It's an idea that seems to have merit -- a scratch pad that actually trims your cat's claws. Unlike regular scratch pads made of cardboard or sisal, the Emery Cat has a honeycombed, emery board-like surface that is supposed to safely file down cats' claws, saving you from trimming them. The product has an arched design for stretching and scratching; also included are a feather toy attached to the base and a free bag of catnip.
According to a great many reviews, however, the concept may be too much of a good thing. A large percentage of cat owners posting reviews to Amazon.com and other sites say that the Emery Cat can hurt cats' sensitive paws, and several mention that their cats actually seem to be in pain after scratching on the rough board. Perhaps, some say, this is why their cats walk away from the Emery Cat after using it only once.
Amazon.com users overwhelmingly dislike Emery Cat; out of 120-plus user posts, half give it a 1-star review. Most users say that their cats simply don't like it, and speculate that this may be because it's way too rough for Kitty's paws. Likewise, Grand Rapids, Mich., affiliate station WZZM shows a video where Emery Cat is tested with three cats: two use it once and then never go near it again; the other cat never touches it at all, a scenario mentioned repeatedly in Emery Cat reviews. Reviews on other sites mainly echo those on Amazon.com, with as many low ratings as high ones. In the end, it's a 50/50 bet whether or not your cat will use the Emery Cat.
Another complaint comes from those who've ordered the Emery Cat through its website. Customers say that the Emery Cat web page won't let them review their order total before it goes through. In addition, customers complain that it's too easy to accidentally order multiple sets, for which it is hard to get a refund. These complaints are detailed on sites such as ComplaintsBoard.com and ConsumerAffairs.com.
Out of more than 125 user reviews, the majority of Emery Cat owners aren't happy with the product, saying their cats tried it once and never went back or never tried it at all. Others say they suspect the Emery Cat was painful for their cats to use. Of owners who are mainly happy with it, some credit it with saving their furniture.
Review: EmeryCat Emery Cat Board, Contributors to Amazon.com
There aren't too many reviews here for Emery Cat, but one poster who fosters cats in her home claims that only one cat in 20 would use it. However, users who get their cats to use it claim that the product is a fun way to dull a cat's nails.
Review: Does Emery Cat Really Work?, Contributors to Does-the-Product-Work.com
3. WZZM (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
This local news report features a video where the Emery Cat is tested with three cats: two use it once and then never go near it again, in spite of the fuzzy toy; the other cat never touches it. The report concludes that "felines are finicky" and that there is no way to know if your cat will use it or not. The owner of the tested cats states that she is happy she didn't waste her money, since her cats are still clawing away at her steps.
Review: Try It Before You Buy It - Emery Cat, Matt Campbell, July 1, 2010
This cat-oriented message board features 12 pages of discussion about the Emery Cat. User posts are extremely negative. One poster tried to donate their unused Emery Cat to the local vet, who wouldn't take it after hearing complaints that it pulls out cats' claws.
Review: Emery Cat Forum, Contributors to TheCatSite.com
Posters on this consumer board complain of Emery Cat's confusing ordering process, and claim that they were misled as to what they were ordering and how much it would cost.
Review: Emery Cat Forum, Contributors to ComplaintsBoard.com
About half of the 30 user posts recommend Emery Cat, with users saying that their cats love it and use it often; for some users, however, locating refills is a problem. However, the other half say that their cats won't use it and don't like it; these users speculate that it may be too rough for Kitty's paws.
Review: As Seen on TV Emery Cat Board, Contributors to Walmart.com
Many of the negative posts about Emery Cat have to do with the ordering process, but several posters mention that their cat ate part of the included cat toy and got sick, while others complain that the surface is too rough for their cats' paws.
Review: Emery Cat, Contributors to ConsumerAffairs.com