How to Choose Cardboard Cat Scratchers?

Scratcher material comparison

Many cat scratchers are made of corrugated cardboard. Cardboard is such a common material that we don’t often think much about it. After all, they’re just cardboard, right? No! Not all cardboard are created equal!

Cardboard material comparison

Here’s a side by side comparison of cardboard materials commonly used in cat scratchers. The main difference is the flute type employed. The bottom most cardboard has an A-Flute corrugation, which has the largest grooves, weights lightest and is the cheapest to produce. This type of material is most commonly used in packing materials where size and cost matters most. The middle type is composed of alternative layers of A-Flute and B-Flute. This gives the cardboard a little extra strength and a slightly higher density. These mixed flutes are commonly found in cartons. The one at the top is a B-Flute, which is even more dense and much sturdier. It is evenly compressed for additional strength and bonding.

Why does it matter?  Cardboard scratchers are consumable products. Your kitty digs her claws into the scratcher and exercises her claws every day. Bits by bits, she will inevitably tear it down. If your kitty is aggressive, it probably wouldn’t last too long.  This is where difference really matters. The cheap A-Flute types won’t last a bit. They are so soft and the groove are so wide apart that they get ripped apart in no time. The combination one will hold up a little longer and the densest one will be able to withstand a fair amount of beating.

You might think, the denser products will cost extra. Well, that’s correct, but its not the full picture. Cat scratchers are bulky items. A great portion of the cost of the item lies in the logistics, handling and shipping, while the material cost is only a small fraction of the total. With just a couple extra bucks, you can get a scratcher that will last multiple times longer. Besides, it will shed a lot less cardboard bits, and that means less vacuuming to be done!

So, when you’re picking out a cardboard scratcher for your kitty, make sure you compare the quality and get one with a dense cardboard material.

The Beginning

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This is how it all began. About four years ago, we adopted our first stray cat which we found abandoned in a carton box outside a factory building. Her size suggested that she was about a month’s old. We took her home and named her Milk Tea (after the Hong Kong style signature drink). Being trained as architects, we decided to design and build her a little castle. There happened to be a stack of left over cardboards lying around in the studio, so we utilized them to make a double decker modern cat home and scratcher which she can climb, crawl, sleep and play hide and seek. That became our very first scratcher. She loved it so much and is still using it despite that it is already half ripped apart through years of scratching!

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Some of you might have recognized her. She is now fully grown and has become our star in our recent product photography!mt-04

Coffee Cat

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Ragdoll Miru~

Quill

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Calico Miru

Why are my cats’ claws flaking off?

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You might be worried to find a kitty’s claw stuck to the sofa or a scratching post. The good news is that it’s actually normal and healthy to a cat. So don’t worry, your cats’ totally fine!

Those little flakes are called sheaths. Cats grow their claws through a periodic growing cycle. As the outer sheath of the claw grows old and gets worn out, a new, sharp claw is being prepared to be exposed through the shedding of the older sheath. This is similar to a snake shedding its older skin while it grows.

Cats keep their claws in good condition by scratching, which is a totally natural behavior. This process allows cats to keep their claws fresh and sharp so that they can more effectively hunt, climb, and to pick things up.

This is why cat owners need to provide sufficient scratching surfaces to facilitate the shredding process. Felines that never scratch may require medical attention for their nails that have grown too long as it may curl and pierce the paw pads.