Cat toys come as varied as cats themselves, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking for the perfect piece of furniture that will keep them entertained, healthy, and look good in your home at the same time. One of the most important things you can provide for your cat is a scratching post. As a key item for the home, it will keep your precious furniture safe from being shredded, help your kitties keep their claws sharp, and provide much-needed exercise for their whole body.
Our selection at a glance
It is important, however, to be discerning in your choice of scratching post – if you don’t do your research, you may end up with something cheap and badly made. As well as the danger this presents a cat, some scratching posts can contain harmful chemicals, or be made of non-sustainable material.
This article will cover various different types of scratching posts, as well as discussing one option you may not have considered: sustainable ones, and in that vein we will discuss the best eco-friendly cat scratching posts around.
In this article:
- The basics of scratching
- The problem with regular, cheap scratching posts
- Why use an eco friendly scratching post
- The best eco friendly cat scratching post: our selection
Scratching Posts: The Basics
Scratching posts are great for cats for a number of reasons. Beyond the physical benefits they provide, they also give cats a way of working out stress, and signalling their body language to you or to other cats.
They can be elaborate, or very simple; entire “tree” structures, or just a single post. Some homemade examples are grand, architectural marvels that hug the contours of a wall, or are made to create an exercise ‘run’ for indoor or outdoor spaces Their materials differ greatly, but range from simple cardboard right up to the artificial hemp-like ‘sisal’.
Put simply, they are usually a post (made of wood, typically) around which is wrapped a rough material that will create a resistance for the cats claws as they try to scratch it.
Sometimes they come with a platform (or two on a multi-layered one) that offers the cats the opportunity to climb, or to sit higher up from the ground and feel secure.
Scratching should be encouraged, and praised when it is done in the right locations. It is possible to train a cat to use the correct items; by providing them with a piece to scratch, whether a standard or an eco friendly cat scratching post (or sometimes two) you can direct their behavior very effectively.
The Problem With Regular Scratching Posts
Cheaper scratching posts suffer from a number of problems. Often badly centered and not heavy enough, they provide a hazard for a large cat who might put too much weight on it, or indeed a problem for smaller cats who risk being crushed by them.
Instead of more natural materials like real wood, cheaper cat scratching are not very environmentally friendly. In the mass-manufacturing process, these posts are often made of unsustainable materials such as plastic or toxic woods.
When you buy a cheap scratching post, you run the risk of buying something that is not only damaging to the environment, but could be hazardous to your cat. Worst of all, they are rarely recyclable, and thus are only good to be thrown away at the end of their life-span. Instead, a conscientious cat owner would do well to invest in an eco friendly cat scratching post.
Why Use An Eco Friendly Cat Scratching Post
Eco friendly cat scratching posts provide a sustainable, good-quality, environmental option that enhances the health of your cat. It need not be an elaborate, nor prohibitively expensive item, but does require a little forethought.
Some cat owners with a bit of know-how have gone out of their way to create their own examples, such as ‘mountain cat trees’ – which are made from reclaimed branches, carefully weighted, with the addition of platforms for vantage points.
But you don’t need to be a DIY expert to get the best eco friendly cat scratching posts, as there are plenty of options out on the market as long you know what to look for.
The best eco friendly cat scratching posts are the ones that are made of an organic material. By this, we mean something that is biodegradable and doesn’t harm the environment to produce.
Sisal, a natural material, is a good example of this. It also provides a higher quality scratching surface, as it tends to be rougher than a lot of non-environmental options. Some scratching post manufacturers go out of their way to install organic wool on the bases as well, another natural component that is totally guilt-free. Untreated wood, though sometimes less sustainable, is a less chemical, less noxious alternative to plastic.
You will also often find that the best eco friendly cat scratching posts are made of recycled materials. A lot of companies specialize in finding strong materials like aluminum plates which can form the base of the post. Some may use recycled wood or cardboard, which in turn can be recycled, to form the post itself.
The Best Eco Friendly Cat Scratching Post: Our selection
Vertical environmentally friendly scratching posts
As previously discussed, sisal is an amazing, eco friendly material that is biodegradable, looks great and is highly durable. The Atesson Pet Cat Scratching Post has all the features a good post needs, including the necessary stability, while also being completely made of a sustainable material.
Cardboard provides a fantastic foundation for any eco friendly cat scratching post. Even though it lacks the durability of more traditional materials (including nasty plastic), it can be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way. The Petsfit Scratching Post, and others like it, take advantage of its disposable nature and use a series of cardboard discs for the main post that can be added, recycled, and replaced at your (and your cat’s) leisure.
Natural incline environmentally friendly scratching posts
Other contraptions, like the Petlinks System Purr Highness Cat Scratcher are flat surfaces made from recycled cardboard entirely, and thus take into account the best angles for a cat to scratch horizontally. Our preference goes to 4CLAWS, a slightly curved scratching post with a simple design that makes all the difference. Here again, this scratching post is made of recycled cardboard and is of course 100% recyclable.
Finally, we could not conclude our selection without mentioning the premium cat scratcher made by Go pets. It’s actually designed to be more ergonomic for your cat. As some users put it: “it’s literally cat heaven!”. The design is a bit more colorful which might not accommodate every home but it’s nonetheless a very efficient eco friendly product.
In this article we have helped you find the best eco friendly cat scratching post for your little buddy. When looking for a scratching post – which is an absolute necessity in your home if you want to keep your cat healthy, it is more conscientious to buy a sustainable option. Whether that’s one made from non-toxic, recycled, or recyclable material, your planet and your cat will thank you.