DIY Recycled Cardboard Cat Scratcher

May 3, 2011 by Tails Magazine in May 2011 with 1 Comment

DIY May 2011Anyone who has a cat knows that expensive toys and beds are not always appreciated by our feline friends. They have their own idea of the comfiest spot in the house, and it usually ends up being as utilitarian as a towel, laundry basket, newspaper, or the beloved cardboard box. So, why not cater to your kitty’s desires, and create a cool spot they can lounge and scratch ’til their hearts’ content … all while reusing materials you may normally throw away. Check out this easy and eco-friendly project guaranteed to get your cat purring.


~ Cardboard boxes
~ Masking tape
~ Craft glue
~ Utility knife
~ Pencil
~ Ruler
~ Scrap paper, felt, or fabric
~ Decorative paper, fabric, paint, or other pet-safe materials

Getting Started:

1. Choose a height for the pad (4″ or higher is ideal)
2. Measure and cut multiple cardboard strips to the height you chose. While the width of the strips should be uniform, the length of each strip may vary. Be sure the ridges in the cardboard are going horizontally across the strips.
3. Begin rolling the cardboard, following the natural bend of the corrugation. If you cut the strips properly, this should be easy to do.
4. Tightly wind the first strip into a coil, and tape the edges when you run out of cardboard. You have just created the core of your scratcher.
5. Tape another strip of cardboard and wrap it around the coil you just made. As you are rolling and adding the cardboard strips, be sure that the side that will become the top is always even, as it will be visible. If the bottom is a bit “wavy,” that’s fine, since it will be hidden.
6. Continue rolling each cardboard strip around the growing coil, taping securely as you go. Try to wrap each piece as tightly as you can. When you like the size of the circle you have created, you are done!

Final Touches:

1. Place the cardboard coil on top of the scrap fabric or paper, trace around it, and then cut out the circle. Glue the circular piece to the bottom of the coil.
2. Decorate the edges with pretty paper, non-toxic paint, or anything else you like. Just be sure it is safe if your kitty ingests it!

When introducing this to your cat, you may want to use catnip as a treat. However, given the love affair feline’s have with cardboard, this should be a match made in heaven! It’s a perfect, simple project to make with kids, donate to cat shelters, or make as gifts … all while being environmentally-friendly.

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