The $13 IKEA Find That Instantly Solved My Biggest Pet Peeve (It Takes Up No Space)

published Apr 6, 2024
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Credit: Natalie Jeffcott

Life comes at you fast: One minute you’re thinking about fostering a cat, and the next minute you’re adopting a cat, rearranging your apartment around her, and Googling how to keep cats off kitchen counters. Obviously, I’m talking about myself here. In the few weeks since I have been a full-time cat mother I’ve bought a cat fountain, a food bowl that looks like a strawberry (ergonomically designed to prevent whisker fatigue), neon toys that jingle, and gross (to me) packets of Go-Gurt-like cat food, and I’ve also looked into buying litter that is supposedly pretty. My cat is an angel, so I was feeling somewhat smug about having checked everything off the list of pet essentials. And then I heard the sound of scratching from the other room. 

I went into the living room to discover that she had sunk her claws into the side of the couch and dragged them down, leaving some gnarly marks. Of course, I realized, I had forgotten to get a cat scratcher. The issue is that I live in a one-bedroom apartment — I don’t have excess room for a big cat tree with a built-in scratching post. The cheapest and easiest solution seemed to be to get one of those cardboard scratch pads, but I know from growing up with cats that the cardboard shreds usually end up littering the floor in seconds. 

After searching around for a scratcher that wouldn’t take up much space or make a lot of mess, while still giving her the space to stretch and scratch to her heart’s content, I eventually spotted one on IKEA that fit the bill exactly.

The LURVIG scratching mat is just $12.99 and is designed to wrap around a table leg and Velcro firmly into place. Because the product wasn’t available at my local IKEA, I ended up buying it off Amazon. It was twice the price there, but $24 still felt reasonable and worth the potential promise of saving my couch

The real test came when the package arrived. I was optimistic about it, but knowing how fickle cats can be (she doesn’t play with the toys I lovingly buy for her but she does play with my hair elastics while they’re still on my wrist) I wasn’t sure if she would take to it. Installing it on my table leg took all of 30 seconds, and then, much to my delight, I showed it to my cat and she immediately went to town. 

I never pictured myself being a sad beige mom, but I love that this IKEA solution is a nice neutral color that goes relatively unnoticed in my living room. Not to mention, it takes up zero space and rather ingeniously converts a table leg into a cat scratcher, solving my biggest pet (literally) peeve. Because the scratcher is made of jute and sisal, it’s a satisfying surface for her to claw and she hasn’t lost interest yet. 

While she still scratches other surfaces from time to time, it’s so much less, and she’s easily redirected. Among all of the things I’ve bought for her so far, this may very well be the best money I’ve spent on a pet product.