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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. This is a guide about building a cat scratching post.

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The new cat scratching post.
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August 8, 2012 Flag

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.

The homemade cat scratching post in action.

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1

Supplies:

  • 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
Supplies for making a cat scratching post.

Steps:

  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. Bottom of homemade cat scratching post.
  3. Pre-drill holes for your screws at the marked spots.
  4. Bottom of cat scratching post, pre-drilling holes.
  5. 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.
  6. Measuring the carpet for the cat scratching post.Attaching carpet to post.
  7. 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.
  8. Attaching carpet to post.
  9. 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.
  10. Attaching carpet to the cat scratching post.Attaching carpet to the cat scratching post.Making a Cat Scratching Post
  11. 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.
  12. Attaching carpet to the cat scratching post.Trimming carpet for the cat scratching post.
  13. 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!
  14. Attaching carpet to the cat scratching post.Stapling carpet to the cat scratching post.Hammering staples on the post.
  15. 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.
  16. Aligning the base and the post.Drilling holes in the base.Drilled holes in the base.
  17. 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. :)
  18. Nailing the top of the post.
  19. 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!
  20. Furniture damaged by cat scratches.The new cat scratching post.
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February 10, 2011 Flag
11 found this helpful

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 (they were throwing it out so, free!) and bought some sisal rope for $6.00. I wrapped it around my tube, and propped it tightly under my bar. My kitten LOVES it! That's her peeking around it.

Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy! Photo of making a cat scratching post. Photo of a homemade cat scratching post.

By Trina from Sunny South, FL

January 1, 2014 Flag
5 found this helpful

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.

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Finished post.

Supplies:

  • existing sisal covered scratching post
  • spool of sisal
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
Role of 1/4 inch sisal cord.

Steps:

This can be done by one person, but we found that it worked much better with two. One person applied the glue and the other attached the sisal, adjusting and tightening as we went.

  1. Cut the damaged sisal and remove from the post down to the intact part at the bottom.
  2. Unwinding damaged sisal.
  3. Cut off the unwound sisal.
  4. Cutting end of stripped sisal.Stripped post.
  5. Begin running a bead of glue around the circumference of the post and wrap the sisal tightly, pressing into the glue.
  6. Gluing the sisal onto post.
  7. Continue until you either reach the top, or in our case the intact sisal near the top. Cut the sisal and glue the end. We needed to insert a small length to fill a bit of a gap where we ended. Now your kitties are back in the scratching post business.
  8. Pressing in the end of sisal.Closeup of finished end.

I did notice it took a day or so for them to start using the repaired post. I assume that either the glue or the sisal had an odor that needed to dissipate first.

November 14, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

By Sharon W

Answer This QuestionWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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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September 5, 2012 Flag
3 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

February 21, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

Cat tree in process of being built.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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November 21, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

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.

October 25, 2004 Flag
1 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.

June 29, 2009 Flag

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.

February 10, 2011 Flag
0 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.

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