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How to Make a Fun Cat Scratch Post

What was it that William Shakes-purr once said, “A scratching post by any other shape would scratch just as sweet”... it was something like that, right? Anyway, our cats sure love to scratch-- it’s actually necessary for them to keep their kitty claws trim. To prevent them from tearing up your beloved furniture and walls, scratchpads and scratching posts are obviously the perfect alternatives.

Is your adult cat tired of their scratching post? Do they no longer show it the same scratching attention it once got? Maybe they need a new and fresh scratching surface. Cardboard and rope are some of the best mediums for your cat to scratch their claws to their heart’s content! Our resident PrettyLitter scratchpad expert brainstormed some delightfully fresh, scratch-tastic ideas for your furry feline friends. So, continue reading to learn how to make a scratching post for your cat.

The Tree Trunk

The first DIY scratching post we’re going to make is the cat tree trunk. Here are some basic tools and materials you’ll need for this fun, round, easy-to-make, scratching pad for a lumberjack kitty:

  • Large pieces of corrugated cardboard (try to find double thickness, it can be a time saver)
  • Long steel ruler
  • Utility knife
  • Painter’s tape
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Brown felt or decorative paper that resembles a tree 
  • Green stickers for a mossy effect 
  • Optional (yet highly encouraged): Catnip

First, measure about 5 inch wide strips of cardboard. Make sure the ridges of the cardboard run perpendicular to the longer side, so it’s easier to bend. 

Next, cut these strips out. 

Then, take a strip, fold the end of it over and begin to roll it up tightly around itself. Use the painter’s tape to hold it in place. 

Then, take the next strip of cardboard and roll it around the first one. Tape it together with the painter’s tape and continue this process with the next strips until you have the desired width and diameter of the scratchpad. 

Use the brown felt or decorative paper (brown construction paper also works) to cover the sides of taped, bent, and rolled cardboard. It will give the sides a tree trunk-looking aesthetic. You can stick on green stickers (preferably dark, forest green) to enhance the facade. 

Lastly, sprinkle the catnip in the many folded, cardboard ridges.

Your cat will feel like a lumberjack who just chopped a tree down and is scratching its trunk like there’s no tomorrow!

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Rapunz-meow’s Tower

Here are some tools and materials you’ll need for this more advanced DIY cat scratching post:

  • Some colorful sisal rope (color of your choice, 150 ft. or more)
  • A 4 x 4 piece of wood
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • A sheet of plywood
  • A sheet of stall mat or carpet 
  • Staples
  • Superglue
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Pencil
  • Gloves

A good-sized scratching post should be about 3 ft. tall. Start by using the saw to trim your piece of 4 x 4 wood to that height. Then staple the sisal rope to the post and start winding it around the wood.

Add another staple about every 10 turns. If the staple gets caught in the rope weirdly or is sticking out, use a hammer to flatten it out, as part of your cat’s claw care. So your cat’s claw doesn’t get stuck in it. Continue to wind the rope down the post, but leave a little bare space at the bottom.

Next, take the stall mat or carpet and line it up to the plywood. Plywood on top, start outlining the base material to match with the plywood. 

Then, remove the plywood and cut out the material that was outlined. You can use carpet or material you feel like your cat won’t mind walking on and possibly destroying easily. Mark an X on the material to find the center point. Line the wrapped-up post to the center of the X. 

Glue the plywood to the softer material to create a sturdier base and drill the post into the center of the X.

It should look like a regular scratch post but using the colorful rope. You can transform it into the princess tower of your choice. You can use the corrugated cardboard by cutting it into a decadent topper for the tower and super glue it to the top of the 4 x 4.

Unleash your inner designer!

A simple cardboard scratchpad can easily be manipulated and transformed into whatever shape you want. Do you want to design a bat-shaped scratchpad for Halloween? What about one that’s Christmas tree-shaped or heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day? Making those can be really easy. All you’ll need are a pencil, a utility knife, and your imagination. Take a regular, rectangle-shaped scratchpad, outline the design you want, and use the utility knife to cut out the shape you want your cat to scratch at.

When it comes to designing, the world is your oyster! There are so many fun and out-of-the-box ideas that could revamp and revitalize the scratchpads and scratching posts in your cat’s life, all while saving the furniture in your life.





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