Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad

A few months ago, I was in a home where I noticed a cat very enthusiastically tearing into a cardboard scratching mat. It was tucked under a desk, surrounded by little piles of shredded cardboard. I immediately thought that this would be something that our cats would love, especially Biscotti given her habit of scratching any paper that is left on the floor.

I looked around and found that it is possible to purchase such an item. However, it also looked easy enough to make so I started saving corrugated cardboard instead of recycling it.

We amassed quite a pile of cardboard in the basement, and last night Eric hinted that perhaps it would be possible for me to do something with all that cardboard in order to tidy up the area around the recycle bin that we dedicate to paper/cardboard products. I suddenly felt in the mood to work on this project. I finished it today and decided to take a few photos to share the project and the resulting happy kitties.

Supplies:

  • Boxcutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Metal ruler
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes
  • Frame for outside of pad – a box lid or shallow box that is the desired size for the pad
  • Hot glue gun (I used a high-temp one)
  • Dried catnip (optional)

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad

Instructions:

1. Measure the dimensions of the frame. I used a lid from a Bed Bath & Beyond gift box with dimensions of 15 ¼” square by 3” tall.

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad

2. Cut cardboard strips to fit inside the frame. Mine were 15 ¼” by 3”. Make sure to cut it in such a way that the opening of the corrugated channels will be “up” when the pad is assembled, creating small holes so that the cats have something to sink their claws into (see photo – I am not sure how to describe this better).
Cut enough strips to fill the frame. It should be a tight fit. I used about 7 medium boxes for this. I saved the pieces that were too small for later (I have a second “frame” that I may use later, which is considerably more narrow).

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad
3. Start gluing the strips in the frame. I did this by spreading some glue zig-zag style, about an inch wide, along the bottom edge. I then pressed an inch-thick stack of strips into the hot glue. I firmly held the strips in place (squeezing them against the edge of the frame) until the glue was dried. Then I made another inch strip of glue and repeated. While doing this, I sprinkled some catnip in the bottom of the box lid so that it was glued into place.

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad
4. Once all the strips were in place, I ran the glue gun around the inside edge of the box lid on all four sides, liberally spreading glue between the frame and cardboard strips to ensure that the sides stay tight against the cardboard strips.

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad
5. I dusted the top with some additional catnip, and rubbed it into the corrugated channels.

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad
6. Voila! Done. Now, present new scratching pad to eager cats…

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad

Upcycled Cardboard Scratching Pad

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