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8 DIY Cardboard Cat Scratchers (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

Cats will be cats. Scratching is a part of their world, whether we like it or not. While they often scratch just for the fun of it, their claws are vital to them. Many experts believe that it’s also a form of communication by marking particular spots as theirs. It’s worth noting that both the American Veterinary Medical Association and The Cat Fanciers’ Association oppose declawing.

A better alternative is to give your kitty appropriate things to scratch and indulge their instincts. It’ll at least spare your furniture. DIY ideas can add fun to the mix. There are plenty of simple projects to keep your feline companion happy.

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1. Round It Up

This idea is so easy to do that you could make a bunch of them to have an endless supply of toys for your cat. It’s an excellent way to repurpose all those Amazon boxes that you have stacked up for recycling. After all, isn’t the box the best part of any delivery, from your cat’s perspective?


2. Give It a Home.

There’s nothing like cutting to the chase and saying what it is up front. This project is the cat equivalent of a child’s fort. They can scratch it or just take a nap inside it. It’s so easy to make that you can quickly replace it after your pet has had its fun with it.


3. Flatten It Out.

Some people have theorized that cats scratch after napping as their way of stretching. We know how good that feels too! The flat DIY cardboard cat scratcher allows your pet to loosen up those tight muscles for the next adventure.


4. Multi-Purpose Is the Way to Go.

Who says that a cat scratcher has to have only one purpose? This DIY project gives your cat something to scratch on and a place to take a snooze when they’re done playing. It’s an excellent alternative to expensive cat furniture.


5. Make It Tall.

Stretching goes both ways, horizontal and vertical. We like this DIY project as a fun thing for kids to do on a rainy day. The best thing about this plan is that you can build the base and refill it as necessary, making it a permanent fixture for your cat.


6. King of the Hill

Now, if you really want to get creative, you can go all out and make a cat tower that will serve double-duty as a cat scratch post and a place to lounge around or sleep. Let your imagination take off to create an interesting tower with many places to explore and hide.


7. Home Sweet Home.

We like this idea because it’s multi-functional, and you don’t need anything to lure your cat into exploring it. What’s great is that cats don’t seem to lose their curiosity or sense of adventure over time. Even older kitties will want to take a peak.


8. Tower Over the Rest.

This project is definitely a labor of love. But isn’t your cat worth it? It serves its purpose well, with a bit of flair that makes it that much more special. We bet that you won’t find one of these at your local pet store either!

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Final Thoughts

There’s something gratifying for a pet owner in making toys or scratch posts for their cat. The designs on this list are also smart ways to repurpose cardboard to eke out another use for them before they hit the recycling can. That makes these projects both eco-friendly and feline-friendly.


Featured Image: Daga_Roszkowska, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.