Things You'll Need
- Scrap wood
- Thick piece of wood
- Sisal rope or blue jeans
- Nails or screws
- Hammer or screwdriver
- Catnip (optional)
A cat who scratches up every piece of furniture in your house quickly becomes tiresome. Whether it's the wood table legs on your dining room table, the fabric of your sofa, or your living room drapes, the simple fact is, cats need to scratch. Even declawed front paws need exercising, and while the declawing helps to prevent your furniture from utter ruin, it can make life difficult for both you and your pet. There is an inexpensive way to solve this problem, using many of the items you may have at home. And best of all, making your own scratching post can prove to be safer for your pet then buying one from the store,
Using any scrap wood you may have around the house to build a base for your post. The wood you choose should be completely chemical free, which means no treated outdoor wood and nothing stained, painted or sealed. The base should be big enough and heavy enough to prevent the post from tipping over when in use. For example, a post that stands about 32 inches tall should have a base that's 11 by 17 inches. Sand the base well to remove any possible splinters.
Choose a piece of wood for your post. Again, it should be chemical free. The post should be longer than your cat can stretch out on his hind legs. A post you make for a kitten will not be large enough for an adult. If you have more than one cat, mount more than one post to your base (remembering to increase the size of your base if you do so). Secure the post using nails or screws sunk underneath the base into the bottom of your post.
Cover the post with one of several options. Cover the post and base in sisal rope. Wind the rope around the base, starting at the bottom, making sure each row is tight up against the last one. At the top, secure the rope by sinking a screw into it, then wind it back down, again securing it by sinking a screw deep into the rope. You can cover the base by either gluing or screwing the rope in pieces lengthwise across the base. Alternatively, measure the size of the post and cut up an old pair of blue jeans. Sew a seam up the material to create a sleeve that can be dropped down over the post. This sleeve can be removed for washing or thrown away when worn out. If you choose, you can also use a log to create your post. The log should be of red cedar, fir or pine -- any soft wood that will not splinter. Remove the bark or leave it on, depending on your preference. This style will need a bit more maintenance due to flaking of the bark or wood, but it's completely natural and organic for your pet.
Purchase a stem or two of natural, organic catnip. Many scratching posts contain catnip somewhere on or in the post material. While this can entice the cat to use the post, some owners prefer not to have to deal with the effect this natural drug has on their pet. Tie the catnip stems directly to the post for a short period of time, until your cat takes notice and begins to use the post on a regular basis. Or, crush the stems and leaves and rub the crushed material over the scratching post before covering it. This will give a faint hint of the catnip smell, while keeping your pet from going too crazy.