How to Build a Cat Scratch Box From Scrap Wood and Cardboard

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This past weekend I built the cats a scratch box so they would stop destroying the furniture… carpet… car tires… pants… need I go on?

And sure, you could go to the store and buy one which would last a few months and then need replacing, but why would you do that when you could make a long-lasting one for free? It is a really simple process that I completed in less than 2 hours. Here’s how.

First up, materials. You only need a few items:

  • Some scrap 2×4 wood pieces
  • A saw to cut said 2×4 wood pieces if necessary
  • Cardboard box(es)
  • Wood nails
  • Wood glue
  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper
  • A drill or electric screwdriver
  • Catnip

Got all that? Good. Told you this was simple! Now, on to the building of the cat scratch box:

  1. Cut and arrange your 2×4 pieces into a rectangular box. I made a box that was X INCHES BY X INCHES for no other reason than because that was the length of the two pieces of 2×4 I already had ready to go in my garage. I then cut the 2 smaller pieces to go between them.
  2. Using wood glue and wood screws, assemble the box. I used bar clamps to hold the pieces together during this process, but you could get away with not using them. Combined with the glue, just 2 wood screws on each end makes the box solid enough that it won’t break. I then lightly sanded the hard edges and any rough patches. Set aside the box for now.
  3. Here comes the fun part – cutting the strips of cardboard. Measure the length and height of the space inside the box; this is how long and wide the cardboard strips will be cut to. Depending on the size of the box, you may need a lot of these strips or just a few. For mine, I had to do quite a bit of cardboard cutting to fill the box. As you cut the strips, just fill the space in the box from side to side until you can’t fit any more pieces in, making the cardboard sit in there tight. That way the cats won’t be able to pull them out!
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