Make A Cat Scratching Post

by Dr Doris Beck

Building a cat scratch post for your cat can be a fun weekend activity that the whole family can get involved in. 

Materials needed are:

  • a base plate to attach the upright posts to,
  • some upright posts,
  • board to cut resting shelves from,
  • screws, brackets, glue, carpet and sisal rope.

Any sturdy board of sufficient size can be used (I used left over melamine board) for the base. For the uprights, timber is the easiest to work with, however PVC pipe can also be used (I had some timber left over and purchased some PVC pipe to cover the central uprights).  Resting shelves need to be of sufficient size to allow the cat to comfortably sit or sleep on (I used left over craft wood and melamine board).  L shaped brackets are an easy and sturdy way to attach your uprights to the base plate, any timber screws of sufficient length can be used to attach brackets and shelves, glue should be able to work on multiple surfaces, so that carpet, sisal rope etc can be attached to timber or PVC pipe.

The first step is to decide where to place your uprights and attach the L brackets to the base plate. It’s easiest to attach the carpet to the base plate before attaching the uprights. So glue the carpet to the base and wrap it around the edges and glue and staple to bottom of the plate.
5 Attach the uprights (the higher the better as cats love it up high, I opted for 150cm height for top platform). Make sure that the platforms to get to the top are not further than 60-70cm apart so your cat can easily jump it.
Attach the platforms for resting on. If you have opted for PVC pipe the easiest way to attach a platform is to use pieces of timber with the corners planed down to slide inside the pipe and then screw through the PVC pipe into the timber (I used left over 75mm x 75mm timber post and 90mm diameter pipe)
Be creative with your platforms (I opted to have a small platform with holes cut out to hold a planter for cat grass and a water bowl).
Once the platforms are attached glue the carpet to the platforms and uprights. Platforms can be padded and covered in other materials as well (My top platform is padded with foam and pillow stuffing and covered in fake fur).
To offer variety to your cat cover some of the upright with sisal rope, rubber door mats can also be used but these do not glue well. (I used cable ties and tacks to hold them to the post) The more variety of material you offer your cat the more chance they will leave the furniture alone. You can also use bark covered straight thick branches for uprights or smaller ones attached to the uprights to allow some natural materials.
Finally when the glue has dried attach toys or maybe a hammock for your kitty to sleep in. (I use velour fabric and some cotton rope to make a hammock to hang from 4 of the upright posts and accessed by the lowest platform).

Be creative, the internet can provide inspiration as can the left over materials around the house, garage or tool shed. With a little ingenuity your kitty could have hours of fun, and your furniture would be safe from feline enhancement!