’s much fussier when it comes to food. She’s also less keen to play or groom. She stopped using her personal scratching post, as well, and instead directed all her attention on the fabric of my plush couch. 

She never had any trouble with her old scratching post, so what changed, other than her age? 

Senior cats are vulnerable to age-related illnesses. Cats are generally extremely healthy creatures. However, as they age, they’re more susceptible to disease. But how does this tie to a cat’s unwillingness to use a scratching post? 

Many senior cats, particularly those with hyperthyroidism and arthritis, find it increasingly difficult to jump or scratch. Thus, when you’re buying a cat tree, you’ll need to keep these things in mind: 

Appealing Texture 

When buying a scratching post for your senior cat, it needs to have an appealing texture. Of course, this applies to every cat at every life-stage, as well. 

Scratching posts come in different kinds of materials, namely carpet, sisal, wood, and corrugated cardboard. 

Carpet 

Carpeted scratching posts are the most prevalent in the market. Not only because they’re relatively cheap to make, but also because some cats love the feeling of the rough carpet underneath their nails. It makes for a great sharpener, as well. 

Those with kittens or adult cats tend to steer clear from carpeted scratching posts, primarily because they’re so easily damaged and require replacement more often. 

However, when it comes to senior cats, you’ll notice that they aren’t as energetic as adults. In fact, you’ll find them sleeping 80% of the time. Thus, you won’t have to worry about frequently changing the carpeted material of the scratching post. 

Sisal 

Sisal is a universal favorite because of how durable it is. It’ll take months, if not years, to damage a sisal scratching post to the point of no return. 

Furthermore, it closely resembles tree bark, which we all know cats love to scratch. It has a rough consistency, satisfying a cat’s natural urge to rip and shred things apart.

And for the eco-friendly out there, you’ll be pleased to know that sisal is sustainable and biodegradable.

Corrugated Cardboard 

First-time owners prefer corrugated cardboard because they’re highly affordable; in fact, they’re the cheapest option out of all available materials. 

Usually, corrugated cardboard scratching posts lay flat on the floor, making it ideal for senior cats who have arthritis. Cardboard scratchers can be a good alternative, if you have the right cat.

Sturdiness 

Cats of all ages want an extremely sturdy scratching post. Anything that wobbles, even just slightly, is a no-go. If your cat feels that the post is unsafe, chances are she’ll never use it ever again. 

If you own a wobbly scratching post, consider nailing it onto a larger, sturdier base for extra stability. The post needs to remain in place regardless of how hyper or strong your cat is. 

Height

When choosing a scratching post, make sure it’s tall enough for your cat to stretch her body against it completely. The taller she is, the taller your post needs to be. As a rule of thumb, look for a model that’s at least over 2 feet tall.  

Surface Options

As much as possible, search for a scratching post that features both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Variety is key here. If your senior cat can’t scratch, due to painful muscles, for instance, it’s best to give her the option to scratch on horizontal surfaces. 

Levels

No matter how old, a cat loves climbing. Several scratching posts come with 2 or 3 levels, with the same amount of posts. Like that of a cat tree, for example. 

However, if you decide to buy a multi-level scratching post, keep in mind that it should be easy for your cat to jump up the perch. After all, she isn’t as strong as she used to be!

Best Cat Scratching Post For Older Cats in 2020

Now that you know what you look for in a scratching post, here are my favorite scratching posts your senior cat is guaranteed to love: 

PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post: Best Overall

PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratching Post (Large Size, Warm Gray). [Multiple Scratching Angles to Match Your Cat's Preference]
  • CATS LOVE IT: (I) A scratcher, play area, & SO MUCH MORE. (II) Incl premium USA organic catnip leaf. (III) Natural scratching = healthy claws, great exercise, & stress reliever . . . (better overall...
  • YOU'LL LOVE IT: (I) Made of recycled cardboard, non-toxic corn starch glue. (II) Attractive design, neutral colors. (IV) Recommended to save your furniture as cats prefer the feel of cardboard. Happy...

PetFusion is a notable brand in the world of pets. Not only do they make high-quality cat scratchers, but they also make cat beds, litter boxes, and the like.

The 3-Sided Scratching Post, as its name suggests, comes with 3 scratching sides to accommodate more than one cat. It also gives her the option to choose which side she prefers to scratch. 

Made entirely with recycled cardboard, this scratching post is specifically designed with a curved angle to compliment a cat’s natural posture. The added cubby hole is a nice touch; it’ll allow your cat to play, explore, and nap alongside scratching her post. 

Plus, it comes completely pre-assembled, so you don’t have to worry about attaching everything manually yourself. Best of all, as it’s not extremely tall, your senior cat can perch atop without falling. 

What I Liked: 

  • Made with environment-friendly products 
  • Extremely durable for a cardboard scratcher 
  • Triangular shape allows for a good horizontal stretch
  • It’s sturdy and doesn’t topple over 

What I Didn’t Like 

  • Slides on hardwood floors
  • Leaves cardboard flakes so you’ll need to clean up around it with a broom once in a while

SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post: Runner Up

SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post (Beige)
  • 32″ height allows cats to stretch fully and tone muscles
  • Sturdy 16″ by 16″ base eliminates tipping and wobbling

The SmartCat Pioneer is one of the most frequently bought cat posts in the market. It stands at 32 inches tall, and it’s held by a sturdy 16 x 16-inch base that eliminates tipping and wobbling. Even the heaviest of cats can’t topple this one! 

Its woven-sisal scratching surface is made of natural fiber. It shreds cleanly, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after your cat finishes scratching. Plus, because it’s all-natural, it won’t become prickly over time like synthetic sisal. 

And if that’s not enough, it’s extremely durable, too! Even with weeks of constant abuse, it won’t leave any visible marks. It’s also tall enough to allow even big cats to fully stretch out vertically against it while they scratch. 

Many say it’s the “best scratching post you’ll ever buy,” and frankly, I share the same sentiment. It’s a cat-magnet; even a disinterested senior cat will come and want to scratch! 

What I Liked 

  • Made from durable materials 
  • 32-inch length allows a cat to fully stretch  
  • Simple design doesn’t make it look out of place in the home 
  • Quick and easy assembly 
  • Extremely sturdy 

What I Didn’t Like 

  • Base is extremely hard, would’ve been better if it’s also covered in sisal

Trixie Baza Grande Scratching Post 

Trixie Pet Products Baza Senior Scratching Post, Cream
  • Wrapped in long-haired plush
  • Posts wrapped in jute and plush (3.5 inches in diameter)

The Trixie Baza Grande is another scratching post your cat would love. It looks so comfortable and plush! Plus, it comes with 3 separate sisal-covered scratching posts, 2 padded platforms, and a hammock big enough for 2 cats to lounge on. 

First impressions aside, those who own this cat tree report that they often find their older cats curled up on this kitty tree because of how ridiculously soft and fluffy it is. 

Due to its padded platforms, senior cats can confidently hop on the steps without worrying about falling. The hammock frame itself is extremely solid, as well. 

The posts wrapped in natural sisal is a nice touch. It’s incredibly durable and holds up nicely for years. Whether it’s sleeping, scratching, or playing, your senior cat will definitely enjoy this tree. Many others do! 

What I Liked 

  • Offers easy mobility, jumping, and climbing for senior cats 
  • Lounging hammock is soft and comfortable 
  • Sisal-covered posts are exceptionally durable 
  • Beautiful design 
  • Sturdy enough to support jumping and climbing 

What I Didn’t Like 

  • May not be suitable for senior cats who like tall scratching posts

Good Life Carpeted Ladder Scratching Post 

Sale
Good Life 25" 4 Steps Pet Stairs Carpeted Ladder Ramp Cats Scratching Post Cat Tree Climber for Cat Small Dogs Beige
  • Upgrade! Widened the highest steps, which can be used as a resting platform..● 25" stepper provides your pet with four handy perches to lounge on or use as handy stepping stairs.
  • Made of sturdy and lasting material yet lightweight and portable.

The Good Life Scratching Post is more than just a post; it also acts as a ladder to help arthritic senior cats or recovering pets to continue their daily routines with ease. 

Standing at 25 inches tall, this scratching post comes in either four-steps or a five-steps, depending on your cat’s preference. It also supports cats (and dogs!) who weigh up to 130 pounds. 

The “steps” are covered in a soft faux fleece material, which makes it a comfortable lounging area for your cat. Furthermore, the steps are sturdy and wide, making it ideal for cats who have balance issues. 

What I Liked

  • Doubles as a step ladder 
  • Extremely sturdy
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Easily holds the weight of overweight cats 

What I Didn’t Like 

  • Scratching post isn’t rough and may not sharpen a cat’s nail sufficiently

Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Scratch Pad 

Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Curved Shape Scratch Pad with Premium Scratch Textures Design Durable Scratching Pad Reversible
  • Unique Design: Premium scratching textures design, more closely mimics tree bark. Different touching experience makes it more irresistible for the cats. More importantly with this design, it is 50%...
  • Effective Tools: 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...

The Coching Scratch Pad is another great option for older cats, especially those who prefer not to, or can’t, stand on their hind legs. This scratcher’s unique design closely mimics tree barks, which makes it irresistible for cats. 

Other than its design, it’s extremely durable, as well. Made from recycled heavy-duty corrugated cardboard, this scratcher is strong enough to resist even the sharpest of claws. Thus, it’ll be with you for many years before having to replace it. 

It’s reversible, too; just flip it side up, and you get a new scratchpad to use! 

What I Liked 

  • Stronger than other corrugated cardboard cat scratchers 
  • Scratchpads are reversible for twice the use
  • Made from natural and recycled materials
  • Great value for money 

What I Didn’t Like 

  • Not suitable for bigger cats

Conclusion

If I had to choose a favorite, my top pick would be the PetFusion Vertical Cat Scratching Post. Its unique sloped design is enough to make your kitty curious and start scratching. 

Plus, it’s quite sturdy on carpets! If you own hardwood floors, don’t worry; it comes with a pack of silicone floor grippers so it won’t slide around.