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7 Amazing DIY Cat Scratch Boards & Pads You Can Create at Home (With Pictures)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on May 2, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

Scottish fold little cat playing on scratching posts

7 Amazing DIY Cat Scratch Boards & Pads You Can Create at Home (With Pictures)

Scratching is an essential activity for maintaining your cat’s health. Scratching provides an outlet for energy, stretching for muscles and tendons, and helps the claws shed as they grow.

Scratching posts and boards can get pricey if you’re buying them at the pet store, though! If your cat is a big scratcher, you might be going through multiple scratchers per year. One way you can save money and use items you already have on hand is using DIY plans to create your own scratchers for your kitty.

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The 7 DIY Cat Scratch Boards & Pads

1. Stool Cat Condo by Diana Rambles

Stool Cat Condo by Diana Rambles
Image Credit: Diana Rambles
Materials: Wooden stool, padding, fabric, jute, boar bristle brushes
Tools: Tape measure, scissors, hot glue gun, hand saw, staple gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you have an old wooden stool hanging around your house that you’re not sure what to do with, this cat condo made from a stool is the perfect project. You can customize this project as much or as little as you’d like. This cat condo doesn’t just create a scratching post for your cat with soft places to hang out, but it also provides a self-grooming tool via the hair brushes, as well as a selection of cat toys of your choosing.

This DIY is a good option for providing a scratching post and relaxation space for your cat without taking up a lot of space in your home. This is a great option for apartments and other small living spaces, and the ability to fully customize the project means you can select a stool that will fit whatever space you have available.

2. Scratching Post by Dream a Little Bigger

Scratching Post by Dream a Little Bigger
Image Credit: Dream a Little Bigger
Materials: Sisal or jute rope, rug or carpet square, wood glue, plywood, 4×4, decorative edge, post cap
Tools: Staple gun, hammer, circular saw, utility knife, miter saw, drill with small bit
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you already have a handful of tools hanging out in your garage, then you’re halfway to making this scratching post. A quick trip to the hardware or home improvement store and some natural jute or sisal rope and you’re ready to build a sturdy scratching post at home.

For this project, try to recycle as many materials as possible to reduce your spending. Old rugs and carpet samples are a great option for the carpet need, and leftover wood scraps may be exactly the amount you’ll need for the project. This scratcher is made to last a long time, although you’re likely to need to replace the rope every year or two.

3. Modern Cat Scratching Post by Instructables

Materials: 10×1 lumber, sisal rope, catnip spray
Tools: Yardstick, miter or circular saw, drill, power screwdriver, sanding block
Difficulty Level: Moderate

For the modern home, you may be looking for something a little different than traditional scratching posts for kitties. This modern scratching post is a great option for fitting right in with your modern home décor. It’s made to fit over the arm of a couch or chair but can be customized to hook over anything sturdy enough to support your cat’s scratching weight.

Although the tools list might seem overwhelming, if you’re done woodworking or DIY projects in the past, you likely have all of the things you need at home. The number of materials is limited, and you may already have the materials at home, saving you time and money.

4. TV Tray Cat House by Lily Ardor

TV Tray Cat House by Lily Ardor
Image Credit: Lily Ardor
Materials: TV tray, burlap, dowels, jute or sisal rope, felt, padding or stuffing, plywood
Tools: Drill, hot glue gun, sewing machine or kit
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Have you ever seen those TV dining trays that fold up so they can be put away when you finish using them? They aren’t common in every house in the country, but they are common enough that you might have one or two laying around to make this TV tray cat house. If you don’t have a spare TV tray, they can often be found at resale shops on the cheap.

This project does require a little bit of sewing knowledge to create a soft pad for your cat to cozy up on when they’re finished scratching. When completed, this project will leave you with a scratcher as well as a safe house for your cat to spend time in.

5. Rainbow Cat Scratch Pad by Shrimp Salad Circus

Rainbow Cat Scratch Pad by Shrimp Salad Circus
Image Credit: Shrimp Salad Circus
Materials: 1/2” wood, 2×8 board, sisal rope, cloud template, rainbow template, chalk paint
Tools: Pencil or chalk, sandpaper, hot glue gun, scroll saw or Dremel tool, drill
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Do you want to create a scratch pad that brings a little pizzazz to your home? This rainbow scratch pad would be the perfect DIY project for you! Although it isn’t rainbow colored, this scratch pad is a cute rainbow shape with clouds at each end.

This is a cute and fun project that your kiddos might want to participate in. Parts of it are very kid-friendly, while other parts will require dexterity and power tools, so use your judgment about which parts are beginner steps and which require a little more experience.

6. Simple DIY Scratch Pad by Evlady

Simple DIY Scratch Pad by Evlady
Image Credit: Evlady
Materials: Corrugated cardboard, duct tape, colored paper or cardstock
Tools: Hot glue gun, circular saw, drill
Difficulty Level: Easy

This simple DIY scratch pad can be made any time of year, but it’s ideal around the holidays when you have lots of packages coming in and lots of extra colorful paper laying around. You’ll need lots of corrugated cardboard to make this scratcher, so make sure you have enough. One cardboard box isn’t going to cut it with this one.

As long as you have enough cardboard, this is a pretty easy project that beginner crafters will likely be able to do with minimal instruction. Kids might need help cutting the cardboard into strips and getting the center part of the scratcher started but otherwise will likely require minimal assistance.

7. Cat Scratching Board by The Fluffy Kitty

Cat Scratching Board by The Fluffy Kitty
Image Credit: The Fluffy Kitty
Materials: Plywood, sisal rope, catnip, pencil and paper, paint or wood stain
Tools: Ruler, hand saw, hot glue gun or wood glue, staple gun, hammer, sandpaper
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This cat scratching board is a good project for using up scrap wooden boards you might have in your garage or shed. You could also repurpose wood sheets from old furniture, and even old fence posts could be used. The primary thing you’ll need to achieve is to create three flat areas to create a wedge shape. Slap on some sisal rope and you’re good to go!

You can paint or stain the wood you use in this project if you’d like, but you can also leave the wood natural. You could also consider completely covering the wedge with carpet scraps of fabric, or even encase the whole wedge in sisal rope for maximum scratching capacity.

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Building your own cat scratch boards and pads is a fantastic way to do an afternoon or weekend project that uses up excess materials you have at home. Oftentimes, these DIY plans can be customized to meet the materials you already have on hand. If you already have tools and basics like screws, nails, staples, hammers, and measuring tools, then you can get as creative as you’d like by using the materials you have at home already.

If you’re wanting to create something extra fancy for your cat and you have the budget, then a trip to the store for the materials to perfect your ideal project is always an option.

Featured Image Credit: Anatoliy Cherkas, Shutterstock

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