I’m cat sitting for friends this week and one thing that I’ve noticed aside from increased sneeze-attacks is this: Those felines sure do love to scratch. I could never own a cat myself. This is mostly due to said sneezing but also because I’d probably go slowly insane if I had to watch a pet destroy my furniture. I know there are preventative measures that can be taken. The most effective, declawing, seems a bit cruel. And I honestly don’t know if I could handle incorporating a shag carpet “scratch tower” or "cat condo" into the interior décor of my apartment. The litter box would already be taking up too much valuable real estate.

For cat owners who don’t mind giving their kitties something to scratch on, here are some sustainable options that aren’t too hideous-looking.

Worldwise’s SmartyKat SuperScratcher+ @ Amazon.com ($8.29)

This simple, cheap, and unobtrusive scratching pad is made from nearly 100 percent recycled corrugated cardboard is also 100 percent recyclable. The integrated certified organic catnip seals the deal.

ModernCritter Bent Plywood Cat Scratcher @ ModernCritter ($285)

A pricey but presentable cat scratcher for modern homes. The 5/8 inch thick bent post made from renewable poplar plywood comes with two FLOR Terra-style carpet tiles for scratchin’. The FLOR tiles are made from 34 percent renewable corn-based material.

CatLivin’s The Wedge @ CatLivin ($120)

Kitty got an itch she needs to scratch? Give her this stylish cat scratch alternative made with a durable sisal pad and two pieces of interlocking FSC-certified and formaldehyde-free wooden panels. Available in US plantation grown maple or walnut.

Square Cat Habitat’s The Lo @ Square Cat Habitat ($50 - $75)

An enticing vertical scratch post, the Lo consists of a scratch-inducing colored coir insert and a frame made of either bamboo fiber or low-pressure laminate made with 100 percent recycled wood fiber.

TrendyCat Angle Scratcher @ TrendyCat Design ($99)

Cats are weird. Some like to scratch vertically, some horizontally, and some at an angle. If yours prefers the last option, this product made from a sisal scratching mat and a sustainable bamboo frame is the cat's meow. TrendyCat products are tested by a finicky feline quality-assurance team.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Looking for a good cat scratch pad?
Save your furniture and Keep Mr. Peepers occupied with these eco-scratchers.