We purchased the YOU THINK Cat Scratcher Cardboard Lounger so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
The YOU THINK Cat Scratcher Cardboard Lounger combines three things cats love: sleeping, scratching, and playing. Having a place where your cat is allowed to scratch (that’s not your furniture) is vital—after all, it’s a natural instinct that makes cats happy and keeps their claws in shape. We tested out the scratcher-lounger combo with our 3-year-old tiger cat, Mila. Read on to see whether we’d recommend this product to cat owners or not.
Entertainment Value: Good for sleeping, but not much else
As a bed, our cat loves this—in fact, she’s sleeping in it right now. The curved edges are clearly comfy for her, but at around 11 pounds, Mila almost fills out the whole thing. If you have a larger cat, you may want to opt for the extra-large size.
The curved sides make it perfect for cats to cuddle up in, and when you want to put it away, it folds up small for easy storage.
As a scratcher, the You Think isn’t as great. We often see our cat paw at it and attempt to stretch her claws, and then either give up or head to her usual scratching post. The cardboard has an open weave that just isn’t conducive to stretching or scratching—even as humans we can see this. Your cat may be different, especially if this is the only available place to claw. Even so, we believe that most cats would get more enjoyment from a different type of scratching post.
This lounger also comes with a ball and catnip. Mila was excited to chase and paw at the ball, but only as a separate toy from the lounger. The catnip was good to sprinkle into the lounger to encourage our cat to use it, but unfortunately, the catnip seems to be of lower quality. We noticed it was full of stems and large pieces, and it didn’t seem to affect our cat as much as other catnip does.
The product is advertised as being able to shift into multiple shapes, but after many attempts, we haven’t managed to do anything but turn it upside down. (This produces a bed with slanted rather than curved sides, which could be useful if the other side begins to wear away.)
Design: Unattractive but clever
We’ll be honest: When your cat isn’t using this, it will look like you left a large piece of trash on the floor. A fancy piece of trash, sure, but trash nonetheless (then again, cats love trash). Other than that, though, we like the thought behind this product. Though the texture doesn’t work as a scratcher, the curved sides make it perfect for cats to cuddle up in, and when you want to put it away, it folds up small for easy storage.
When expanded, it’s only kept together by two rubber bands (these are removed to collapse it). If these were to break and you didn’t have any others on hand, the toy is rendered useless.
Safety: Safe for cats
In general, we have no qualms when it comes to the safety of this product. If your cat is a chewer, however, watch that she doesn’t try to chew off the rubber bands, as these could potentially become a choking hazard.
Durability: Strong base but flimsy material
The use of cardboard makes this toy light, but it also decreases its durability. For one, it can’t get wet. If it does, you risk it falling apart. And secondly, if your cat does like scratching it, the cardboard will eventually wear away. We’ve already noticed a few bent pieces in the middle where our cat likes to lie.
The cardboard has an open weave that just isn’t conducive to stretching or scratching.
For now, it feels sturdy and strong, though, and we have no immediate concerns about it being crushed or warped. The manufacturer says that it can handle weight up to 22 pounds.
Ease of Cleaning: Dry cloth only
We noticed that the cardboard tends to collect fur, and because of the design, there’s no easy way to remove it besides picking it off or whacking it around outside. Because of the material, you can’t clean it with liquid products and instead need to wipe it down with a dry cloth. We didn’t feel the need to clean it, however, besides occasionally removing fur that had built up. If your cat uses it as a scratcher, prepare to clean up loose cardboard bits.
Price: A little high
The You Think Cat Scratcher Cardboard Lounger sells for around $30. We feel this is slightly high. There are comparable products available for less, and those appear to be constructed with material better suited for scratching. If you’ve decided that this is the style you want, you can always purchase this near-identical product for around $10 less.
If your cat uses it as a scratcher, prepare to clean up loose cardboard bits.
You Think Cat Scratcher Cardboard Lounger vs. Necoichi Cozy Cat Scratcher Bowl
We like the idea behind the You Think lounger but not necessarily the execution. For a similar price, you might consider the Necoichi Cozy Cat Scratcher Bowl. The design looks more purposeful (meaning, we’d be more willing to leave it out in view), and it offers a better scratching surface. It doesn’t fold up like the YouThinkproduct, however, so if storage is important to you, then the You Think product might be a better fit.