Make Your Own Cat Scratcher

Cats have to scratch. It’s a law of nature, I guess, and if you don’t give them something they can scratch on, they will use your furniture.
Luckily, cat scratchers are easy to make. When I first got my cat, Mr. Savvy nailed two poles together and then I got a carpet sample from my local carpet store–for free, of course–and we stapled it on. The whole project took about an hour, cost us next to nothing, and 10 years later, the cat is still using it. Because we used real wood and nice carpet, the scratcher has lasted three times as long as one we would have bought in the store.
Here are some plans to make your own cat scratcher:

Recycled Cardboard Kitty Pad from Design Sponge couldn’t be simpler. Shape strips of cardboard into a coil and secure with tape. Instant cat happiness.

Here is a door cat scratcher from Martha Stewart. It looks nice, although I wouldn’t put it on a door I cared much about.

Build Your Own Sisal Rope Cat Scratcher from ReadyMade has good instructions and helpfully points out that the cost of one of these scratchers in the store is about $70.

Finally, you can build your own cat tree. This is worth the work since cat trees can cost hundreds in the store. The above post has full instructions of how to make one. Here’s a round-up of more cat tree plans from around the web. I particularly like the cat castle.

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4 thoughts on “Make Your Own Cat Scratcher”

  1. My cats hated the cardboard! Even rubbed with catnip, they refused to use it. Ahh, but carpet, and sisal…those are the deluxe scratchy things in their minds! I had carpet remnants that I stapled to the main wood support posts in the basement. They climb and shred those on a regular basis. I even stapled some carpet across the rafters above, and the calico will climb the pole and claw her way across the rafter, then drop down at the end of the carpet. She is, a little bit crazy, though, so this doesn’t surprise me. I also stapled carpet on one of the coldroom’s walls, about 4 feet off the ground…she claws her way up that as well.
    As for my orange boy, well, he has a simple half round carpet covered cat house, with a sisal covered pole beside it. He’s way less energetic than the calico, so it’s good enough for him. 🙂

  2. Thank you for posting these ideas! I recently had to give away my old cat tree because I’m moving and it wouldn’t fit into my Uhaul trailer. Rather than buying another expensive cat tree, I think I’m going to try building my own with the help of a friend, based on one of the plans you linked to. Also, I now have a million boxes; once they’re empty, I’m going to see if I can construct a cardboard scratcher for my kitties.

  3. Pingback: Savvy Housekeeping » How To Get A Cat To Use A Scratcher
  4. I know I’m a few months late in adding my two cents to this post. A product that has worked wonderfully for me is Soft Paws. They’re little plastic caps that you glue over your cat’s claws with special glue. They last about a month and fall off one at a time as the cat’s claws grow out. My can can scratch wherever she wants and doesn’t damage anything. To put them on husband holds the cat and I glue them on and she tolerate it really well. (Note: We’ve been using them since she was a kitten so she’s used to them. I hear starting them for some adult cats can be hard since they don’t tolerate having them applied or having them on.) They come in all sorts of great colors and visitors compliment my cat’s “manicure” all the time!


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