How to Make a Cat Scratching Post

One Methods:Alternate Method

Scratching is an innate and necessary part of being a cat. Scratching cleans and sharpens claws and is something a cat will do regardless of the sanctity of the surfaces in your home. If you want to provide a lure away from the furniture, having a scratching post is essential. Every time your cat scratches the wrong thing, simply pick her up and put on the scratching post so that she gets the message.

If you have a large house, an upstairs downstairs living arrangement or your cat spends ample time in various rooms, having several scratching posts placed strategically throughout the house makes good sense. And to save your budget, it's really easy to make them at home for a lot less than many of the commercially produced ones. Indeed, you can build her own scratching posts out of scrap materials if desired.


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    Decide on the measurements of the post before beginning. The post must be stable, for if it tips easily, kitty may find it unsuitable for continued use. By way of example, the model in the picture measures 28" (71cm) tall, and the base is about 18" (45cm) by 12" (30cm). The post needs to be, at minimum, the length of kitty plus a couple of inches (centimeters) to accommodate her stretch.
    • All the wood will be covered, but as a precaution, you can do a light sand on the wood. Sometimes you'll find a long splinter or two.
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    Use a 4x4 (12cm x 12cm) post or two 2x4 (6cm x 12cm) pieces attached together, and cut to the length needed. Set this aside for a moment.
  3. Image titled Make a Cat Scratching Post Step 3
    Make the base. The base on this model has two layers. The first layer is made by setting three 12" (30cm) sections of 2x6 (6cm x 18cm) side by side. Cut two sections of 2x6 (6cm x 18cm) to match the width of the first layer (16.5" (42cm) as 2x6 are in truth 1.5" (4cm) by 5.5" (14cm)).
    • Place these two sections of the second layer on top of and parallel to the first layer.
    • Attach the top layer to the bottom with wood screws. This makes for a heavy and stable base.
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    Cover the base with your chosen scratching material, something along the lines of Berber carpet or AstroTurf. Or, purchase a carpet mat from the dollar store. Natural rope, like sisal, is nice, but it does take a while to wrap tightly and neatly and needs careful gluing in place. A manual staple gun is perfect for this project, but roofing nails and flat tacks are also good choices.
    • Be sure to hammer the nails or tacks flush with the scratching material. Avoid anything sticking out or askew as this could catch on the cat's claws. Pull out anything not sitting flat and redo.
    • If using staples, you can lightly hammer the staple on down flat to the surface, as a staple gun does not always push the staple as flat as possible.
    • If you do use sisal rope, use a non-toxic glue. Your cat may sometimes lick the rope, just because she can.
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    Place the post in the center of the base. Attach the post to the base by using one screw on each face of the post.
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    Cover the post with the scratching material, and attach as described for the base.
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    Attach a favorite toy, or something dangly and irresistible, to the top to entice Kitty to get to know the new post. This image shows a bright dangling rope for the cat to attack.
    • If you want a double-fun, and double-duty scratching post, attach some old brush heads or something similar about cat's eye level on the post. These are perfect for some awesome feline facials! And for even more fun, rub some fresh catnip deep into the fibers. Your cats will LOVE it.

Alternate Method

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    Ensure that your post is completely dry. If you begin work with a wet or damp post, it will shrink as it dries and the rope will thus not be wound tightly enough around it.
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    Put on your work gloves. Nail the beginning of the rope all the way around the top of the post (at least 4 nails around).
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    Wind the rope tightly down the post. The rope should be wound as tightly as possible, with no spaces between each coil. When you reach the bottom, once again nail your rope all the way around the bottom (at least 4 nails around).
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    Nail the base on to the post using the coated sinker nails. Ensure that there are no sharp pieces sticking out anywhere and that the base will not give your cat splinters
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    Give the post to your cat to enjoy!


  • Scrap materials are everywhere! Check with neighbors or friends (any who don't have pets in their home). And ask carpet retailers for carpet offcuts they don't want.
  • You can find all manner of throw-aways at home construction sites! Don't take anything or even look around without asking the builders first, and always be careful around the site.
  • Rub catnip on the post to make it even more alluring.
  • For declawed cats, they still have the urge to "scratch" and they can enjoy a post such as this.


  • Use your eyewear and gloves. Accidents always happen when not expected, and can be prevented.
  • If adding something dangling for play, be sure it isn't something that's long enough to get entangled in, such as a length of yarn. That could endanger your cat if she plays fiercely with it and nobody's around to unwrap her.
  • Used carpet is great, but make sure it came from a house without pets. The scent of a strange animal may make Kitty reject the scratching post altogether - or worse, mark it by spraying.
  • Make sure that staples, screws, and other tackings are not exposed. They are unlikely to injure kitty in any case, but it's always better to be safe, and besides, you want your work to be as neat as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • A section of 4x4 post, or 2 2x4 pieces attached together
  • Pieces of 2x6 or similar
  • Wood Screws
  • Staples, tacks, roofing nails, or similar
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Appropriate screwdriver
  • Stiff carpet (like Berber) or AstroTurf
  • Protective eyewear
  • Work gloves

Alternate Method

  • A 30 cedar post that is >4" in diameter
  • A bundle of non-oiled sisal rope (1/2 inch wide)
  • A 16x16 piece of plywood (3/4" thick)
  • 1/2" roofing nails (at least 8).
  • Four 3/4" 16d coated sinker nails.

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