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Building a Cat Scratching Post

Category Cat Toys
Cats love to scratch on things especially furniture. Prevent them from ruining your furniture by giving then an alternative place to sharpen their claws. This is a guide about building a cat scratching post.


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August 8, 2012

Our cat Oolong decided to start scratching our book case. Apparently he was mad that we got rid of our big cat tree. My husband and I decided that we would make him a small scratching post that we could put next to where he was scratching. These cat scratching posts end up costing less than $10 to make.

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1


  • 1 3 x 3 wooden post ($3.00)
  • 1 post cap ($1.00)
  • 1 pre-cut plywood circle ($4.00)
  • 3 wood screws ($.25)
  • 1 carpet remnant (at least 18 x 15 in.)
  • nail gun or glue
  • staple gun
  • utility knife


  1. Find the center of the circle and trace around your post for placement later. Then find the center of the square that you drew and mark it and a few other spots for screws. (Note: To find the center, use a right triangle...)
  2. Pre-drill holes for your screws at the marked spots.
  3. Lay carpet, backing side up. Measure out a rectangle (18 in. x 15 in.), marking the lines with a Sharpie. Then using a utility knife and a straight edge, cut out the piece of carpet.
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  5. Lay your post on the carpet piece. Pull the edge up and over the post, placing the edge about halfway across the side. Hold the carpet edge down and staple all the way along the edge to secure it. Be sure to push down hard on the stapler to ensure that they go all the way through the carpet and into the wood.
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  7. Holding the post tightly against the carpet, begin to roll the post onto the next side. Staple the bottom and top edges. I added an addition staple in the middle too. Repeat on the next two sides.
  8. Lay the remaining carpet against the post and using a Sharpie mark it (on both ends) where it overlaps the starting edge of carpet. Then lay the post back down and use a straight edge to cut off the excess carpet.
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  10. Pull the carpet edge up tight to the other edge and staple it down all along the edge. Once you are done stapling, use a hammer to tap all of the staples in as far as you can. This will help prevent your cat's claws from catching on them when they are using the post!
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  12. Set the circular base on top of the post, being sure to center it. Secure the base onto the post with wood screws. If possible, sink the screws in so that they sit just below the surface to avoid damaging your floor later.
  13. Turn the scratching post over and secure the post cap to the top with a nail gun. Note: You can finish the base and cap any way that you want (i.e. paint, stain, etc.). I chose to leave this one unfinished, as I am thinking about decoupaging comic book pages onto it. :)
  14. Here is the damage that Oolong caused to our bookcase. We set the post next to it and brought him over to show him that it was there. Luckily he used it right away, so hopefully he will leave the bookcase alone now!
Comment Was this helpful? 9
August 13, 20120 found this helpful

Excellent instructions - Thanks for taking the time to photograph each step. Good job.

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11 found this helpful
February 10, 2011

Photo of a homemade cat scratching post.

When I got a new kitten, I went to the pet supply store to get a scratching post, but was astounded by the price! So, I made one myself. I got a large cardboard bolster/tube from an upholstery store and bought some sisal rope for $6.00.


6 found this helpful
January 1, 2014

Finished post.

My kitties really love their sisal scratching post. They had finally shredded the the sisal in the area that they use the most. Rather than buy a new one, we decided to repair this one. I purchased a spool of 1/4 inch sisal from Lowe's.


2 found this helpful
November 21, 2011

After reading many a book about cats, and observing many cats as a foster parent for the local humane society, I learned that different cats like different surfaces to scratch on. We observed our cats inside and out, and could tell that most of them liked scratching on the trees.


June 29, 2009

Logs for firewood make a great scratching area for cats and kittens, also you can roll a ribbon rug from the dollar store around one and tie it with a sash making sure there are no loose ends. Lay this around to scratch on.


October 25, 20041 found this helpful

Making a cat scratching area is easy if you use an old bath mat and tie it around an old log or a cinderblock or brick. These make good door holders too! They love to scratch on these.



September 5, 20123 found this helpful

This is a video about building a cat scratching post. Cats love to scratch on things especially furniture. Prevent them from ruining your furniture by giving then an alternative place to sharpen their claws. View the full project here: Making a Cat Scratching Post

Comment Was this helpful? 3
September 19, 20120 found this helpful

Cats get into and onto just about anything, so to prevent items from getting broken you have to either keep them out of reach, such as behind doors in a cabinet, or use a putty like Quake Hold that will keep the items in place. It is not all that different from when there are young children around the home, except they can get into more places.

Cats are quite independent, and usually need love and attention, along with food, water and litter. But the larger bills are for vet care, as those are not spread out over the month. They are not high, and often just once a year is all that is needed, but it is usually costs up front. Typically, perhaps $100, and if you have to have the cat spayed or neutered, it will be a larger hit to your wallet.

I am giving a link to an article on introducing a kitten into your home. There are suggestions, and a list of things to get. I ignore a bed, as they find a place, and I would get one of those inexpensive cardboard scratchers.

Monthly care costs can usually be handled through a normal household budget. They are not large, but can vary. Some feed small cans of very expensive food, and others find a quality food that serves just as well at a much lower cost. And litter is not expensive. If monthly costs are a real concern, you may not be ready for a cat anyway.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 14, 20110 found this helpful

Is there any other way of building a homemade cat scratching tower/post?

By Sharon W

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I built one for my cat. Actually 3 cats ago. Anyway, the one I built is a simple 3 shelf unit with corner posts. Each shelf is covered with stick on carpet pieces, and each post is covered tightly with sisal rope. Putting the rope on was the hardest part of the job, as it needs to be pulled and wound as tightly as you can get it, and then some more. I wore thick work gloves for this part because otherwise the rope will leave your hands bleeding.

You can fashion the tower in any style you want. If you google "cat scratching posts" you will find a lot of different ideas. You could even fashion a post against a wall and alternate the shelves on one side and the other all the way almost to the ceiling. Cats do love to be up high!

The main thing is to make each shelf large enough for the cat to lay down on comfortably. And to position the shelves to that the cat can jump easily from one to the other. Covering the shelves with a fairly rough type of carpeting will provide a surface to be kneaded on. And covering the pole with sisal rope is important to give the cat the scratching post that all cats need, whether they've been declawed or not.

Good luck with yours!

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

I really don't have room for a regular cat condo so what I did was take a 8in x 6ft cedar tree trunk cut locally by the county right a way clearing crew , trimmed the limbs so there are only a few about 8 in long, left the bark on and sprayed it lightly with varnish to contain some of the shedding. screwed it to a piece of plywood base and drillled a hole in the top to contain the spring pole mechanism from an old floor to ceiling lamp to stabilize it, and set it up in the corner by a window. My cats love scratching and climbing their tree or sitting on a branch looking out the window.

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

Get some empty carpet rolls from a carpet store along with carpet scraps. You can probably get all this from their dumpster. Just say "it's for the birds." That way you can build cat scratching posts, bird houses, etc.

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

My cat loved a piece of chipboard on the floor about the size of her body. I'd stand it up and she'd knock it over then put her body on it to keep it from moving. It was a leftover piece and she chose it.

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0 found this helpful
March 1, 2016

This is my first attempt at a making a cat tower. I have a carpet remnant, but I am unsure how to attach it. Looking at commercial models there doesn't seem to be any staples. Is it simply glued on (what kind of glue) or are staples used and then removed? Bending the carpet around a square post is a little challenging. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

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February 21, 20120 found this helpful

To put the sisal rope on the tube, do you staple or nail it at the top and bottom or do you use a glue gun? If so, is it special glue and do you just use the glue on the top and bottom of the pole? Or all underneath the rope? I would love to know what is used. Thanks.

By Gloria N.

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March 31, 20120 found this helpful

I wouldn't suggest using nails or staples, the cat would get seriously injured if one came loose. Screw the top and bottom and/or glue is your best bet.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 10, 20110 found this helpful

My husband and I wanted to buy a scratching post for our two kitties. We looked at prices of stuff at the pet store and online and it was too much. Then, I thought about it and said, "They are charging $40-$50 for wood and some rope or pieces of carpet. What a ripoff! We could do that ourselves."

So, we went to Home Depot where they have a discount wood bin. We found one piece of wood that was about 2x4x36 inches. We had it cut in half. We glued those two pieces together parallel to each other. We took a length of rope about 50 feet long and wrapped it around the glued together pieces. We also bought a piece of particle board about 48x12 inches. We had it cut into two pieces so each piece was about 24x12 inches. Then, we glued those two pieces, one on top of the other to give it a stable base. We then glued the long part onto the particle board.

Mind you the measurements were not exact. We felt they did not really need to be exact for this purpose. We bought odd size pieces, because we were buying from the discount bin and that was what was available. The glue is still drying, so we don't have a picture of the cats playing with it yet. Altogether, I think we spent about $7.00 to make this toy for our cats.

Source: Myself. I just looked at pictures online and decided I could do it.

By crazyliblady from Pittsburg, KS


Make Your Cat's Scratching Post

Great idea! I have been thinking about doing the same thing but have only bought the sisal rope. I think with your instructions, I might have a weekend project ahead! (08/20/2008)

By Toolgirl

Make Your Cat's Scratching Post

We did the same thing with our cat. My husband is a do it yourself so he always has his own "spare " wood bin. He just cut the piece of wood for the post,cut the base nailed it together and slapped some remnant carpeting we had lying around onto it. The cat loved it fine! I mean really, if you know how to do it yourself why give the money out to the big chain stores for one that's going to cost you at least double what you built it for! (08/21/2008)


Make Your Cat's Scratching Post

The glue finally dried, but it still felt a little wobbly for our rambunctious kitties, so my husband got out the drill and drilled the bottom to the top. It's now solid. The glue is still pretty smelly and my kitties won't touch the scratching post. I would the smell of the glue and the wood are why. The seem to be just fine with trying to scratch up the woodwork in the house. (08/21/2008)

By crazyliblady

Make Your Cat's Scratching Post

Most people just expect their cat to know what a scratching post is for, but many have to be taught how to use it. Catnip helps and dangling interactive toys like a peacock feather or a fishing pole toy helps. I also found that my cats liked their post laying down better than standing up. The base makes the angle perfect and I hide surprise toys under it too. We made ours out of sisal rope and left a 12 inch tail for them to play with. Hope your kitties have fun with their new toy! (08/21/2008)

By katklaw777

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