Are you a cat person? Then you are an ailurophile! From the Greek word ailouros, meaning “cat,” plus the suffix –phile, which means “lover”, an ailurophile simply means someone who loves cats. Even if you adore cats, you must be familiar with all that cat hair on your couch, bed and even your clothes. Plus scratches on almost everything they can get their claws on – sometimes even your arms and legs. But however naughty your feline friends can get, you still can’t get enough of their cuddly cuteness! Have you ever wondered why cats scratch a lot? And did you know that you can train them so they know what they can scratch and what is off limits? This lovely DIY cat scratching post is a great gift for your cat – and also for you and your house.
Why Cats Scratch A Lot
Cats scratching your newly upholstered couch or favorite curtains does not mean they are bad kitties. Cats have scent glands in their paws so when they scratch, it leaves a scent to mark their territory. Scratching is also a form of exercise, part of the cat body stretches and leg flexes. They also scratch to remove the hard layer of skin from their paws. Scratching is their instinctive behavior and you do not want to discourage them from doing it. And don’t even think about having your cats declawed, that is a very sad thought. The key is to train them to scratch just one object – your DIY cat scratching post.
How To Make A DIY Cat Scratching Post
Yes, you can make one for your fur babies! It might cost you a little more than a store bought post but this heavy duty pose will be far longer lasting than those costing $40 in the stores. Just learn your cats’ preferred texture, what they usually scratch and use that same texture for your DIY cat scratching post. Be patient while training them, and be sure to cover off-limits objects in your house with textures that are less appealing to them. If you don’t want your cats lying on your favorite pillow, try applying scents that they do not like so that they won’t even go near it.
What You Need
- 18×18 inch square, 3/4 inch plywood
- 4×4, 2.5 feet tall wood post
- 3/4×3.5 feet inch decorative wood trim
- miter box
- hacksaw (for smoother cut edges)
- wood glue
- trim nails or screws
- long wood screws
- 100 ft non-synthetic sisal rope
- wood bit a little bit smaller than your screws
- power drill
- 4×4 decorative cap
- wood stain
- rug (optional)
Using a pencil and a ruler, measure and draw a square in the middle of the 18×18 inch square, 3/4 inch plywood. This is where you’ll put your 4×4, 2.5 feet tall wood post. Draw lines extending from each corner of your square to the corners of your plywood, so it looks like a big “X”. Do the same on the back of the plywood. Apply wood glue inside the first square you drew then attach the wood post to it and hold. Clean any excess wood glue from around the wood post.
Check to see whether the wood glue is dry by trying to lift the wood post. If the wood post doesn’t come away from the plywood base, turn it over. Drill four holes through the second square you drew, into your wood post. Screw the long wood screws into the holes to make sure that the wood post is securely attached to the plywood.
Decorative wood trims are sold for about $3 each at hardware supply stores and you’ll need 4 pieces for this DIY cat scratching post project. You can save money by buying a single, long piece of decorative wood from a hardware supply store then cutting it to the length of your plywood base. Keep the excess for future DIY projects.
Using the miter box and the hacksaw, make your first angled score on the decorative trim. Make sure the angles you make are pointing away instead of pointing inwards the wood for the corners to match up. Using a hacksaw for this project produces smoother edges thana regular hand saw. For a guide and some tips on how to use the mitre box, check out this video.
If using a long decorative trim, place your first angled cut against your plywood base bottom. Mark the decorative trim to the edge of the plywood base using a pencil. This will be where your next angled cut is. Line up the mark in your miter box and cut the next angle. Remember that it should be pointing away from the plywood before you start to cut. Glue your first decorative trim onto DIY cat scratching post plywood base. Secure it with trim screws or nails. Repeat the process until you finish putting decorative trims on all sides of the plywood base.
Is your decorative cap made of wood? If yes, you can put it now. Apply wood stain on the entire DIY cat scratching post and let it sit overnight.
Remember not to use materials with textures that you want to be off-limits for your cats. If you don’t want them scratching your carpet, don’t use it in this project. If it is OK with you, add carpet to the base for decoration. Just cut a rug 18×18 inch square with a 4×4 inch square hole in the center. To attach the rug, cut from one corner to the corner of the center square and wrap the rug around the wood post. Or you can just insert the whole post through the center hole, like what you do whenyou pull your shirt over your head. However you do it, secure the rag to the plywood base with some wood glue.
Aattach one end of the sisal rope to the bottom of the wood post with a hammer and a trim screw. Wrap the sisal rope securely around the wood post. Use a nail to tack the sisal rope down and make sure that the wood post is completely covered to the top. Secure this end with another trim screw. You can finish it with a metal cap for decoration.
Now let your kitties try and enjoy your beautiful creation. A lovely and heavy-duty DIY cat scratching post!
More DIY Cat Scratching Post Ideas
Here are 3 more DIY cat scratching post ideas you may want to try. Let me warn you, cuteness overload ahead.
1. Cactus DIY Cat Scratching Post
Look at how creative a cat person can be! I love things with multiple functions just like this – its a great piece of decoration and a cat scratching post, all rolled into one! Admittedly, this DIY project is not tpo easy to finish but just looking at this picture I know it will be all worth it. From dying the sisal rope green and letting it dry, everything you need to know to make it is in this video tutorial.
2. Traffic Cone DIY Cat Scratching Post
If you can’t handle the cuteness of your feline friends, you won’t handle this very adorable traffic cone DIY scratching post. And those yarn pompoms! Oh my, I’m sure the cats will love them! They won’t get tired playing with this scratching post and a cat toy all rolled into one. Find out how it’s done at So Fancy.
3. Customizable DIY Cat Scratching Post
The good thing about the tutorial I gave you is that you can be as creative as you like. This one from Dream A Little Bigger lasted for two and a half years.
Say goodbye to cat-scratched furniture with this DIY cat scratching post tutorial. If you have plenty of cats, I say try making all of these ideas. And don’t forget to have fun while making them!