How to Build a Cat Scratcher

Because cats are self-sufficient pets, caring for them is not that complicated. Give them a clean litter box, food and water, and they basically take care of their own needs. Indoor cats require little in the way of amusements and are a natural way of keeping your home pest free. A cat scratching post is a good way to keep your indoor cat's claws at a comfortable length. The post also will save a good deal of wear and tear on your furniture. This job is an easy project you can make at home and save money.

Things You'll Need

  • Cedar post at least 30 inches high and at least 4 inches wide
  • 1 piece of plywood, 16-inch diameter if round or a 16-inch square
  • Work gloves
  • Bundle of nonoiled 1/2- to 3/4-inch sisal
  • Box of 1/2-inch roofing nails
  • 4 3/4-inch 16D coated sinker nails
  • Hammer
  • Catnip


    • 1

      Cut the post at least as tall as your cat is when it stretches its body out and wide enough for the cat to sit atop comfortably. The base or plywood should be sturdy and big enough to keep the post steady. If the post tips over while the cat is on top, it will be difficult to convince the cat to use it again.

    • 2

      Put on your gloves. Hammer the sisal into the top of the post. Nail down the sisal about 2 inches down one side to make sure it is secured well.

    • 3

      Begin winding the sisal by bringing the rope back to the top of the post and tightly winding it two or three times round the top. Continue winding downward, being careful not to leave any space between the rows of sisal until you get to the bottom. Tuck the last piece firmly into the bottom row of the sisal.

    • 4

      Nail the base to the sisal wound post. Use the four sinker nails to hammer the plywood into the post from the bottom of the plywood. If you feel the post is not steady enough, use more of the roofing nails. Ensure the nails sink completely into the post. An exposed nail could hurt your cat.

    • 5

      Rub some catnip into the sisal. Sit with your cat while it is exploring its new territory. When the cat scratches on the scratcher, give the cat a treat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attach a cat toy on a string to the top to give the cat an added incentive to play on the post.
  • Do not use catnip for a kitten under 5 months of age.
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  • Photo Credit cat face image by Viktor Korpan from

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