Most cat owners can relate to the issue of finding cat hair all over the house. While cats will groom themselves, it really helps if you’re able to brush your cat and let loose hair land on your brush rather than your furniture.
However, some cats may not enjoy being brushed and may prefer to do all their grooming on their own. A grooming arch and other self-groomers can help your independent cat manage its grooming and may even help reduce hairballs.
Grooming arches can be a bit of an investment, and not all cats may not end up using them. Fortunately, you can find several quick and easy DIY self-groomer plans that are also budget-friendly. Most don’t require many materials, so you can get started on these and test them out on your cats all within the same day.
The Top 5 DIY Cat Grooming Arch and Self-Groomer Plans
1. Self-Petting Station by Instructables
|Materials:||Toilet bowl brushes, small block of wood, flat wooden board, fabric|
|Tools:||Drill and drill bits, hot glue, staple gun, spray paint, yardstick, sharpie, wire cutters|
This DIY self-petting station can be completed in seven easy steps. All you have to do is cut the ends of a toilet bowl brush and connect them with a wooden block. Since the wooden block is the only thing keeping the brushes aligned, it’s important to drill holes with sizes similar to the diameter of the wire holding all the bristles together on the toilet bowl brush.
Once you successfully connect the two brushes, you can drill holes into the board and stick the ends of the brushes through them. After you bend the wires to lie flat against the back of the board, you can glue them in place. It’s ready to use as soon as the glue dries completely.
2. Self-Grooming Arch for Cats by OBN
|Materials:||12” x 12” wooden baseboard, 14” x 14” fabric, 2 toilet bowl brushes, 1” x 1” wooden cube|
|Tools:||Staple gun, wire cutters, drill, glue|
This self-grooming arch has a similar design to the previous one. Its instructions are a bit more thorough, so it’s a great option if you’re a complete beginner and are looking for extra guidance. If you’re feeling confident, you can wrap the baseboard with fabric or carpet and staple it down. This provides a softer surface for your cat to walk on and can encourage it to use the self-grooming arch more frequently.
You can get pretty creative with this design and use different colors to make the arch pop or match your interior decoration. Just make sure to adjust the arch to your cat’s height so that your cat can easily go through it.
3. Low-Cost Cat Self-Groomer by JohnsAnimals
|Materials:||Toilet bowl brushes, wooden board,|
|Tools:||Pliers, hot glue|
This DIY self-groomer is a budget-friendly project that you can complete relatively quickly. The key to making it work effectively is twisting the wires between each toilet bowl brush very tightly so that they don’t move a lot when your cat walks under them.
You can use a wooden base to plant the arch, but if there’s a wooden shelf that your cat already enjoys walking on, you can drill holes to that shelf and fit the arch in place.
4. Automatic Self-Grooming Machine by Tomek Heniek
|Materials:||Wooden block, base board, toilet bowl brush, motors, hinges, nuts and bolts|
|Tools:||Measuring tape, saw, drill, screwdriver, switch box|
If you’re looking for a fun challenge, this self-grooming machine is a project that’ll thoroughly groom your cat. It uses two short toilet bowl brushes and attaches them to two different motors. The motors will rotate the brushes to clean your cat automatically.
This machine can be a little intimidating for some cats, so make sure that they’re trained to use a regular self-grooming arch before introducing them to this one. Also, make sure that the motors aren’t spinning too quickly, or else they can end up scratching your cat.
5. DIY Self Scratcher by Cat Lessons
|Materials:||Bristle brushes, hinges, screws, double-sided tape|
This beginner-friendly self-scratcher is a great alternative for cats that don’t like walking through a grooming arch. It’s super easy to make and can be completed in less than an hour.
Just make sure to use bristle brushes with a wooden backing so that screws can go through them. Once you line them up and attach them with hinges, you can tape them to nearly any furniture leg. Just make sure that the furniture is heavy enough so that it doesn’t shift or slide around from your cat’s weight.
Are Self-Groomers Good for Cats?
Self-groomers are helpful tools if your cat enjoys using them. In addition to picking up loose strands of hair, there are several other benefits that your cat can enjoy. Self-groomers can help remove dirt, grease, and skin flakes. Getting brushed can also stimulate blood circulation, which helps improve the coat’s condition. All this can help nourish and revitalize the skin and coat.
Self-groomers are especially helpful for older cats that may start losing their flexibility and ability to groom all parts of their body on their own. A grooming arch can help brush a cat’s back, which can be difficult for them to reach.
How to Train a Cat to Use a Self-Groomer
Some cats just may not enjoy using a self-groomer, but some can be trained to use one. If your cat enjoys catnip, you can try sprinkling some catnip on the bristles to encourage your cat to rub its cheeks against them.
Using treats can also help your cat get used to a self-groomer. First, just lay out your cat’s treats near the self-groomer to start building a positive association with it. Then, slowly guide your cat underneath the grooming arch with treats.
Other cat owners have more luck using toys. Dangling a cat wand toy near the entrance of a grooming arch may entice your cat to pounce through it.
Another factor to consider is the brush texture. Some cats may prefer silicon bristles over bristles made with natural hair. You may also want to check the hardness of the bristles. Your cat may want softer bristles that are more flexible and pliable.
Cat self-groomers are useful tools that can help cats shed loose fur and distribute natural oils throughout its coat. It can also help cats groom themselves if they have mobility issues.
As useful as cat grooming arches can be, some cats may never like using them. So, making your own DIY version to test and see if your cat likes it can help you save on costs. If your cat does end up liking grooming arches and other self-grooming tools, you can keep making DIY grooming arches or invest in a more expensive model.
Featured Image Credit: Chomphuphucar, Shutterstock
- The Top 5 DIY Cat Grooming Arch and Self-Groomer Plans
- Are Self-Groomers Good for Cats?