Make a cat cactus

Pet owners know that cats aren’t the easiest creatures to entertain: they are extremely picky – if they don’t like something you buy, they won’t give it a second glance. Luckily, this DIY doubles as a fun craft project for the gardeners too – a cactus cat scratcher that can transform into a décor project for your greenhouse, or maybe a coat rack, if your fussy fluffy friend is unimpressed.

You will need

  • 3 rolls of twine
  • Polystyrene balls
  • PVC pipes and joints, for the cactus stem (we used 50mm pipe and 45° joints)
  • Pet-friendly green paint
  • A 300 x 300mm x 20mm wooden block for the base
  • A 300 x 300mm small rug or tight woven
  • carpet/floormat
  • 3 x 60mm x 18mm brackets
  • 3.5mm x 20mm screws
  • 3.5mm x 40mm screws
  • Artificial flowers

Tools: hacksaw, clamp, glue gun and glue sticks, cordless drill, 3mm universal drill bit, Philips driver bit, craft knife, paintbrush


1. Cut a cross into the middle of the mat for the PVC pipe to fit through.

2. Cut a 700mm length of PVC pipe and secure this to the base with brackets and 20mm screws.

3. Slip the mat over the PVC pipe and glue it to the base.

4. Cut a new piece of PVC pipe at a 45° angle – this angled end will be secured to the main stem.

5. Use PVC joints and pieces of PVC to make ‘branches’. Mark where the branches will go on the main stem.

6. Drill a pilot hole into the 45° end of each branch and the main stem and secure with 40mm screw.

7. Glue a polystyrene ball into the open end of each PVC pipe.

8. Wrap twine around the PVC pipes, starting from the base and working up, making sure to glue the twine to the pipe as you go along. Wrap the side branches individually. Do the same for the sides of the base. 

9. Once the glue has dried, paint the twine with a pet-safe green paint. 10. Glue flowers to tops and open areas where side stems meet the main stem.

The Gardener