When Your Cat Can’t Get Enough Scratches.

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Let’s talk about cats, cat food, and cat scratching! I’ve put much thought into all three.

I don’t know about you, but my cat could easily be scratched and pet 24/7, if it were up to her. Mostly it IS up to her, but sometimes I have to draw the line – like when I’m editing photos, writing a blog post, or even using FB Live! There are four members of my family, and plenty of scratches to go around, but then I got the idea to build Penny something special. It had to be possible, right? A self-scratching station for a cat? A place of comfort? It turns out – it CAN be done, and it’s easy too!

First, let’s talk about the food that powers my active, cuddly, self-scratching cat!

You all know the story! We got our kitten over Thanksgiving break. Her name is Penny and she was rescued in New Jersey. Since I live in New England and was looking up here for a rescue kitten or cat, with no luck, I decided to take the chance over Thanksgiving break when I was visiting my family for the holiday. Penny was being fostered by a blogger friend and I applied to adopt her and it went through! She is gorgeous, photogenic, over-friendly, and beautiful. She’s white with one blue eye and one green eye. I absolutely love her and only feed her cat food I can feel good about – like Rachael Ray™ Nutrish®.

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® can be found at a wide variety of quality retailers where your family shops already, as well as online at Amazon.com. You can buy both wet and dry fat food varieties. I get mine at Walmart in the cat food section.

Penny’s a fan of Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Grain Free Wet Food For Cats. She likes that each delicious, wholesome recipe is made with real chicken or seafood. I like that there are never any grains, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives, meat by-products, or fillers. Just essential vitamins, minerals and taurine. Available in these recipes: Chicken & Shrimp Pawttenesca™, Chicken & Salmon Catterole™, Chicken Purrcata®, Paw Lickin’ Chicken & Liver, Tuna Purrfection™, Ocean Fish-a-licious®, Lip Smackin’ Sardine ‘N Mackerel, Ocean Fish & Chicken Catch-iatore, Chicken Lovers Variety Pack, Ocean Lovers Variety Pack.

There are also are fantastic varieties of Zero Grain Dry Food For Cats. In the Chicken & Potato Recipe, for example, U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient, providing essential nutrients to help support healthy organs and lean muscle mass.

Now let’s talk about DIY self-scratching pads/stations!

We have a carpet square that Penny loves to sleep on that I used as part of the base. You’d want to find a base board (roughly 12×12, if you can), as well as some sort of fabric or carpet to cover the board. It depends on how strong you need your base to be. I find that gluing a carpet square onto a base board is plenty strong and comfortable! Here’s what you will need:

Board (maybe 12×12 although ours is bigger)
Carpet square or fabric of choice patch to cover the board (and be comfy for cat)
Padding (optional)
IMPORTANT: Either two toilet brushes OR long, thing duster if you can find one
Drill and set of drill bits
Staple gun (optional)
Sharp blade
Expanding glue – Guerrilla Glue or hot glue

1. Disassemble the toilet brushes with a wire cutter. Pull out bristles at the end to leave just plain wire. In my case, I had used a long duster, because it’s softer and longer. I still needed wire cutters, to remove the handle.

2. If you are using two toilet brushes, connect them together with a small square of scrap wood and hot glue. Disregard if you’re using a long, thin duster. Shape the duster into an arch to be the self-petting station.

3. If you’re using padding and/or fabric over the base, place it over the wooden board, wrap it, and secure it with a staple gun. I used a carpet because Penny loves this slab, and because she likes to sharpen her claws on it.

4. Drill the holes in the base. Hold the toilet brushes or duster in an arch, and mark where you want the holes to be. Cut away a small hole. Drill the holes, but not all the way through. Fill them with the Guerrilla Glue.

5. Shove the ends of the toilet brushes or duster in! Done!

With the help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish® super-premium food and treats for dogs in 2007 – inspired by recipes from her own kitchen. Nutrish® was excited to grow into the world of cat food in 2014. Just like the human meals and recipes you love to feed your family, these recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-products or fillers. They use real, wholesome, and delicious ingredients for cats.

Rachael Ray’s personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue – created to help shelter pets in need. To date, she has donated over $14MM, and it has gone towards food, medical supplies, and treatments for unfortunate animals.

For more info about #NutrishCatCrafts, go HERE.
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Check out the Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Cat brand Pinterest page to discover more fun tutorials and other awesome cat-related content. Have you ever made a special craft for your cat?

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52 Comments

  1. If we ever get a kitten, you know I am going to have to totally try to make this! But seriously thank you for sharing and sure many cat owners will be able to use this tutorial to help with cat scratching now!!

  2. I’m not that nifty when it comes to making something like this. I think I’ll need your Cassidy. 🙂 I do feed my cat Rachel Ray but the dry food. They love it and I’ve never had any problems with her food. I’ve used her dog food in the past as well but my dogs weren’t fans. 🙁

    1. Cassidy can do this in five minutes! Me? Maybe five hours.
      I’m glad your cats liked the food! Usually cats are more picky than dogs.

  3. We bought something similar, paid an outrageous price, and the cat wouldn’t touch the scratcher- She rubs on everything else in sight. I bet if she knew I made her one, special, she’d love it! #client

    1. Oh, isn’t that funny? Just like a cat. I remember when mine settled right inside the lid to my son’s puzzle… after we had bought her a cushy bed!

  4. Now that looks pretty simple! I wonder if the bunny would like it? I bet yes! It would sure relive the whole him trying to trip me when I walk. What can Rachel Ray not make look delicious!

  5. Oh gosh this is genius! I would have loved to have made this for our Callie when she was around. Yes, she could be scratched all day too!

  6. We had cats growing up, and I love having them as pets. My husband is allergic, so no cats for me now. Penny is the most gorgeous kitty!

  7. Your header picture is absolutely stunning! Sadly, I am allergic to cats. And not the watery eyes allergic, the throat closing allergic! 😬 Makes hanging out with cats a real walk on the wild side!

    1. Thanks about the header photo! A lot of people are allergic to cats – I think more than dogs. And that would be no fun to have your throat close. Uncool!

  8. lol. my cat is one of my favorite topics! That self-scratcher is a great idea. Like most cats, mine likes to have her head rubbed. One day in my home office, I had an unplugged space heater. The cat took the cord not far from the plug and held it with her front paws and used the plug to rub her head!! Who says cats can’t make tools??

    1. Now that is the most clever thing ever! That story makes me smile. I like the way they close their eyes when you touch a cat’s head or ears. It’s like a human must look if they’re going for a massage!

  9. My dog is like a cat. Sometimes we call him catdog, because he’s constantly… grooming himself in a catlike manner.
    My husband in a not-thinking-parenting-moment asked our dog to stop making love to his paw. 😀 It got a few laughs. Since we’ve moved to the PNW my dog has become quite the scratcher/sneezer… 🙁
    XO

    1. That used to be a show! Catdog! Nickelodeon! Anyone?? (am I dating myself here?)
      I wonder.. if you’ve ever made a video of your cat grooming himself! So funny.

  10. Our cat pretty much ignores us unless we have food. He never actually comes to us for scratches – you have to catch him unaware. Then he will enjoy it for about 4.3 seconds, until he realizes he is enjoying it, and then he will turn on you like a demon from hell. Or maybe that’s just the noisy kids. He tolerates me a little better because I am the one that works the can opener. But he has successfully scratched the carpet off the very last step of my stairs and one leather ottoman. I hated the carpet stairs – so um, thanks because now I can get newly stained wood stairs. But darn it, I really liked that ottoman. We made him a scratching post – he ignores it more than us.
    Cats are so tricky.

    1. Penny is his exact opposite, I think. Can’t go even an hour without scratches. She can go overnight, though. So there’s that.

      1. honestly, I don’t even know where our cat is right now. he hides – it’s only me here and even that is just Too Much Human for him. LOL

  11. I have my two kitties and a foster cat at my house right now… we could totally use one of these, there seems to always be someone asking to be pet!

  12. You seriously do have the most photogenic kitten! Leo usually just gives me this look of contempt when I try to photograph him. Though, like Penny, he could be petted and scratched all day (especially on his bellow!).
    Looks like a great cat toy! Hope she enjoys it 🙂

  13. Hi Tamara, Penny is a beautiful looking cat and your photos are lovely. We have no-longer-feral cats that living outside and the Mother cat would have made a lovely indoor cat as she loves being scratched a petted (not picked up though). Your scratching post would be perfect for any indoor cat, to get those extra scratches when it’s humans are busy.

    And I quite fancy some of the cat food myself!

    xx

    1. It’s a real feat to turn a feral cat into a no-longer-feral cat.

      I love that you’d eat cat food! Well when it’s good, it’s good.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear! It has taken me a long time to get new pets after losses. They’re family!
      I was using a Rachael Ray cutting board yesterday and just thinking about how she’s all over our house.

    1. Not wrong! You’re thinking of Dinah and Bella – our street cats. We tried so hard to make them pets but it never worked. Bella kept getting worms from being outside, and wouldn’t go in our house, so we took her to a no-kill cat home to get adopted by someone who could hopefully keep her as a pet. Dinah was a wild one – she used to roam the conservation area around our house. I hope she found a new home. The woods are so dangerous here. I learned a lesson, though. You can’t make feral cats into pets easily.

  14. She is indeed gorgeous! That is a brilliant idea. When I had my kitties, they would have loved that!
    I have heard great things about the Rachael Ray food.
    🙂
    Traci

  15. Your cat is just so beautiful! Love those eyes. Hopefully Nutrish will keep her happy and health for a long time!

  16. What a clever idea! Now if only I could find something to do something similar with my dog! He wants constant pets!

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