Are you a cat person? Then you are an ailurophile! From the Greek word ailouros, meaning “cat,” plus the suffix –phile, which means “lover,” ailurophile simply means someone who loves cats. If you adore cats, for sure you’re familiar with all the cat hair on your couch, bed and even your clothing. Plus the scratches on almost everything they get their claws on. Sometimes even on your arms and legs. But however naughty these 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 on which ones to scratch and which ones are off limits? How about making a lovely DIY cat scratching post as a gift to your furball? I’m sure they will love anything you give them, especially the ones you made for them.
Why Cats Scratch A Lot
Cats scratching your newly upholstered couch or your favorite curtain do not mean they are bad kitties. Did you know that cats have scent glands in their paws? And when they scratch, it leaves not just a mark but also a scent that marks their territory. Scratching is also a form of exercise for them, part of the cat body stretches and leg flexes. They also do this to remove the hard layer of skin on their paws. Scratching is their instinctive and normal 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 on scratching just one object, and that is 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 the store bought but what you’ll learn to make here is far long lasting than the one costing around $40 in the stores. You can even say that this is a heavy duty DIY cat scratching post. Just know what your cats’ preferred texture is, the ones they usually scratch and you use that same texture for your DIY cat scratching post. Be patient while training them, and be sure to cover the off-limits objects in your house with textures that is most unappealing to them like aluminum foils. etc. 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 would look like a big “X” mark. Do the same at the back of the plywood. Apply some wood glue inside the first square you drew then attach the wood post to it and hold. Clean any excess wood glue around the wood post.
Check if the wood glue is already dry by trying to lift the wood post. If the wood post does not come out of the scratching post plywood base, turn it over. Drill four holes through the second square you drew and in your wood post. Put the long wood screws in 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 and some hobby stores. 4 pieces decorative wood trims are needed for this DIY cat scratching post project. You can save some money if you just buy a single, long piece of decorative wood from hardware supply stores then cut it to the length of your plywood base. Keep the excess for other 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. The use of a hacksaw for this project produces smoother edges than with using a 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 using a pencil to the edge of the plywood base. 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. Put some glue on your first decorative trim and press it against your DIY cat scratching post plywood base. Secure it with trim screws or trim nails. Repeat the process until you finish putting decorative trims on all side 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. but if it is ok with you, then add carpet to the base for decorative purposes. Just cut a rug 18×18 inch square with a 4×4 inch square hole in the center. To attach the rug, cut one side up to one of the corners of the center square so you can wrap the rug around the wood post. Or you can just insert the whole post in the center hole, basically like what you do when wear your shirt to your head. However way you do it, secure the rag to the plywood base with some wood glue.
Get the sisal rope then attach one end to the bottom of the wood post with the use of a hammer and a trim screw. Wrap the sisal rope securely around the wood post. Use a nail to tack the sisal rope down to make sure that the wood post is completely covered to the top. Secure this end with another trim screw. You can finish it up or not with a metal cap for decoration.
Now let your them 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 one. A great piece of decoration and a cat scratching post all rolled into one! For sure this DIY project is not that easy to finish but just by 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 on how to make it in this video tutorial.
2. Traffic Cone DIY Cat Scratching Post
If you can’t handle the cuteness of your feline friends, I think they 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 these scratching post and a cat toy in 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 can be. This one from Dream A Little Bigger was said to last 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!