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How To DIY Your Own Cat Scratcher

We all know that cats love to have fun playing around with their toys, but they also love scratching.

If you’re a cat lover and love your home, this means one thing: You want to keep your cat happy and active, but you also probably don’t want to have your furniture ruined.

As always, we’ve got you covered (don’t we always?) with this step-by-step DIY cactus cat scratcher building guide that you can follow along to to make your own easily.

Another bonus that we’re super psyched about when it comes to this DIY option? It’s also easy on your wallet.

So let’s dive in and get crackin’ on the ultimate home-made scratcher that your best feline friend will love hanging from and sinking its claws into!

What you’ll need:

  • 15 x 15 inch round plywood (the thicker and heavier the better, as it gives a stable base to the structure)
  • 0.25 inch dia. natural sisal rope, 210 ft. long
  • Green dye (for 160 ft. of rope)
  • Glue sticks (warning: you’ll need lots, so the bigger the pack the better)
  • Glue gun
  • Green spray paint
  • Electric drill
  • 4 wood screws
  • Stones or concrete to fill the ⅓  of the body of the scratcher
  • Fake or felt flowers for a touch of cuteness
  • 4 inch dia. plumbing pipe, 3.2 ft. long (or cut a longer one to size)
  • 1 pipe lid
  • 2 single tees
  • 2 90° elbow pipes
  • 2 3 inch polystyrene baubles


Once you have all the ‘ingredients’ you need, just follow the ‘recipe’ below, while cross-checking with the illustrations in this handy guide.

STEP 1: Take a round wood board (the thicker the better), prepare a drill, 4 wood screws and the lid of the plumbing pipe (which will be the body of the cactus).

STEP 2: Pre-drill the lid, then centre it onto your board, and mark where the screws will go with a pencil. Secure the lid to the board with wood screws (make sure it is placed right into the centre!).

STEP 3:  Insert a 3.2-foot long plumbing pipe onto the lid and secure it with hot glue. You can also cut a longer one into a 3.2 feet piece.

STEP 4: Fill ⅓ of the pipe with stones, concrete or cement to keep the scratcher stable.

STEP 5: Connect one of the single tees (pipe connector) with one of the 90° elbow pipes.

STEP 6: Connect the structure you put together in step 5 to the pipe. Repeat step 5 and 6 to achieve the cactus look.

STEP 7: Cut 2 polystyrene baubles in half and glue one half to each of the ends including the 2 arms and the top in order to achieve the rounded look.

STEP 8: This is optional, but you can spray paint the cactus in green to prevent the grey color showing through the rope. This is just an extra measure you can take, but if you glue the rope very tightly around the pipe, the tube won’t show through it either way.

STEP 9: Dye at least 160 ft. of your sisal rope green with pet safe textile dye (but leave some plain for the board). You can find instructions for this on the dye’s packaging. As an extra tip, secure the ends of the rope that you cut as it unfolds easily. Also, leave enough time for the rope to soak up the liquids. Don’t forget to use gloves!

STEP 10: Start glue gunning the green rope to the pipe from the base to the first junction. 

STEP 11: At the junctions, use smaller pieces of rope and glue them on separately. Make them a little bit longer so you can cover the ends with glue and rope in the next step.

STEP 12: Continue wrapping the rope around the elbow, but make sure you cover the ends that you left sticking out at the previous step in order to prevent them from unfolding. Repeat step 11 and 12 at the next junction, and finish the top by wrapping the rope around.

STEP 13: Cover the wood board with natural sisal rope by glue gunning it.

STEP 14: For a nice finishing touch, add some fake flowers or felt pom-poms to the tops of the cactus, but make sure to secure them well.

STEP 15: Voila, you’re done! Now you and your cat can enjoy this adorable and very claw-friendly scratcher while redirecting his attention away from your sofa.

Want more DIY projects to work on at home? Check out our zero waste bag tutorials that you can make with old or left-over fabric here: