Being a cat owner has many benefits, with the way they can reduce human’s blood pressure, and are cute companions. However, there are many times where our feline friends may mistake a plush carpet to be the perfect place to sink their claws. Many cats will return to the same spot to scratch, not because they are destructive, rather they leave their own scent through glands in their paws to mark their territory. As humans, our noses are not made to detect those little details, and as cat owners we must be understanding to our animal friends so that we can create forward thinking solutions rather than rehoming or declawing. While in the past declawing was a more typical solution, studies have shown that declawing cats and kittens is the equivalent of amputating the tips of one’s fingers and can be detrimental to the socialization of said animals. This occurs due to the fact that when one takes a cats claws away they are taking away one of their main protective mechanisms that they evolved to have. It also increases a cat’s chances to become a bite risk, which can eventually lead to the euthanesia of said animal. So let’s take time to appreciate our furry friends through giving them the tools and enrichment they need to be successful in our homes.
- A Frame (I used an 18x 24 inch one)
Note: This scratcher may be used horizontally or vertically so choose a frame that will fit your space and needs ( I have a very large cat, and my friend has three so we chose to use large frames but pick what fits best for your family)
- Carpeting ( Sustainability tip- Look online to find recycled carpet or carpet scraps to give new life to old materials)
(Cat Tip- If you have carpeting installed in your dwelling choose a different type of carpeting for your scratcher to encourage scratching behaviour on a different texture rather than your flooring. For example if you have looped carpeting, pick an outdoor material or vice versa)
- Hot Glue
- A hot Glue Gun
- Permanent Marker
- Pom Poms
- Jumbo Fuzzy Sticks
Step 1: Remove the Plastic or glass front piece and set the cardboard aside for later use.
Step 2: Lay your frame over your carpet to see which way you will want to cut it.
Step 3: Flip your carpet around and trace an outline of the frame backing by using a permanent marker.
Step 4: Cut out your Carpeting following the traced line.
Step 5: Place the carpeting over the frame to make sre that it’s size will work ( The goal is to glue it around the frame, that way it can be removed and replaced with other carpeting once it has ben worn down)
Note: Steps 6- 11 are optional, however they do add some safety features and enrichment activities that may be beneficial for your household.
Step 6: Wrap a jumbo fuzzy stick around the frame, loop over at the midway point and twist.
Step 7: Repeat step 6 as many times as desired. (Note: My friend has three cats so we chose to use one color for each of them).
Step 8: Place hot glue on a pom pom and press it to the end of the jumbo fuzzy stick
Step 9: Repeat step 8 for all of the ends of the jumbo fuzzy sticks that are sticking out ( This prevents cats and young children from injuring their eyes as there is a wire in the jumbo fuzzy sticks)
Step 11: Hot glue one trio of the pom poms to each corner of the frame (Gluing pom poms in place at the corners will reduce the chance of injury for cats and youth if the scratcher is not properly secured)
Step 12: Hot Glue the carpeting to the edges of the frame and press down
Now that I’ve done it, it’s your turn to try it out for yourself. I hope that your cats enjoy these scratchers as much as mine and my friends do! If you have any suggestions or changes that you made we would love to see them, so make sure to post your results with #american-sustainability on Instagram for a chance to get a shout out in one of our future posts! If you want inspiration for an alternative way to decorate it take a look below. Stay tuned and stay sustainable.