Cats have to scratch. It’s a law of nature, I guess, and if you don’t give them something they can scratch on, they will use your furniture.
Luckily, cat scratchers are easy to make. When I first got my cat, Mr. Savvy nailed two poles together and then I got a carpet sample from my local carpet store–for free, of course–and we stapled it on. The whole project took about an hour, cost us next to nothing, and 10 years later, the cat is still using it. Because we used real wood and nice carpet, the scratcher has lasted three times as long as one we would have bought in the store.
Here are some plans to make your own cat scratcher:
Recycled Cardboard Kitty Pad from Design Sponge couldn’t be simpler. Shape strips of cardboard into a coil and secure with tape. Instant cat happiness.
Here is a door cat scratcher from Martha Stewart. It looks nice, although I wouldn’t put it on a door I cared much about.
Build Your Own Sisal Rope Cat Scratcher from ReadyMade has good instructions and helpfully points out that the cost of one of these scratchers in the store is about $70.
Finally, you can build your own cat tree. This is worth the work since cat trees can cost hundreds in the store. The above post has full instructions of how to make one. Here’s a round-up of more cat tree plans from around the web. I particularly like the cat castle.