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!
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.