Which type of cat scratcher would you advise me to buy: cardboard or sisal?
If you are fortunate enough to have a cat that will use either material, or if you are purchasing your cat scratcher for a new kitten then we would always recommend the cardboard cat scratcher. Cardboard is more cost effective as it is a cheaper material and, as a result of compression and a greater scratch depth, has a greater durability and longevity.
When will I need a replacement for my cat scratcher?
CARDBOARD CAT SCRATCHER
Since 2013 both Charley and Billie have used – and continue to use – the original prototype cardboard cat scratcher many, many times throughout the day. As a result of the compression, the cat scratcher is still showing excellent wear and so we estimate the cardboard to last for a few more years yet. You can typically expect the cardboard edges to lose crispness over a period of time. A tip is to change the order of the cardboard inserts for even wear, when required. If you don’t mind the worn look then the cardboard on your cat scratcher could quite possibly last your cat’s lifetime – depending on the number of cats in your household and the amount of use.
SISAL CAT SCRATCHER
We do not estimate the sisal cat scratcher will have the same durability or longevity as the cardboard cat scratcher. We have chosen to use an 8mm sisal rope in opposition to the 6mm which the majority of cat scratcher suppliers use. This choice will afford your cat scratcher an additional 2mm of scratch depth. A tip is to remove the sisal unit, spin upside down and replace for even wear. Furthermore, many cat scratchers on the market only wrap the sisal rope around its core resulting in the whole length of the sisal unravelling, should the cat wear one section completely through. Therefore, we also use a PVA glue to reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Will I need to encourage my cat to use the cat scratcher?
Research tells us that the act of scratching is an innate need for the cat, and that cardboard and sisal are two top materials the cat prefers for scratching (Dougherty, 2014). Although customer feedback confirms that many cats instantly take to our cat scratchers, some cats may need a little encouragement. As an enticement, apply a little dried or spray catnip to the scratch material. Site the cat scratcher in an area of your home where your cat spends most of its time, in particular near the object you are trying to dissuade your cat from using. When both Charley and Billie arrived at our home, we introduced them to their cat scratcher by routinely placing treats on top for them to climb to gain familiarity. You could also spend time with your cat alongside the cat scratcher; even consider demonstrating the act of scratching yourself! The key is familiarity through positive reinforcement.
How stable is the cat scratcher?
Extremely! The Charley and Billie cat scratchers are designed and made with 50mm (2”) depth stone bases to provide stability. This material has been chosen because it has a greater density than, say wood. Therefore, if comparing a stone base with a solid oak base of the same dimensions, the stone would have a greater density, so a greater mass. The end result is a much more stable base and streamlined cat scratcher.
Does the cat scratcher require care and maintenance?
Your cat scratcher will be delivered to you with the oak or walnut waxed with Liberon Fine Paste Wax for feed and protection, and the stone sealed with Cementone Natural Stone Sealer in natural finish for dirt protection. Similar could be used as and when required.
Why should I be careful not to over-tighten the oak/walnut nut on the cardboard cat scratcher?
The hand-sized oak/walnut nut ingeniously houses a steel nut which screws onto the threaded bar to achieve and maintain compression. For this reason, we stress that the oak/walnut nut is not to be over-tightened as this could result in the steel nut becoming dislodged. Your cat scratcher will arrive with the required number of cardboard inserts for optimum compression. If you do change the cardboard sleeve – in part or whole – we advise you replace with the same cardboard height.
A good test is to slide the whole sleeve onto the threaded rod and replace the top oak/walnut compressor, checking that the threaded rod is just visible. If it is not, then remove a cardboard insert until it is. Finally, apply even compression on the top oak/walnut compressor and screw on the oak/walnut nut (you may find it easier with two pairs of hands).
How do I replace the cardboard sleeve?
To replace the cardboard sleeve:
1. Unscrew the oak/walnut nut and remove.
2. Remove the top oak/walnut compressor.
3. Lift off the recyclable cardboard inserts from the threaded bar.
4. Slide on the replacement cardboard inserts.
5. Twist as desired.
6. Replace the top oak/walnut compressor, checking that the threaded rod is just visible (if not, remove a cardboard insert until it is).
7. Apply even pressure on the top oak/walnut compressor.
8. Screw the oak/walnut nut onto the exposed threaded rod, being careful not to over-tighten.
You may find it easier with another pair of hands for steps 7-8: one person to apply compression whilst the other screws on the oak/walnut nut.
How do I replace the sisal sleeve?
To replace the sisal sleeve:
1. Unscrew the oak/walnut nut and remove.
2. Remove the oak/walnut compressor.
3. Lift off the existing sisal sleeve from the threaded rod.
4. Slide on the replacement sisal sleeve.
5. Replace the top oak/walnut compressor.
6. Screw the oak/walnut nut onto the exposed threaded rod.
Could the Replacement Cardboard Sleeve be used as a cat scratcher by itself?
We are aware that there are simple cat scratchers on the market which are very similar in design to our Replacement Cardboard Sleeve. However, we do not advertise the cardboard sleeve as a cat scratcher to be used alone because the cardboard inserts are delivered free (unattached to one another) and, therefore, lack the compression needed for durability.
What sort of wear can I expect for the Leather-eared Mouse cat toy?
This depends on the frequency of use. The Leather-eared Mouse is tougher than he appears and with a little tender, loving care you can help to extend his life. Typically, over time the cardboard compression may slacken, but this middle-age spread can be whipped back into shape with a butt knot: simply apply another knot in the Baker’s Twine tight up to the bottom cardboard! Additionally, you can expect the leather to soften.
Where can I find reviews for your products?
Each product listing on charleyandbillie.uk includes a review feature. You can also find reviews for our products at our Etsy shop.
Are you able to supply a higher quantity of products than the stock carried?
Stock quantities reflect both the time taken to handcraft the product and delivery times for materials/components. If you do require a higher quantity than the stock carried then please contact us and, if we can accommodate you, we will raise a custom order accordingly.
How can I find out details about shipping and delivery?
We have a section titled ‘Shipping & Delivery’ within our Terms & Conditions.
How can I pay for my order as I do not have a PayPal account?
All payments made through charleyandbillie.uk are processed using PayPal which does not require that you have a PayPal account. At checkout you will be directed to PayPal’s secure website for making your payment using either a credit or debit card (or PayPal account for those who do have one). This payment method is fast, safe and easy.
Do you accept international orders?
We are happy to ship our products worldwide. We ask the international customer to contact us in the first instance to obtain a quotation for the shipping cost. The international customer will then receive a request for payment in the form of a PayPal invoice via e-mail. The invoice will contain a direct link to PayPal’s secure website, whereby payment can be made using a PayPal account, or a credit or debit card. This payment method is fast, safe and easy, and does not require a PayPal account. Because of both stock quantities and the weekly fluctuation in international shipping costs, the quotation will only be valid for 7 business days from the invoice date. Once payment has been made and confirmed to us, we will process the order.
Where can I find your cancellations and returns policy?
We have a section titled ‘Cancellations & Returns’ within our Terms & Conditions.
What if my order is damaged upon receipt?
Full details about damaged goods can be found in the section titled ‘Cancellation & Returns’ within our Terms & Conditions.
Are you able to offer wholesale prices?
Because the handcrafting of products is labour intensive, we are not able to offer wholesale prices.
I have another question!
If we have not answered your question then please feel free to contact us.
REFERENCE Dougherty, J. (2014) The Facts About Declawing and the Alternatives. [Internet] Maryland, PAW (Partnership for Animal Welfare). Available from http://www.paw-rescue.org/declaw_paper.php [Accessed 3 April 2015].