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Cats love to scratch. They don’t tear your couch apart because they hate your taste in furniture. Scratching is an instinctive behavior.
Cats need to stretch their bodies and flex their claws and feet. When they scratch, they can mark their territory with the scent glands in their paws and with the visual scratch marks. By scratching, they can also peel off the dead top layer of their claws.
The key, of course, is to give your cat a place to scratch that you both think is acceptable. We looked for cat scratches made with as many natural products as we could find, including natural sisal rope, recycled paper products, and wood.
Invite your cat to the keyboard and check out the best eco-friendly cat scratches.
The Catipilla Cat Scratcher (view on Etsy) is a sleek, wall-mounted scratcher made of South American sisal rope with easy-to-replace cartridges. If you don’t want to permanently attach something to the wall, check out the Vertical Scratcher Cat Toy made from recycled materials from Way Basics (see Way Basics).
What to look for in an eco-friendly cat scraper
There are many cat scratches on the market that are made from plastic or carpet that is spun from synthetic fibers. These are not the most environmentally friendly materials as they are usually made from fossil fuel by-products. Instead, look for natural or recycled materials.
Sisal rope is often found in scratches that come from a plant native to South America. Similar to hemp, sisal can be grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and is completely biodegradable at the end of a product’s life. Another sustainable option is recycled / recyclable cardboard.
If you’ve caught your kitten scratching something that you’d rather not have destroyed, you probably have an idea of which materials will appeal to your cat. Many cats like something with a lot of texture that their claws can dip into. However, if you’re not sure where to start, consider an inexpensive cardboard option.
If you have a large cat, you will likely want a bigger scratch or mount the scratch in a higher spot on the wall. On the other hand, you should make sure that the notebook isn’t too tall for smaller cats or kittens.
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To make this list, we researched cat scratches made from natural and recycled materials, avoiding plastic and synthetics.
The proud mother of a rescue dog, Mary Jo DiLonardo, sits on top of all of the cats in the neighborhood. For more than 25 years, Mary Jo has covered a wide range of topics focusing on nature, pets, health, science, and anything that helps make the world a better place. She spent more than six years at Treehugger, formerly under the Mother Nature Network brand.
This article was edited by Senior Treehugger Editor Margaret Badore who has a cat who loves scratching cardboard scratches like our budget pick.