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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.
By Trina from Sunny South, FL
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. Also, cats love those ladders that have large areas to step on, I used one as a cat climber. They love them too!
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.
So when one of our trees was cut down. We used a branched section that was very stable and placed several pieces of plywood at different levels on the branches. Usually these pieces were placed between two branches to make them more stable.
We had 3 levels and each level had a different texture or activity. One level was carpet, we used an old bath mat and used glue and staples to hold it to the plywood. Between 2 of the levels we wrapped the trunk with sisal rope. Then placed a cat bed on one level. We stapled the bed to the level so it wouldn't fall off.
On the lowest level we hung several toys so that they can bat and play with them. This was much more stable and cheaper than any cat tree we found in the store. All the cats loved it.
Source: Brandon and Ericka W. who were my roommates and helped with the design
By Stephanie from Bay City, TX
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.
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Is there any other way of building a homemade cat scratching tower/post?
By Sharon W
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!
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?
Use Gorilla Glue
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.
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.
My husband and I decided that we would make our cat a scratching post that we could put next to where he was scratching. These cat scratching posts end up costing less than $10 to make.
Rather than buying a new cat tree when the original carpet has finally been shredded by your lovely kitties, try removing it and replacing with sisal rope. Cats love to use sisal as a scratching surface and will of course wear through it too eventually, but it is easy to replace. This page offers instructions and photos helpful for refinishing a cat tree with sisal rope.
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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
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)
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)
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)
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 Kathy Klahn