Making a Sisal-Wrapped Scratching
scratching post has been cat-tested and guardian
approved. Here is a list of the supplies needed.
These supplies can be purchased at most building
- One cedar
post that is about 30" tall and at least 4" in
- A bundle of
½" non-oiled sisal rope
- A 16" X 16"
piece of ¾" plywood to make the base sturdy
- Four 3/4"
16d coated sinker nails
The size 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 or she is fully stretched out, plus
a few inches. The post should also be wide enough
that your cat can sit on top and survey the surroundings.
The base should be sturdy enough so that the post
will not tip over. Once a post tips over on a cat
it is very hard to convince that cat to use the
post again. The post should be wrapped with sisal
rope because cats like something to dig their nails
into and the rope lasts a very long time.
Before beginning you
will want to make sure your cedar post is dry to
reduce the chance of any shrinking of the post after
it is wrapped with the sisal. While wrapping the
post, you might want to wear a pair of work gloves
to protect your hands. You will want to use roofing
nails to secure the beginning of your rope securely
all the way around the top edge of the post. Continually
wind the rope around the post very tightly so that
there are no gaps between the pieces of rope. This
wrapping process will take you all the way down
to the bottom of the post. Nail the end of your
rope all the way around the bottom of the post.
Next you will want to nail the plywood base on to
the post, use the four ¾" nails and pound
them through the bottom of the plywood base and
into the bottom of the post. You now have a cat
approved scratching post!
To introduce the post
to your adult cat, you may want to use catnip as
a lure (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 the wonderful
aroma. 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 use the post, praise your
cat. You can also reward your cat with a food treat.
If your cat is using a certain corner of the couch
as a scratching post, place your new post next to
that corner. If the cat is still using the couch
as a scratching post, cover that corner of the couch
with double-sided tape. This is unattractive to
your cat and the tape can easily be removed when
scratching posts and double sided tape (Sticky Paws)
can be purchased at the Animal Antics store at the
Wisconsin Humane Society.