Momma Told Me: D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial Or How To Convince Your Cat They Want To Destroy Something

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Monday, March 21, 2016

D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial Or How To Convince Your Cat They Want To Destroy Something

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Find IAMS™ cat food and treats at your local Walmart, The IAMS™ cat range features a variety of specially formulated recipes to target your cat's individual needs from hairball care and prevention to digestive health and oral care. #IAMSCat (AD)
Momma Told Me: We only exist to serve them.

Truffles, like most domesticated cats, likes to think she runs things around here. When Jay and I first moved in together I made sure he provided her daily meals for a period of time, until they had established a relationship. Before him it had always just been Truffles and I, so there was, understandably, some animosity. But delicious food found a path from her stomach to her heart and Truffles was soon enough accepting enough to share her home.
Find IAMS™ cat food and treats at your local Walmart, The IAMS™ cat range features a variety of specially formulated recipes to target your cat's individual needs from hairball care and prevention to digestive health and oral care. #IAMSCat (AD)
Well, recently we changed Truffles routine yet again when we dropped her dry food meals down to a single portion in the morning. Understandably, she didn't catch on to the concept of portioning right away so I began insisting Jay give Truffles a secondary portion of food, or helping of treats, right before we went to bed. That stopped the hassle of a 'starving' cat wandering the hallways, demanding food at all hours, but it also brought back an old tradition. One Truffles is not about to let go.

Now, instead of random meowing throughout the day, she parks herself outside the bedroom door desperately trying to pry it open, screaming in all tones, until her father gets home (or back up) and feeds her her justly due treats.
Find IAMS™ cat food and treats at your local Walmart, The IAMS™ cat range features a variety of specially formulated recipes to target your cat's individual needs from hairball care and prevention to digestive health and oral care. #IAMSCat (AD)
Now, Truffles would have you believe she's been wronged with this new dietary arrangement, and her parents, like all are, are incredibly unfair, and uncool. But I'll have you know that Truffles is by far the most spoiled cat I know. Aside from constant attention (whether she wants it or not,) and a plethora of furniture, loungers, and toys, Truffles never wants for flavor or food. When I have to run into Walmart for even the quickest trip, I am always sure to stop down the pet aisle on a search for her favorite IAMS™ Purrfect Delights Canned wet food, and anything new which might catch my eye. Walmart has a large selection of pet food, including IAMS™ Proactive Health dry cat food, which comes in specially formulated recipes designed to target your cat's unique needs.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
Of course one can't leave the store without buying some cat treats as well- Did I mention this was one spoiled cat? 'Treat' should be her middle name- from back scratches and sunbathing to handmade toys and IAMS™ Chicken Flavor Hairball Care Daily Treats, available at Walmart now in a Mega Bag. But some fresh IAMS™ cans and treats wasn't going to be enough to ease my guilt about cutting mealtime down to just once a day. No, this cat mom had to go the extra mile. So I came up with a ridiculously simple, pretty much free (don't tell Truffles that) project to make a cardboard cat scratcher.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
First you're going to want to gather the following materials:


Exacto/Utility Knife
A Cardboard Box In Good Shape
Scrap Cardboard
Straight Edge For Cutting Along
Colored Duct Tape (For Decoration)

To answer a few quick questions- You will want to choose a cardboard box that is about 3 times the base surface area of your cat 'loafed.' Your cat should comfortably be able to sleep and lounge in the box. If you're lucky, and you leave the box lying around, your cat will inspect this part for you, if not, eyeball it for general judgement. We went with a box about 12" x 20". For your scrap cardboard try and choose one, large, box, broken down. Ideally you will be able to cut all of the cardboard needed from one large box- if not, try to find boxes that are uniform in wall thickness.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
You'll want to being by turning your box into a narrow base/tray. Do this by measuring a border approximately 2" tall from the floor of the box. In our case we had a level that happened to be longer than the box and exactly 2" in width, so we used it as a guide while cutting. You may have to use whatever tools you have on hand- a stainless steel rule, scrap of plywood, or such can work just the same. While cutting be sure to move slowly alongside your straight edge, as to not dig into it. And, always work on a flat, stable, surface in a spacious work space.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
Once you have your box base trimmed to size you may wish to wrap and line the inner edges with your duct tape of choice. Looking back I wish I had done the inside walls with duct tape, to add that extra pop of color and reflection on the cardboard.

Next will be a lot of repetition. If you have a high quality, thick, shipping box you'll require less strips to fill your base. To make the best use of your scrap cardboard, flatten any boxed you may be using and cut long strips to match the width of your box base. Next cut 2" strips until you have cut enough strips to fill your base. The strips should all fit side by side tightly- you may even have to force the last 1 or 2 in. The tighter they are, the more friction your cat will have when scratching and the less likely any of the boards will kick up during use.

DO NOT attempt to cut more than one strip at a time, as this could be dangerous.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
With your box base now officially a scratcher, stuffed with lovingly cut fresh smelling cardboard strips, you'll want to personalize it to give it a little pizzaz. Go ahead and wrap the outside with some colored duct tape and scribble your cat's name on the side. It doesn't have to be a work of art- this is intended to be ripped apart and destroyed, after all.

Now the next step is crucial.

Throw your shiny new homemade cardboard cat scratcher on the floor with absolutely no concern and walk away as though it were trash. Even the slightest aura of concern or pride could communicate the wrong message to your cat. Remember- they know best. And they do what they want. When they want.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
Do not be dismayed if your cat shows absolutely no sign of interest.

In fact, it is highly likely your cat will stand near the scratcher, walk past the scratcher, jump over the scratcher, and entirely ignore the scratcher for a period of time. They're testing you. Remain vigilant, hold your ground. You don't care if they ever notice it exists. You made that for you, not them, and you're happy with it laying on the floor like a grade school art project.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
But just one little sniff....surely your cat could be bothered to show some interest.

Nope....they will even stand directly behind your shiny new cardboard cat scratcher and stare at you mockingly. You may even begin to have a conversation with your cat in your head. You know that look. It's the "I know what you want me to do, and it's the last thing you're going to see me do." look.

Because they are a cat. And cats do what cats want.

On their own terms.
Find IAMS™ cat food and treats at your local Walmart, The IAMS™ cat range features a variety of specially formulated recipes to target your cat's individual needs from hairball care and prevention to digestive health and oral care. #IAMSCat (AD)
Find IAMS™ cat food and treats at your local Walmart, The IAMS™ cat range features a variety of specially formulated recipes to target your cat's individual needs from hairball care and prevention to digestive health and oral care. #IAMSCat (AD)Find IAMS™ cat food and treats at your local Walmart, The IAMS™ cat range features a variety of specially formulated recipes to target your cat's individual needs from hairball care and prevention to digestive health and oral care. #IAMSCat (AD)
After a while you'll forget why you're so genuinely annoyed at the stubbornness of your cat. Then you'll think- maybe if I reward them, they'll be happy- then they'll play with my scratcher.

Yes, that will work. For sure.

So, go grab a can of the IAMS™ Purrfect Delights you picked up at Walmart and treat your cat to some flaked tuna and mackerel in sauce. Just don't be surprised if they continue to glare at you from behind the scratcher. Even while a fresh plate of delicious cat food sits conveniently just to the side. It's too late. Your cat knows. It's a bribe.

And the best thing you can do is just leave the room.
You'll return to an empty dish, of course.

At least you got your way with something. Kinda.

 Now's a good time to admit again that the cat really does call the shots. You're only there to serve them. They only allow you to feel as though they need you. So give your cat a scratch behind the ear, make absolutely no eye contact with the offending 'scratcher in the room,' and go about your day.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
Once you've shown sufficient enough disregard, and even contempt for the cardboard scratcher you so lovingly made for your cat, your cat will decide the lesson is over. At which point the scratcher is now the coolest thing in the house. After all, it can be laid on, destroyed, and even hauled halfway through the house in the middle of the night. It's pretty freakin' awesome.

Just don't let your cat catch you getting any satisfaction out of those crinkled shredding noises.
D.I.Y. Cardboard Cat Scratcher Tutorial- Easy and almost free! #IAMSCat (AD)
Yup. Cats are fickle, and Truffles is no exception. She is the queen- after all, for the longest time she DID have more Facebook fans than me. But, at the end of the day, I'm still her parent. I may let her think she makes all the decisions when I put two cans of food in front of her and wait for her to 'choose,' but I'm the one picking them out off the shelf in the first place. Discover more feline stories and pawwsitively creative cat projects on the IAMS™ Walmart social hub. Keep up with the brand, and company of fellow cat lovers, on the IAMS™ Twitter feed.

For those wondering, Truffles now lounges on her scratcher every chance she gets- especially in the window soaking up the sun. As for scratching? It's held up great through multiple daily 'therapy' sessions.

What Daughter Says: I stopped trying to negotiate with the cat a long time ago. I've been much happier ever since.

9 comments:

  1. I feed my cat IAMS food, she loves it! The DIY cat scratcher looks so cute! I love your pics your cat is adorable

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  2. Truffles looks very happy and I am amazed at how cooperative she is! I can barely even get my dog to sit still long enough to snap a photo!

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  3. Oh what a little cutie pie. I love the scratcher you made. We feed our cats the dry Iams and they like it!

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  4. I stopped trying to figure out my pets.They do what they want, when they want. Sounds like Truffles is well loved and well fed.

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  5. I love the raised feeding stand. The cat in my house is probably the messiest cat ever - food is everywhere. And IAMS looks delicious

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  6. I have two very contrary cats. I will have to make this scratcher for them! They might like it! lol

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  7. This is such a neat idea, I love the idea of making your own cat scratcher. I bet your kitty is super happy!

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  8. This is such a great idea! If I had a cat I would make it a scratch post too because I would not want it scratching the furniture.

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  9. Truffles is a beautiful cat. And a much loved cat. I'm glad she has accepted the scratcher you so lovingly made for her. May you both enjoy many years of her reign.

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