Homemade Cat Scratching Post

I was surfing the ‘net looking for nothing in particular and I came across this article on how to make your own cat scratching post from CatsInternational.org. It really is easy to make one yourself, so if you’re feeling crafty, have at it!

My cat has taken to scratching on the corner of my brand new mattress and box spring, which is rather infuriating, given the cost of a new bed. They do have one of those scratchy cardboard circles, but all that does is get tiny bits of cardboard EVERYWHERE, so this homemade scratch pole sounds like a good option. You could even dress it up with a perch or something like that if you get a tall enough pole!

Here’s the article:

How To Build A Scratching Post

Making a Sisal Wrapped Scratching Post

This scratching post has been cat tested and approved by various felines. If you would rather buy this scratcher already made, Mr. Spatz makes a scratcher called the Scratch’R Cizer that you can purchase.

Here is a list of the supplies needed (These supplies can be purchased at any building supply store).

  • One cedar post that is about 30″ tall and at least 4″ in diameter
  • A bundle of non-oiled sisal rope measuring a 1/2″ wide
  • A piece of 3/4″ plywood to make the base sturdy (at least 16 x 16 diameter)
  • 1/2″ roofing nails
  • Four 3/4″ 16d coated sinker nails

The requirement for this type of scratching post has come from our “cat testers.” The reasoning behind this cat post is simple. A post should be as high as your cat is tall when he is fully stretched out plus a few inches. The post should also be wide enough that your cat can sit on top and survey his surroundings. The base should be sturdy enough that the post will not tip over. Once a post tips over on a cat it is very hard to convince a cat to use the post again. The post should be wrapped with sisal rope

because cats like something to dig their nails into.

DIRECTIONS: Before beginning you will want to make sure your post is dry so that there will not be any shrinking of the post after the sisal is wrapped on. To make the post you might want to wear a pair of work gloves when you wrap the sisal around the post. To start you will want to nail the beginning of your rope all the way around the top of the post. Then you wind the rope around and around and around the post very tightly so that there is no air space between the pieces of rope. This process will take you all th e way down to the bottom, once again nail the end of your rope all the way around the bottom of the post. Next you will want to nail the base on to the post, use about four nails and pound them through the bottom of the plywood base and into the bottom of the post. You no have a cat approved scratching post!

TRAINING: To introduce the post to your cat you may want to use catnip as a lure for older cats (kittens younger then 5 months of age are not affected by catnip). Rub the catnip right into the rope so that the cat can smell that wonderful smell. Once your cat has smelled the catnip scratch your nails, gently, along the surface of the rope. This will help teach your cat where to scratch. Once your cat begins to scratch, praise your cat, tell them what a good cat they are. You could also reward your cat with a food t reat, cats love treats. This post can help save your furniture, if your cat is using a certain corner of the couch for a scratching post start out your new post right by the corner of the couch. Cover that corner of the couch with double-sided sticky tape that is completely unattractive to your cat (the tape can easily be removed for entertaining company). This will repel your cat away from your couch and right there is a post that they will love. If this does not work for you please contact us and let us help find an effective solution for you and your cat.

If you make the scratching post, send us your pictures and story! E-mail them to msommerville AT petsupplies4less.com.


8 thoughts on “Homemade Cat Scratching Post

  1. Dorothy says:

    I don’t plan to start from scratch, but I plan to use the article to renew old scratching posts instead of throwing them away.

  2. Lissa says:

    Hey everyone, I got a message from John who has made the cat scratch post. Here’s his information and links to pictures! 🙂 Thanks for the feedback John!


    I just finished making one and put it into service yesterday for my two kittens Shedrick and Sparkle. It works great!

    You asked for people to let you know about the results of the plans you gave.

    To make it I used the following:

    Non-oiled 5/8″ sisal rope — 50 feet — should have gotten 55 feet.
    at Avera Industrial (farm type hardware) @ 39 cents a foot.

    Pole – square, 32″ tall — 4″x4″ (actually 3-5/8″ x 3-5/8″) treated wood

    Base: from old wooden cable reel — two 15.5″ diameter 5/8″ thickness total, glued together with carpenter’s yellow glue.

    Used gloves to wrap rope around pole; about five 1-1/2″ threaded nails at each end. Kept rope taught and tapped rope down and up as I wrapped it around pole.

    Four 2.5″ x 3/8″ lag bolts to hold pole on base.

    At bottom of base drilled four 1″ x 1/4″ deep holes for bolt head.

    Primed and painted base.

    Sprinkled flaked catnip over all four sides of pole; rubbed it in coiled rope.

    Put kittens on pole; they liked it immediately. One always fought to be on the top “king of the hill”

    Kittens were 8-9 months old.

  3. I have not tried making the scratching post from scratch yet, but we do have a lot of posts already, and I find that one of our cats still prefers the side of the bed. I will give this a try, especially the double sided tape trick. On another note, I did refinish our cat tree (or part of it) with sisal rope and it worked great. It was previously carpeted, and the cats quickly shredded the carpet. Sisal is a much better and still nice looking alternative.

    You can read about our critters at http://www.purrsandhisses.com. I will post scratching post updates there

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