Repurposed Cat Scratcher: It’s “GRATE”!

Repurposed Cat Scratcher: It’s “GRATE”!

I have to admit- cat scratchers are hit-or-miss in this house. Wrigley rarely, if ever, uses them and Cottonball loves some scratchers…while ignoring others completely, with no rhyme or reason to his reaction either way.

Developing this project happened somewhat accidentally- I bought this piece as a component of another cat-related project (also from Olde Faithful’s Antique Mall), but ended up not using it- an old, large, completely dull and somewhat rusty kitchen grater.

Vintage antique kitchen grater for repurposing /

Definitely in need of a new purpose in life…

The only reason I bought it was because it was so dull- I’m usually a little afraid of repurposed graters because I am typically averse to sharp things….especially sharp OLD things that look like a prop from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But this one had been used so much that it was now just bumpy.

So I gathered my repurposing thoughts and decided to move forward with it as a hanging cat scratcher! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Let’s Create a Cat Scratcher

I loved the fact that the dull grater was like a “basket” of sorts, and decided to turn it into a holder. But the bottom was open and needed to be covered.

Antique kitchen grater from Olde Faithful's Antique Mall /

It looks scarier than it feels- trust me!

I looked through my vast collection of fabric remnants and found some stiff canvas that I had gotten for super cheap. So, I cut out a trapezoid-shaped piece of canvas and constructed a makeshift “diaper” of sorts. I know that sounds really weird, and while I really don’t know anything about diapers, I’m pretty sure this was, at the very least, diaper-esque.

And because I really didn’t want to permanently commit this vintage piece and ruin it with any glue, I used a curved needle to sew the canvas to the holes of the grater, while stitching the canvas “diaper” to itself snugly to keep it in place.

Covering an old kitchen grater with canvas fabric /

Commence wrapping!

Even though the grater was super dull, I still wanted to cover it up with fabric before turning it into a scratcher for the cats. I’m a pretty protective cat-mom, after all.

So, using the same canvas remnant, I cut out a long strip and hemmed the raw edges on my sewing machine. I then wrapped it around the grater like an Ace bandage- overlapping it and then stitching it to itself to keep it snugly in place. Again, no glue was used.

Wrapping an antique grater with canvas fabric /

See where I’m going with this?

Once the metal grater was completely covered, it was time to add the sisal rope (i.e., the stuff that cats love to scratch on)!

Sisal rope for DIY cat scratcher /

Good for cat claws!

For this part, I did break out the fabric glue– but just to glue the rope to the canvas. I glued one end of the rope across the back of the scratcher, and used super stretchy rubber bands to hold it in place.

Adding sisal rope to DIY cat scratcher /

Looks funny, but I promise it’ll turn out well!

Once the end had dried, I simply wrapped the rope tightly around and around. I added a bead of glue each time to the front, and every other layer to the back. When I was done wrapping and gluing, I threaded some rope through the hole on the handle, and hung it from a door knob. Isn’t that the perfect scratcher?

DIY cat scratcher using antique kitchen grater /


But, wait- that’s not all! (said in an infomercial voice)

Since I had covered up the bottom with canvas, I could add a cat toy to it and entice my little furbabies to use to the scratcher.

DIY cat scratcher from a repurposed vintage kitchen grater /

Kitty bribery!

The Big Reveal

How fun is that?? In fact, you can’t even tell this is/was an old, dull kitchen grater. AND since nothing is permanently attached to the wood or metal, it’s really not ruined at all.

DIY cat scratcher from a repurposed vintage kitchen tool /

AND it actually looks decent enough to leave out in the open.

Cottonball is already checking it out- mission accomplished!

Craft on!


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  1. Wrigley (or is it Cottonball in the picture?) is just gorgeous, Sarah !!! What a fun idea to create a cat scratcher from the grater. I hope the kitties will use it. Sending some belly rubs for them. 🙂

  2. I hope that Cottonball uses it, My cat seems to only like the cardboard ones. They are messy but distract her from the woodwork in the house.

  3. My cats would love one! Pinned & shared. Thanks for joining us at the Inspiration Spotlight party.

  4. That’s really clever!! And now it is completely safe, nothing like something from the Texas Chainsaw massacre. Thanks for sharing your link at the #HomeMattersParty !

  5. Really cool idea! We have a kitten so this will come in handy. Thanks for sharing at Two Uses Tuesday!

  6. This turned out really well, If I ever see something similar I will try it. I like the fact that you could put catnip sachets inside too.

  7. Very cool and fun project! One of my cats likes to scratch, the other doesn’t seem to care. Who knows what cats are thinking! Love this project, shared on my FB page this morning. #merrymonday

  8. This is a great project indeed 🙂 I love how you repurposed this old grater into something greater! Just loving the puns here, lol! You’ve given me some inspiration, as we have a cat who likes to scratch. I need to get some of this twine and find something to cover as well. Awesome idea! 🙂

    • Haha, you win the pun award!! 😉 Thank you so much!!! Another reader said her cats love to claw on chair legs, so she’s going to wrap them to protect the wood- isn’t that awesome??

  9. Sarah this is so fabulous for us pet lovers. I have lots of pets in my house so I know what it is like to live with the not so lovely toys and pet items clashing with the décor. This is brilliant. Thank you for adding it to the Celebrate Your Story! Link Party Blessings – Jenny

  10. Perfect!! Very creative. I hope your kitties appreciate it! My kitties prefer my rugs and furniture to the cat scratchers I have around. I think that is typical!

  11. Well arent you clever, great re-purposed project. It does look great to hang anywhere.
    Our cats like carpet and the cardboard scratches.
    Thanks for sharing on the #OMHGWW this week.

    Have a great week!

  12. This was a fun post ( from a cat owner! 🙂

  13. I am always amazed at what creative people like you come up with! What a great idea! I don’t have a cat, but I would have looked at that and the only idea I would have had was to hang it up for interest on a wall in the kitchen. Kudos to you! Thank you for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  14. Brilliant! We are always in need of cat scratchers in this house and this would be perfect. Now I need to noodle a way to something similar, unless of course i can find an old grater like you did. Guess I just need to head to the thrift store! Love a good reason to head to the thrift store…so thanks!
    Anyways, happy Wednesday! Hope Spring is popping in your neighborhood.
    Hugs, LYnn

  15. Great idea! My cats love sisal. My husband made a 4 level “tree” for our cats and we wrapped sisal around it and it has really decreased the amount of scratching they do on the kitchen chairs!

  16. You really are smart! Thanks for sharing this at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. 🙂

  17. This is amazing!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. We are so glad you are here.

  18. This is such a great idea- I bet your kitty will love it. Your cat is pretty- looks cuddly. Thanks for sharing on Thoughts of Home!

  19. Lovely!

  20. Sarah, How do you come up with these ideas? They are so brilliant! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  21. What a neat and creative idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  22. Neat idea! Have you ever thought of sharing your projects on YouTube? We definitely appreciate you sharing them at Celebrate Your Story!

  23. Sarah, another great idea come to life. Hope your kitty is happy. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm this week. sb

  24. I don’t know if my cats would use it but it is certainly worth making one to find out. It is a very goodlooking catscratcher.

  25. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    Sarah this is brilliant. You know that you are the queen of the repurposes right? Your cats must be so happy with it. Pinning.

  26. My cats need this!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

  27. Cottonball is adorable!! : ) Great DIY – awesome project!

  28. I have one rescue declawed cat from the shellter and he “scratches” especially cardboard boxes to leave his scent. I say “Squeak, we know this is your territory” and he stops! Coincidence? Basting the rope with a bit of catnip tea may help attract them to the scratcher if they like catnip!

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