Cats love to scratch. They don’t tear up your couch 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 using the scent glands in their paws and with the visual scratch marks. Scratching also allows them to slough off the dead top layer of their claws.
The key, of course, is to give your cat a place to scratch that both of you find acceptable. We looked for cat scratchers that were made with as many natural products as we could find, including natural sisal rope, recycled paper products, and wood.
– Best OverallCatipilla Cat Scratcher
– Best BudgetSmartyKat Scratch Up Cat Scratcher
– Best Minimalist DesignTuft + Paw Zip Scratching Post
– Best RecycledWay Basics Vertical Cat Scratcher
– Best for Small SpacesSmartCat Bootsie’s Combination Scratcher
– Best CustomCats Cozy Space Floor-to-Ceiling Cat Tree
– Best Natural WoodBlack Diamond Cat Trees Wood Cat Scratching Post
What to Look for in an Eco-Friendly Cat Scratcher
There are many cat scratchers on the market made with plastic or carpet spun from synthetic fibers. These aren’t the most eco-friendly materials because they’re typically made from fossil fuel byproducts. Instead, look for natural or recycled materials.
Sisal rope is commonly found in scratchers, which comes from a plant native to South America. Similar to hemp, sisal can be grown with no pesticides or chemical fertilizers and is fully biodegradable at the end of a product’s life. Another sustainable option is recycled/recyclable cardboard.
If you’ve caught your kitty clawing something you’d prefer he or she didn’t destroy, you probably have some idea of what kind of materials appeal to your cat. Many cats like something with plenty of texture for their claws to sink into, but if you’re not sure where to start, consider an inexpensive cardboard option.
If you have a big cat, you’ll probably want a bigger scratcher, or consider getting a scratcher that can be mounted to higher spot on the wall, like our Best Overall pick. On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure the scratch pad isn’t too high for smaller cats or kittens. Ether way, many cats prefer a scratcher that has a wide base or can be firmly attached to the wall, so they can sink their claws into something that’s stable.