Why buy when you can DIY? Although at first glance it can seem as a challenge to create this project, we can assure you that it’s easier than you’d think!

In order to create this colorful DIY Cactus Cat Scratcher, you will only need a couple of easy-to-find materials and some patience - your kitten will surely appreciate your efforts.

What you need to build a cactus cat scratcher

  • 15”x 15” round plywood (the thicker and heavier the better)
  • 0.25” dia. natural sisal rope, 210 ft. long
  • Green dye (for 160 ft. of rope)
  • Glue sticks (make sure you buy lots, since you’ll need them for this project!)
  • Glue gun
  • Green spray paint
  • Electric drill
  • 4 wood screws
  • Stones or concrete to fill the ⅓  of the body of the scratcher
  • Fake or felt flowers (optional)
  • 2 single tees
  • 4” dia. plumbing pipe, 3.2 ft. long (or cut a longer one to size)
  • 1 pipe lid
  • 2 pieces of 90° elbow pipes
  • 2x3 inch polystyrene baubles

Tips and tricks

  • Make sure to use the appropriate dye for the rope. The textile dye must be toxin-free and suitable for dying sisal rope.
  • The materials used for this project can be found at most hardware stores, however, it’s worth having a look around your house - you might get surprised by finding a couple useful materials among the scraps.
  • Take your cat’s size into consideration - although this project should work fine for the average sized cat, if your cat is larger, you may want to opt for a wider base in order to keep your scratching post secure.
  • Although this should go without saying, wear gloves when working with textile dye, in order to prevent having to explain having green fingers the next day at work!
  • If your cat hasn’t used a scratcher before, you may want to look up some tricks on how to get them to use this scratching post. Usually, a little catnip and patience should do the trick.


Step 1 Prepare your supplies for the base

Take a round wood board (as thick as possible), a drill, 4 wood screws and the lid of the plumbing pipe.

Step 2 Pre-drill the lid like it is shown on the photo

Mark the spots where the screws are supposed to go on the board, using a pencil. Secure the lid to the board with wood screws.

Step 3 Creating the body of the cactus  

Insert a 1 meter long plumbing pipe on the lid and secure it with hot glue.


Step 4 Weighing the Pipe Down

Take the pipe and fill it with stones, concrete or cement until it’s ⅓ full. This will help to keep your structure stable.

Step 5 Creating the Arms of the Cactus

Take one of the pipe connectors and connect it with one of the 90° elbow pipes.

Step 6 Attaching the Arms

Attach the structure that you have achieved in the previous step to the base. Repeat these steps in order to achieve the cactus look.


Step 7 Adding the Tops

Take two polystyrene baubles and cut them in half. Now glue them to the open ends of the structure, including the two arms and the top of the cactus shape.

Step 8 Painting the Cactus

Use green spray paint to cover the whole structure in order to prevent the gray color of the pipes showing through.

Step 9 Dying the Rope

Dye the majority of the rope with green textile dye - make sure to use a pet-safe brand. The length of the rope dyed green should be around 160 feet.

Step 10 Gluing the Rope

Start glue gunning the rope to the pipe from the base to the first junction.


Step 11 Continuing at the Junctions

When you reach the junctions, glue on smaller pieces of rope. Make them a little longer, so you can cover the ends with glue  in the next step.


Step 12 Covering the arms

Continue wrapping the rope around the elbow, while making sure that the ends sticking are covered completely. Repeat these steps when covering the other elbow.


Step 13 Covering the base

Now it’s time to cover the base. Use the remaining rope that you haven’t dyed in the previous steps and secure it with a glue gun.


Step 14 Adding decorations

Optionally decorate your cactus shape with some fake or felt flowers for an extra touch of cuteness.


Step 15 Enjoy!

Congratulations! You have finished the project and have an awesome new accessory to surprise your feline friend with. Enjoy!