I always thought those cardboard cat scratchers were a stupid idea, until one time when we were moving and there was a stack of boxes, and the cat could NOT leave it alone. Well. She left it alone for a bit after pulling the whole stack down onto the floor with a crash. But she was right back at it in no time.

But it seems lame to spend money on cardboard, something thrown away so often and in such quantity it gets its own dumpsters. Seriously? We're basically talking about buying trash for the cat to play on!

But cats love it! But it's just cardboard! And I'm cheap! But... think of the cat!

Psychologists say it's not good to live with this kind of internal conflict.

Much of my current furniture came from Ikea, and everything comes from Ikea in cardboard. Even my change and receipt were in a cardboard flat-pack last time I went there. My place was filled with new furniture I didn't want scratched on, and cardboard. The light bulb went on.

This project is quite similar to Neopirater's, with two notable exceptions.

1) No glue on mine. It's all held together with magnets*.

2) My cat is much, MUCH wider than Neopirater's cats. It's even possible my cat is as wide as any two of Neopirater's cats. As a result, although I don't think my scratcher is much smaller, it will look much smaller in the final photo.
2a) She's not fat. She's just wide. I swear!

  • That was a joke. I mean, there's really no glue. But there are also no magnets.

Step 1: What You Need

WARNING: It's *highly* recommended to read the instructions all the way through before beginning this project, because there are option steps, and because some of it will make more sense if you know what comes next.


Cardboard from Ikea (This is an Ikea hack, after all!)
--- One long skinny box a bit bigger than a cat (Here, I've used the one the HELMER drawer unit comes in.)
--- The outer flat packing boxes of larger furniture (I used the VIKA Blecket box & inserts.)

Utility Knife
--- Must be sharp! Otherwise the cardboard just shreds, and your cat eats the shreds and craps cardboard bits for a week, instead of getting a new scratcher.
--- Adjustable depth of blade helps, you will NOT be cutting all the way through the cardboard.

Straight Edge, 1-2" wide, as long as your skinny box is long
--- Preferably metal
--- Need not be an actual ruler, as there is no actual measuring involved here.

Packing Tape
--- Duct tape is an acceptable substitute, as is strapping tape. The point is, you're going to be putting a little tension on this tape, and don't want it to break.

Although you don't need a cat to make this scratcher, it seems wise to have a cat somewhere in your life. I mean, if you don't even know a cat, you should probably go make something else. Maybe a nice trivet, if you're thinking about things you can put under other things.
Does anyone know how to make tower-shaped cardboard cat scratching posts/climbers? Or those sculpted-looking curvy "furniture" scratchers/loungers made of corrugated cardboard?? I run a small (+/- 30 cats) cat rescue home and would love to give the cats some of the new corrugated cardboard "furniture" but who can afford it?! It costs a fortune! And it's only made of stupid cardboard! Why can't I make it myself?! Anyone help, please?
long, skinny carpet scraps can usually be picked up free the night before trash day behind the high-turnover apartments.
Best laugh I've had in ages.. thanks !! Good idea too.. though my two kitty overlords have decreed that cardboard is for lower life forms only.. ONLY carpet or sisal meets their criteria. Catnip is no help, they're both immune, darn it. I keep their claws trimmed short so their scratchy mats and posts last a fairly long time, as they don't have razor sharp claw tips to mangle them with.
thanks for the laugh on the hairball comment. =) <br /> <br /> We will be moving in about 10 days, and I have a ton of boxes. I am looking at what I can do with them besides throw them out after we are done unpacking.&nbsp; With 2 kitties, this should work nicely. Add in some nip, and they will be very happy. &nbsp;
Just to complicate things, Ikea did sell ready-made cardboard cat scratchers for real, but hey did not pack in the usual cardboard box. (Our cats did not like the novel idea however. They still prefer the carpets and the furniture to the scratchers. :( )<br /> Hmm, if I were a manufacturer who uses corrugated cardboard to pack things, I would print these&nbsp;instructions&nbsp;on the boxes. :)
sfasdgfbbg. God, I laughed so hard I started coughing. I hope you're happy! XD In all actuality, this is awesome. Our precious little girl loves to scratch, tears scratchers up in only a day or two, it's amazing if it lasts a week... And considering we just moved, I think I'll add this to my mounting list of things to do with our overabundance of cardboard... *peers around her apartment* x.x Thank you!<br/>
<em>vacuum it occasionally</em> <br/><br/>The cat or the box?<br/>
Whatever your cat will put up with, I suppose. If you can get away with vacuuming the cat, you could probably save a lot of time on other housecleaning...
cats don't like vacuums that much...
That's why you need a vacuum with a hose attachment. Just put the vacuum farther away from the cat so the noise doesn't bother it as much.
My cat wont move out from in front of the vacuum when I'm cleaning TILL I vacuum her!
Loved the laugh. However, I've purchased one of "those cardboard scrachers" and my cats didn't like them, even with cat nip! But they do like the carpet one! Go figure!
try some honeysuckle spray. One of my cats doesn't like catnip but they both go nuts for honeysuckle. You can also get old carpet samples from flooring stores for free it you don't want to pay for the carpet scratchers. My cats tear them apart so fast I would spend a fortune replacing them all the time.
Yeah, some cats don't get into the cardboard thing. Just like some cats don't get into catnip (mine doesn't). The little buggers do take pride in defying expectation... :) Thanks for reading!
Excellent instructions and I LOVE your sense of humor .. !!!
Funny and useful and <em>funny</em>. <br/>
I work for a nation wide pet supply chain and I use these type scratchers for my 2 kitties. I just moved myself and thought the same thing..."they can't be that hard to make" I'm going to pass this on to the animal rescue groups in the area! PS I always flip the store bought ones before tossing, some people don't.
I just have to say how perfectly delightful (and utilitarian) your project is... I, too have a "big boned" cat who dearly loves to shred her cardboard scratcher, then go ripping and tearing through the house, and then collapse neatly in a pile and look at me like nothing happened. <wide-eyed, blink, blink> "Who, me? I did nothing of the sort; how utterly preposterous and undignified..." <yawn> Never mind that she's just flopped onto "her" beanbag video game chair, which no one else is allowed to use.
I got caught web-surfing because I was laughing so hard....
Is BBF <em>Best Friend Forever</em>, or <em>Big Freaking Fur-ball</em>?<br/>
it can also mean Big frying Forehead, of Ballistic Flight Fries-receiver, or Bad floody Flies,.... and it is BFF, not BBF.
<em>and it is BFF, not BBF</em><br/><br/>We call that a typo, my friend. <br/><br/><em>Big frying Forehead, of Ballistic Flight Fries-receiver, or Bad floody Flies</em><br/><br/>Not of the correct <strong>cat</strong>agory, really.<br/>
yes it's a CATastrophy.
Its a CATaclysmic event during a time of CATastrophy, but now the CAT HAS BEEN LET OUT OF THE BAG with this intsructable that was buried in the CATacombs. Now it is the CATS PAJAMAS. it belongs in a CATologue for CATapults and CATaracts It could be in its own section. haha this was meant to be nice so if it comes off as mean, its not supposed to be
i understand. this is a friendly, competetive game about writing the most words with cat in them. i like it!
mine was a stretch in fifth grade, we did this thing in school where we came up with all of thesse words that started with cat it was hard
sham wow.....
i have a shamwow except its generic and expensive so i call it a scamwow my friend and i "accidently" got it for free no we did not steal it it is not stealing if the bank offers to give you money haha
i waz watching shun white own the free ride snow boarding comp. at winter x-games 13 and the announcers clearly watch too much late night tv 'cuz thats how they described his 96%(gold medal winning run) but i like "scamwow"
wow, i think you missed this one: "CATdeoxyribonucleic acid" or, in short: cat DNA.
yes totalyy missed that thanjks
Hmm, yeah, I think BBF is something else entirely. I did mean Best Friend Forever in this case, that little green toy mouse is the only toy she really loves. It should've been thrown out about 2 years ago.
This was hilarious... I think it is far cheaper to go and buy a cat scratcher but your lessons were great. Love the cat too!
It's only cheaper if you are counting the cost of my furniture... the cardboard came with it for free. It's certainly FASTER and EASIER to buy one.
I think I was laughing too much to pay attention to what I wrote... I'm pretty sure I meant easier! and faster!
Cool Scratcher I also use cardboard to make mine but they are a disk on pole design, held together with bolts.
Thanks for laughs! Clear, funny, and functional. Tin foil works for some cats, others love it. They do insist on being individual in their tastes... for apholstery lovers, get a piece of ugly (the uglier it is, the tougher it is) and wrap it around a 2x4. staple gun it. The faux-leather-lover wants a 2x4 wrapped with a layer of quilt batting then pleather. If the cat refers the side of the furniture, nail this to the wall. If it prefers the arm/back tops, lay it down.
great instructable, pictures were really good aswell. did you take a photo and then photoshoped it? my cat is sitting with me while i am reading this she is walking over the keyboard while trying to get my attention
LOL. I think most figure out. the the commercial items aren't a stupid idea is when the cat starts shredding the house. Your instructable fits the bill for those cat owners who are frugal, tightwads or just plain broke. In that for me cutting cardboard is about as bad as someone dragging their finger nails across a chalk board, I will buy the commercial item if I ever get an indoor cat again. Amusing how nuts they go with batting that ball in a circle.
It's a love affair, mainly ikea... and my cat-scratcher<br/>yeah f*** it!<br/>
My cat could take your cat. My cat is 1.5 times the size of yours.
uh...... ?
If your cat and my cat got in a fight mine would win. I know you think your cat is big but mine is bigger.
Could you get off the internet, please? Us adults want to use it now.
My cat isn't too afraid of the vacuum cleaner, as she tends to sit on it and ride while I clean. I'm afraid the results would be much different if I tried to vacuum her though. She loves her cardboard scratcher though.
I am literally laughing out loud reading this. You are a hilarious writer! Thanks for the laughs.

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