Any cat owner will tell you: Cats scratch, and scratch and scratch. Whether it’s a corner wall that is stripped of paint, a frayed couch or a carpet with loose fibers and bare spots, the typical cat owner’s home is full of evidence that proves their need for a cat scratcher. While store-bought scratchers are nice, they can often run a little pricey.
Considering that most cat scratching posts are simply sisal rope (available at any hardware store) wrapped around something sturdy, there are many different options for building a DIY cat scratching post at your home.
There are several different ways to construct your own cat scratching post with materials found around the house. Let’s look at a few easier options for cat owners:
Converting a furniture leg into a cat scratching post is relatively easy. First, make sure that whatever you are converting will appropriately handle your cat’s strength. A chair is probably not going to work, but a desk leg, stair railing or basement support post will be perfectly suitable.
Then, simply wrap sisal rope around it tightly and secure it with knots at the top and bottom of the wrap. If the object will be a permanent scratching post for your cat, you can use a little bit of glue every 10-15 revolutions to secure it in place. You can apply this same concept to all sorts of wrappable areas around the house.
Bigger cats can really damage a store-bought scratcher in a relatively short amount of time. The most common way a scratching post breaks down is when the rope becomes detached from the post itself – an easy fix!. In this instance, you can either re-attach the rope using glue or a staple gun or if the rope is too frayed to re-attach, simply remove the old rope and replace it with new rope.
What you’ll need:
- Sisal Rope – 25-50ft
- Paper Towel Cardboard Roll
- 1 large empty glass bottle (preferably square-shaped)
- 1 flat piece of wood/plywood, about 18” x 18”.
- Scrap paper
Step 1 – Wrap the rope tightly around the outside of the glass bottle, starting from the bottom/base. Secure the end of the rope to the bottle using glue, and then add glue every 5-10 revolutions. Stop before the neck of the bottle.
Step 2 – Place the paper towel roll over the neck of the bottle and secure it in place using glue.
Step 3 – Continue wrapping the rope tightly around the bottle as before, and over the bottom portion of the cardboard roll. Use glue to secure.
Step 4 – Using scrap paper, stuff the hollow cardboard roll full of paper from the opening in the top. Make sure to compact the paper stuffing so that the roll feels sturdy, solid, and secure around the neck of the bottle. Leave a few inches of open space at the top of the roll.
Step 5 – Next, cut off the excess cardboard from the top of the roll. Then, close off the top of the roll by making 3, 1 in. slits in the side of the roll, and folding the flaps over top of the cylinder, locking in the stuffing and closing off the top opening.
Step 6 – Continue wrapping and gluing the rope all the way to the top of the cardboard roll.
Step 7 – Find the center of your flat board, then glue (generously) the base of the bottle to the board.
Bonus – For some added strength, wrap the rope around the edge of the bottle, flat on the board forming a spiral pattern circle that expands outwardly from the bottle. Secure the rope to the bottle/board using glue generously. Or, you can also add some carpet to the base of your cat scratcher.
With wood or plumbing materials. The internet is filled with all sorts of plans from basic scratchers to elaborate cat trees. Pinterest, YouTube, and a general Google search is a great place to start. Your feline friend will thank you for your diligent research in finding the perfect thing for him to sink his claws into.
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