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Are Cardboard Cat Scratchers Good? Do They Work?

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Scratching is a normal cat action. I never try to stop my cat from scratching, as that would be cruel to my fur baby. I can however redirect any scratching that may do damage to household furniture, to a cat scratcher made from cardboard.

Cardboard cat scratchers are especially important for inside cats. Are cardboard cat scratchers good? Many cat parents believe that scratchers are an excellent alternative to the cat scratching on your furniture, trees outside, carpets, and cat parents. I am so glad that I tried one with success.

These cat scratchers are recyclable and eco-friendly. Cats scratchers may be designed to be placed on the floor and scratched horizontally or they may be made specifically to be wall mounted so that the cat can scratch vertically. Cats do scratch both ways, horizontally and vertically.

cat scratching a cardboard cat scratcher
This is a typical cat scratcher but they do come in different shapes and sizes. They are lightweight and cheap enough to have several dotted around the house.

Is Cardboard Good for Cats to Scratch?

At one time, I had to wonder, “Are cardboard cat scratchers good.” I soon discovered that these scratchers are excellent and essential for my cat’s health.

When I first started caring for cats, I became frustrated because my cats would scratch at my furniture. I tried several products to deter this action, and nothing worked. While shopping, I happened to see cat scratching boards and wondered if this would help.

Now I make sure I have a supply of scratching boards because they were a successful deterrent. I usually add a bit of catnip to hold the cat’s attention. This is such an easy solution and it makes me ill to think of all the cats that endured declawing.

cat lying on a wave cardboard cat scratcher
I love this one because I can have a little nap when I’ve finished scratching.

If cat parents worry about their furniture being scratched, they should never adopt a cat into their home. It is best to keep your cat’s nails cut and not declaw them. I never had cat claws removed!

A vet once told me that having a cat declawed is the same as having all your fingers and toes amputated. It is grossly cruel and unnecessary. You will find that cutting your kitty’s nails decreases their ability to scratch household furnishings. If you feel you cannot cut nails, then take your kitty to the vet technician every month to have its claws cut.

Cardboard cat scratchers allow my cats to stretch, exercise and scratch their nails on an appropriate surface. Cat scratching boards help to pull the nails forward. The claws on the front paws help the cat hunt and hold prey. The rear claws help the cat itch, climb, and catch. 

Cat behavior specialists believe that when cats scratch on these cardboard cat scratchers, the cat sinks its nails into the cardboard, pulling the nail outward. Cats feel good when using their scratchboard. 

What is Corrugated Cardboard and Why is it Used in Cat Scratchers?

corrugated cardboard used in cat scratchers
This is a close up of corrugated cardboard. You can see the layers.

Corrugated cardboard is layers upon layers of thin paper glued together with a non-toxic substance that will not harm the cat.

These boards attract cats to scratch them, some have added catnip to add to the allure.

Cat scratchers are sturdy, and when the cat uses its nails on them, it feels good. Scratching also makes a lot of noise, and the cats try to outdo each other in the noisy territory. 

Corrugated cardboard eventually wears out until bits and pieces of cardboard are lying around your floor. It is time to recycle it and buy another. These boards are cheap enough that they should not break your bank account. As these boards break down, they become less effective for the cat. 

These cat scratching boards come in different shapes and sizes. One of the more popular ones is approximately ten inches in diameter and fits in a center holder. A gutter-type area surrounds the board where a small ball can spin around the board. 

are cardboard cat scratchers any good
This scratcher has had plenty of use.

My cats Lil’ Luke and Willow sit on each side, spinning the ball back and forth to each other. Like all toys for cats and kids, they do get tired of playing with something and may leave it alone for another time. However, these cats play with this every day and scratch nails across the top.

Cardboard is used in these toys because it is lightweight, attracts cats, is eco-friendly, recyclable, cheap, non-toxic to cats, and is readily available. This product is ideal for cats to sharpen their nails.

How Long do Cardboard Cat Scratchers Last?  

How long a cardboard cat scratcher lasts depends on how much the cat uses the board before you need to replace it. If multiple cats use this board, it gets more wear and tear than if one cat used it.

For example, I have six cats, and only two of them play with this toy and use it several times a day.

Two of our cats had their front and rear paws declawed before adopting them. Two of our cats scratch their nails on the cat tree.

I replace this round cardboard once a month. 

Do Cats Like Cardboard Scratchers?

My cats and the cats my daughter and friends care for, love, love, love a cardboard cat scratcher.

They especially enjoy using it if I put a bit of catnip on it. 

cat sitting on a cardboard cat scratcher
Oops! I think I nodded off mid scratch!

 Do Cats Use Cardboard Scratchers?

No cat is the same. Like humans, every cat is created uniquely different, possessing different likes and dislikes. Not every cat will bond with a cardboard cat scratcher or play with it, and you will have to try another deterrent, so they do not scratch household items.

As I mentioned earlier, we have six cats. Two have no front or rear nails, and four cats do. Two of these four cats plays with this toy every day, while the other two cats take no notice of the cat scratchers.

Are Cardboard Cat Scratchers Good Recyclable Material?

Corrugated cardboard cat scratching boards are made of lightweight cardboard with flutes. They have many layers of paper glued together with arches. These cat scratching boards withstand a lot of damage.

However, after a few weeks, I turn the board over because the underside is like new. When this side wears out, I recycle it and apply a new refill. These boards can withstand a lot of cats scratching them. 

These scratchers are budget-friendly, earth-friendly, and they are recyclable. You can break them apart and compost them.

The material that makes up these boards is weak and lightweight, and half of these boards are made with recycled fiber. For this reason, it makes them safe to recycle. 

Is Cardboard Good for Cats’ Nails?

Many cat parents hail the effectiveness of cat scratchers because the cat can productively sharpen its nails instead of using household items. 

The best thing was that my cats got in the habit of scratching the cardboard scratchers instead of my fabric and wood furniture.

My cats:

  • Cats enjoy using the cat scratchers
  • Cats like the sound of their nails scratching the board.
  • The scratchers are eco-friendly.

If you gave your cat(s) the run of the house, your curtains might become shredded, along with the fabric on your furniture, carpets, and wood on the furniture. Cats can damage property if given a chance.

Somewhere along the way, a good Samaritan invented a cardboard cat scratching board to deter cats from scratching where they should not.

As a cat parent, I had to find an alternative scratching option, and it worked. There are easy options to turn to that make your cat a purrfectly happy camper.

  • Cats scratch because this is a natural action.
  • Cats scratch because it is a healthy habit for cats.
  • Scratching enhances exercise and allows the cat to mark its territory.
  • Cats find surfaces that feel good when they scratch on them.
  • Scratching enables the cat to stretch its body.
  • Scratching helps to pull the cat’s nail forward.
  • Cats use their nails as a defense mechanism. Thus, the cat must sharpen its nails.
  • Cats begin to scratch as a welcome home gesture.
  • Cat scratching boards seem to have a soothing effect.
Kitty City XL Wide Corrugate Cat Scratchers 3 Pieces, Cat Scratching, Cat Scratch Pad

This is a typical cardboard cat scratcher.

There are many different products designed for cat scratching. I bought a few different types, including a cat tree that sits up about eight feet. The supports are wrapped in a heavy-duty rope made for cat scratching. My six cats use this for scratching. However, they really enjoy their cardboard.

If you do not change these boards as the cat wears them down, you will have pieces of cardboard all over your floor. You will know when to recycle the board and replace it with a new one.

So, in answer to the question, 

Q. Are cardboard cat scratchers good? 

The answer is, “Yes, Yes, and Yes, cat scratching boards are good for the cat’s well-being, the home’s interior, and my sanity as a cat parent.”

 cars cardboard cat scratchers good
We love these don’t we dear? There’s nothing like a good scratch at the end of a hard day.

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