You may be wondering, why should I make my own cat scratcher? Well, to put it simply:
- It’s cheap
- It’s easy to make
- You usually have all the materials you need at home
- Your cat might like simple cardboard boxes to scratch so it’s a better alternative
So, here’s a step-wise guide for any cat owner on how to make a cat scratcher:
Step 1: What You’ll Need
- Pizza Box
- Utility Knife
- Packing/Duct Tape
Step 2: Pick the Right Box
Be sure your pizza box is the right dimensions for your cat. Ideally, it should be as long and twice as wide as your cat. The depth can be about as wide as a normal ruler since a flat cat scratching pad doesn’t need to be deep.
If your pizza box is slightly too big, all you have to do is cut it. Simply make a straight cut along the long side, join the two halves by the ideal amount, and place a strip of duct tape along the seam on the outer side of the box. The tape isn’t supposed to be a permanent fixture, so don’t worry if it starts to peel off. It’s just needed to prevent the halves from popping out during the last step.
Step 3: Make the First Cut
When you open up the pizza box, take a look at the cardboard to see the direction of the grain. View the sides. Two of them will have triangles, while the others will not. You should keep the cardboard with the triangle grains left and right, and the other two sides at the top and bottom.
While you are cutting, you should cut across the triangles when moving your blade towards you. Cutting along the grain makes it less fun for kitties to scratch. Place the straight edge along the left or right side of your cardboard. Keeping the straight edge fixed in place using one hand, cut through the length of the cardboard using your blade in the other hand.
Cardboard usually has three layers – a flat sheet, a corrugated center, and then the other flat sheet. You can still use a double- or triple- walled corrugated box, you’ll just need to cut even deeper while making sure not to cut to the last flat layer. You can decide the total number of cuts that need to be made by dividing it by the number of layers your box has.
You’ll want to cut through the first sheet and about midway through the second corrugated layer, but avoid cutting through the bottom flat sheet. This will be needed to keep the entire thing together.
Step 4: Make All the Remaining Cuts
Next, flip the entire sheet of cardboard over. Then, make a cut on the other side. This makes a sort of flap. Bend it upward, so that the longer flat of the box is still on the surface, but you have a flap as wide as your ruler up in the air. Keep your ruler against the flap that’s sticking up.
Keeping the ruler fixed in place with one hand, cut down the cardboard with your blade using the other hand. After that, you just have to keep repeating the step. Keep repeating this until you reach the far edge of the cardboard. It’s okay if the last flap is shorter or longer.
Step 5: Assembly
Take all the cardboard cut-outs and stuff them into your pizza box. It should be sort of a perfect fit, but you should avoid the box bursting. In case it is too loose, repeat Step 4 and make more cuts to adjust the fit.
Run a strip of packing tape twice around the outside of the pizza box, making sure to pinch the corners in. This will fix the inner cardboard into place. That’s it! All you have to do now is put your DIY cat scratching pad on the floor, and let your cat enjoy!