This plywood book or magazine rack, wrapped in natural rope that's secured with staples, doubles as a do-it-yourself cat scratcher.

cat scratcher magazine rack
CHELSEA CAVANAUGH

Cats need a stimulating home environment with toys, furniture, and objects for her to scratch and climb. When choosing upholstery materials will stand up best to my cat's claws, performance fabrics made from synthetic fibers, like ultra-durable polyester and acrylic, are engineered to resist wear and tear. They also have smooth surfaces, so "they don't provide enough resistance for a cat to get a good grip on to begin with," says Christina Ha, cofounder of the New York City cat café Meow Parlor. Avoid uneven materials such as bouclé or woven linen, as well as rugs made of sisal, jute, or hemp—they'll be catnip to active paws.

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of pet care projects and cat crafts.

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Have plywood cut to size at the hardware store; also have them cut a notch in the center so the two pieces fit together (or cut the wood yourself with the jigsaw or hacksaw). Lightly sand first with medium-grit paper, then with fine-grit, to eliminate any rough edges or splinters.

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Step 2

Slot the pieces of wood together at the notches to create an X shape. Secure one end of rope with a staple to underside of one leg, then wrap leg with rope, as shown. When done, cut rope and secure other end to underside of leg with another staple; adjust to hide staples as desired.

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