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How To Build A Scratching Post

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Here is a list of the SUPPLIES NEEDED:  (supplies can be purchased at any building supply store)

  •   One cedar post that is about 30″ tall and at least 4″ in diameter or larger
  •   A bundle of non-oiled sisal rope measuring a 1/2″ wide in diameter
  •   A piece of 3/4″ plywood to make a sturdy base (cut to at least 16” x 16” square)
  •   1/2″ roofing nails (only need about 8)
  •   Sand Paper
  •   Four 3/4″ 16d coated sinker nails (only need 4)

The 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 is fully stretched out plus a few inches.

The post should also be wide enough that your cat can sit on top and survey his surroundings. The base should be sturdy enough that the post will not tip over. Once a post tips over on a cat it is very hard to persuade your cat to use the post again, they will be frightened by it. The reason the post should be wrapped with sisal rope is because cats love a good surface to dig their nails into.  Using a carpeted post can send a mixed message to the cat, leaving them to think that a carpeted  surface is ok to scratch on.


Cat Scratching Post Close-Up on Black BackgroundBefore you begin, you will want to make sure your post is dry so that there will not be any shrinking of the post after the sisal is wrapped on. To make the post you might want to wear a pair of work gloves when you wrap the sisal around the post.

Before assembly take sand paper and smooth away any rough edges on the post and base (the 16″ x 16″- 3/4″ thick plywood).  Now you are ready to start, you will want to nail (use the roofing nails)at the beginning of your rope in 3-4 places to keep the rope from loosening as you wrap the rest of the post (you can do this at the top or bottom of the post).  Then you wind the rope around and around the post very tightly so that there aren’t any spaces between the rows of rope. This process will take you all the way down to the other end of the post, once again nail the end of your rope in 3-4 places around the bottom of the post. Next you will want to nail the base on to the post, use the four longer nails and pound them through the bottom of the plywood base and into the bottom of the post.

Congratulations you now have a cat approved scratching post!

A post your cat will love to use.


  • Cute Cat with Closed Eyes Scratching a Scratching PostTo introduce the post to your cat you can use catnip as a lure, rub the catnip right into the rope so that the cat can smell that wonderful smell. Once your cat has smelled the catnip and is showing interest, scratch your nails gently along the surface of the rope. (NEVER take your cat by the paws and drag them to the post and mimic a scratching motion with their feet).  Let your cat come to the post on his own to see what you’re doing.  Your cat will love the sound and will want to make the same noise. This will help teach your cat where to scratch.
  • Once your cat begins to scratch, PRAISE your cat, tell them what a good cat they are, through a small party.  Reward them with a food treat, cats love treats. You can also place a treat on the top of the post, to motivate them even more.  This post will save your furniture, if a cat is given a place to do what comes naturally to them SCRATCH.

What to do if your cat has already started to scratch on your couch. If your cat is using a certain corner of the couch for a scratching post, put your new post right by the area of the scratching target.  Cover that corner of the couch with a product called “Sticky Paws™” available at Pioneer Pet® or uIMG_1171 copyse double-sided tape. This will repel your cat away from your couch and LOOK right there is a post that they now can scratch and mark. They  will love to have their own special scratching area where they get prased to use.

Once your cat is using the post regularly, you can move it slowly to the area where you want it to be located.  Leave the sticky tape in place for a bit to make sure they don’t go back to an old habit.

The SmartCat scratching post can be purchased if you prefer.  It has been cat tested and approved by various felines. The post is made with sisal and is called the The Ultimate Scratching Post™.

The cats are attracted to and will love this post, its a updated manufactured version


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