Sometimes to get the most effective affordable cardboard scratcher cat shelf we have to improvise just a little bit. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be hard, or even that it’s going to be expensive.
We only really need a few things to turn this PetFusion cardboard cat scratcher into a fully functional DIY cat shelf.
- The scratcher itself
- L brackets
- Stud finder
- Either a traditional screwdriver or a drill
- Leveler of some kind
- Tape measure
- Maybe some drywall anchors
Let’s take a look at the scratcher a little closer so you can see how this will really come together. And if you want to see it in practice, I got the idea for this from a really glorious Amazon review which you can look at over here.
The shape of this particular affordable yet strong cat scratcher really lends itself to being turned into a really awesome cat shelf. It’s got a lovely dip/bowl shape for the cat to snuggle on, and a rounded loop that will let you attach it to the wall with the L brackets.
It’s made of really strong cardboard so that your cat can scratch all day long and the scratcher won’t be out of commission. They can also lay and romp on it as much as they want and you shouldn’t have to worry.
Turning this into a cat shelf is probably one of the most simple cat shelf DIY’s you are going to find out there.
First, and most obvious step is to gather all your materials, the scratcher, L brackets, stud finder, screws and drill/screwdriver, tape measure, leveler, ect. Pick the place in your house where you want your new affordable cardboard scratcher cat shelf to be and using a stud finder, find the stud closest to that location.
If you don’t have a stud finder, here is a really cheap but effective one, or you could borrow one from a neighbor or handyman family member!
I would highly recommend that you anchor this (or any shelf really) into at least one stud, two if possible. If the spacing on your wall studs doesn’t allow for you to anchor into two studs, you’ll also want some drywall anchors.
For a more in depth and visual explanation of how to install shelving, including finding your studs and where you’ll want to put it, I found this excellent video.
Once you’ve found your location, you’ll want to mark out where you want it on the wall, and using whatever leveling system you are going to use, you want to make sure it’s going straight across, AKA perfectly level or horizontal.
The cheapest way if you don’t have any of the fancy equipment or you don’t think you can borrow any from a neighbor, would be using string to level. If you buy the stud finder I have linked, it has a little water level attached, I’d use that plus some string. I’d tape string to the wall, just a little farther to the side of where I was going to screw in my shelving.
Then, take the string or yarn and stretch it out across the wall until you’ve reached past where the other end of the shelf will be anchored.
Using either a water level you already have or the one built into the stud finder, I would then us that, carefully going across the length of the string, adjusting and retaping it as needed until you have a level line. Once you are sure it’s completely level, use your pencil and tape measure and make all your marks!
On the marks you’ve made, you’ll want to line up your L brackets and drill the holes into your wall, then attach your brackets using your screws. From there, once you are sure the brackets are secure, you should be able to slide the scratcher into place.
If you are wanting other affordable or cheap cat shelf solutions that don’t require as much work on your part, there is an entire list of cool shelves for the frugal over here!
I hope that this at least gave you some serious inspiration or helped you figure out how to turn this affordable cardboard scratcher into a shelf for your cats, it might seem a bit intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never done anything like this before, but it really is simple and your cats will love you for it.