white cat scratching folded corrugated cardboard

You’ve probably been meaning to go to the store to buy your cat a new scratcher, but it’s an easy thing to forget, as they aren’t everywhere. But perhaps, instead, you’ve realized that you might be able to make one at home yourself— and you’d be right!

We rounded up some terrific plans that you can try, most of which won’t even require you to leave your house for supplies. Take a look and see which one sounds like the best idea for you.


My 6 Favorite DIY Cardboard Cat Scratcher Plans:

1. Dream a Little Bigger DIY Cardboard Cat Scratcher

 

Materials: Cardboard scraps
Tools: Glue, craft knife, straight edge, glue, cut-resistant gloves
Difficulty: Easy

The Dream a Little Bigger DIY Cardboard Cat Scratcher is a straightforward project you can make in just a few minutes. It takes minimal materials, so you might not even have to make a trip to the store.

The article walks you through the step-by-step process, showing you pictures to give you a visual guide.

Essentially, you are creating a circular scratching surface that is glued together for your cat shredding pleasure. Making all those little cuts might be time-consuming, but we think the results are worthwhile. Heck, you may even enjoy the process!


2. Lizz @More Than Thursdays DIY Upcycled Cardboard Cat Scratcher

 

Materials: Cardboard scraps, adhesive shelf liner paper, catnip
Tools: Foam brush, non-toxic glue, utility knife, straight edge, foam brush
Difficulty: Moderate

Lizz @More Than Thursdays offers this incredible little DIY Upcycled Cat Scratcher project for anyone to try out. This one required a few more supplies than some of the others on our list.

But if you have the available resources and the time, this is a really fantastic option. We love how durable the end result is and the DIY itself is extremely easy to follow.

The writer walks you through each step of the process, showing pictures along the way. Just be sure to use non-toxic glue for the adhesive to protect your cat.


3. Crafting a Green World Corrugated Cat Scratcher

 

Materials: Corrugated cardboard
Tools: X-acto knife, glue, tape
Difficulty: Easy

Crafting a Green World Corrugated Cat Scratcher is a really cool concept of two tutorials in one. For the first tutorial, with the help of their gorgeous long-haired calico, they walk you through the process of making a circular and rectangular scratching pad. They explain how circular cardboard cat scratchers have different tension points than rectangular ones.

We think that this is a really interesting project for somebody who lives in a multi-cat household, as it offers something to everyone. You can take full advantage of the tutorial for future reference as well, replacing the scratching pads as needed.

It’s incredibly easy to follow, including step-by-step instructions with pictures included. We think any skill level would do well with this DIY. But since this one involves cutting cardboard, adult supervision is recommended for smaller children.


4. Purple House Blog DIY Cat Scratcher

 

Materials: Large cardboard box, cardboard pieces, catnip
Tools: Box cutter, scissors
Difficulty: Easy

Purple House Blog DIY Cat Scratcher really drew us in thanks to their adorable feline model. With the help of this gorgeous tabby, the writer walks you through a DIY on how to make a rectangular cardboard cat scratcher.

This DIY is very straightforward. It doesn’t require any glue or other messy components. It works terrifically if you’re wanting to put together a project with your kids, or if you just want to make a hassle-free creation.

What makes this project really easy is that the base of the scratcher is already done for you as it is the length and width of the cardboard box. You just cut the cardboard pieces to size and then you can go to town.


5. The Instructables Cat Scratching Post

 

Materials: Cardboard, mortar, wall putty, washers, nuts, protection pads
Tools: Drill, sanding block, sandpaper, wrench, pen, ruler, knife, metal cutting saw, trowel, rubber gloves
Difficulty: Moderate/Advanced

This DIY project might be the coolest one on our list today—it’s the Instructables Cat Scratching Post. It has a very charming aesthetic for being thrown together in the comfort of your own home. This one might require a little bit more patience to cut out all those cardboard squares, but the end result can definitely be worth it.

Initially, you might have to pay for some cost upfront as not everyone has mortar on hand. However, once you get the supplies, this is a charming little cat scratching post to throw together that your kitty is sure to get plenty of enjoyment out of.

This design has cardboard squares stacked in a cascade fashion with mortar binding together the top and bottom to keep everything together. You can get really fancy with this as well, painting it up or decorating it to fit your home stylings.

If you’re looking for a more intricate project, this is definitely our top pick.


Upsides of Making Your Own Cardboard Cat Scratcher

When you go over the ideas you have about making your own cat scratcher, you might want to compare all the benefits to buying one that’s already made. As DIYers ourselves, we can’t find much of a downside except that it might just require a little more of your time than buying one online or at the store. Here are a couple of other things to consider.

Saving Money

If you were constantly replacing cardboard cat scratchers, it can get a little expensive. Store-bought cardboard cat scratchers might not last as long as he would like for the price.

If you can make your own cat scratcher at home using boxes you already have, you really are saving a few bucks a month in the long run.

grey cat with yellow eyes peeking out of cardboard box
Image credit: Glr0115, Unsplash

Recycling Boxes

You’re going to need something to do with all of those boxes you’ve been getting these past few months that you keep meaning to toss away.

If you are a big fan of online shopping, you can put those FedEx packages to good use. Reusing boxes instead of tossing them away is a perfect way to upcycle an already existing material.

Occupying Cats

Some cats can get bored quite easily. Having homemade cat scratchers around ensures that your cat always has something that can keep them busy.

Plus, it gives them a variety of textures to shred and promotes healthy exercise. Ultimately, you’re doing your cat a favor.

Creativity Boost

Sometimes you just have to get out your glue gun and go to town. If you’re a naturally crafty person, you can really feed your creative side by making basic items that you have at home.

And a project this simple is a great way to get children involved too. It’s something simple that they can follow along with under your instruction. Of course, children should never have any type of adhesive unattended.


Conclusion

We hope you found a DIY project on this list that seems doable for you. You could even make all five if you’re feeling up for it to give your cat a little bit of variety and to have a few extra on hand.

This is a very inexpensive way to make sure that your cat gets the appropriate exercise they need without letting them use your trim or table legs.


Featured Image Credit: FOX, Pexels

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