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Making a scratching post

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm guessing this is the right place to post this... please move if needed!

So, being a recent college grad with still no job and way too much time on her hands, I randomly decided last night to make Oliver a scratching post, haha... he has a store-bought one that he uses all the time, but I feel bad because it is a bit short and he's a big cat, so he doesn't get to stretch out all the way. (He has horizontal scratching boards he uses all the time too)

So I went out to the garage and rooted around all the scrap wood and my dad's tools, haha (he's out of town ).... I found a big 36" piece of wood for the scratcher and another piece suitable for the base: everything's scrap, so the measurements aren't anything usual, haha, but everything's squared up and all

I centered the post part on the base and made a note on the base where the post goes... then I drilled 2 holes in the base, realigned the post on the base, and maked on the bottom of the post where the holes match up... then I drilled corresponding holes into the bottom of the post (man did this take many trips to the garage: the cordless drill ran out of juice so I had to find an old corded drill! haha) I got everything lined up and connected the two with "giant" hex bolts (haha, my dad keeps nuts, bolts, nails, screws in coffee cans and such - he knows what everything is, but I have no idea about sizes - I do know the difference between wood screws, metal screws, etc though!)... so the post was basically together. Then I found extra carpet from when I redid my room in high school and cut a piece to cover the bottom: cut a hole for the actual post part to go through and nailed the carpet to the base on the underside...

I pulled out what sisal rope I had left and started the wrapping of the post... I know when most people make their own posts, they kind of nail the sisal in, wrap a few times, another nail, etc... I tried this when re-roping store bought posts and it didn't work well for me... so although it's more time consuming, I hot glue the sisal all around the post - basically this makes it very scratchable but pretty much indestructable, haha

I need to get more sisal in order to finish - hopefully tomorrow... so when it's done, I'll take pics and post them... hopefully Oliver will appreciate this - I've already burnt my fingers up on hot glue! haha


PS: I really need to get a job, lol
post #2 of 23
Isn't it fun making your own cat furniture?
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'd really love to make him some crazy awesome cat tree, but due to graduation/no job yet we're back living with my parents and there's no place to put such a thing in the house... hopefully I won't be here too too long and can make him one when I'm back in my own place (college apartment was stuffed to the gills as it was, so couldnt do it there either, haha)
post #4 of 23
Very nice work!!! My dad had a wood shop and I learned to do things by watching him. Sounds like you have the same situation!?!?!?

But I gotta ask - did you countersink the bolts on the bottom? If not, put duct tape over them or they will scratch the floor.

And another hint: if you want to carpet the base, try remnants at carpet stores. Sometimes you can get a small piece for a couple of bucks.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Very nice work!!! My dad had a wood shop and I learned to do things by watching him. Sounds like you have the same situation!?!?!?

But I gotta ask - did you countersink the bolts on the bottom? If not, put duct tape over them or they will scratch the floor.

And another hint: if you want to carpet the base, try remnants at carpet stores. Sometimes you can get a small piece for a couple of bucks.
My dad's not a woodworker by trade, but we've got a garage full of stuff, haha... I didn't countersink the bolts because when I carpeted the base, the carpet wrapping underneath ends up being thicker than how long the bolt heads stick out, so they don't touch the bottom at all... I got the carpet from the bag of leftover stuff from when I recarpeted my room several years ago - there's more than enough there
post #6 of 23
you should post a pic of your creation!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
you should post a pic of your creation!
I definitely will when it's complete! Right now only about the top half of the post has been sisal wrapped... I need to get more sisal (and probably more hot glue sticks) and finish the rest - although I'm already kinda trying to get Oliver to use it (took him awhile to warm up to the store bought model he's got now, but he uses that one all the time now, so he should warm up to this eventually - I've put it in the place of his store bought one and put a few toys on it, gave him treats on it... dont wanna rub catnip til its done, but the one he's used to is still available to him)... my mom and I hosted a Mary Kay party today so I couldnt get to the store/pull all the stuff out tonite to do more so hopefully I'll get to the store and finish it up tomorrow... I'm the kind of person that usually wants to finish projects I start right away, hehe
post #8 of 23
You should see the cat tree I made. It's terrible! But they always scratch on it, even if the sisal is coming loose. And they sleep on the perches, too. Must mean they don't care about looks!
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
You should see the cat tree I made. It's terrible! But they always scratch on it, even if the sisal is coming loose. And they sleep on the perches, too. Must mean they don't care about looks!
Haha, I sure don't care what he thinks about looks and I'm sure he doesnt have an opinion... but it is part of my decor, lol plus I worry a teensy bit when the store bought ones start to loosen up about him possibly catchin a claw and draggin the thing around the house, haha... when I re-rope the store bought ones they are darn near indestructable... just not really big enough for him - plus the one I'm making is basically free... all of the supplies were sitting around already, just gotta grab some more sisal which isn't expensive and I use it for him as well as things for the hermit crab tank, so I'd be buying it anyway, haha
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
you should post a pic of your creation!
Can't wait to see it! Of course kitty doesn't care what it looks like as long as it's good for scratchin'

You've given me some hope for my scratching post augmentation project...we have a 14" that needs to be at least 24"...my dad has given me an idea of what to do...it involves bolts, wood, sisal and a sturdy piece of cardboard tube...I'm going to call it "frankenpost" when it's done
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JellyBella View Post
Can't wait to see it! Of course kitty doesn't care what it looks like as long as it's good for scratchin'

You've given me some hope for my scratching post augmentation project...we have a 14" that needs to be at least 24"...my dad has given me an idea of what to do...it involves bolts, wood, sisal and a sturdy piece of cardboard tube...I'm going to call it "frankenpost" when it's done
Yeah, hopefully I'll get out to the store later - maybe after dinner tonight... I need to pick up a few buckets of litter since I'm low so I can swing by Lowes or Home Depot....

I'm always dreaming up ideas of things to make or ways to improve things I already have and then think of a million ways to do it, haha... for your idea, I'd think of using those heavy duty cardboard tubes that they use for pouring concrete columns (I know a lot of tree plans I looked at call for those) I believe you can get them at home depot-esq stores.... I like your name of Frankenpost... my black lab has a bunch of stuffed animal toys that I usually end up repairing - her blue crab toy is now known as Frankencrab because of all the stitching I've done!
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sorry y'all, I didn't get to the store until later and when I got back I was just too beat/not in the mood to finish up the post... I'm thinkin I'll do it during the afternoon tomorrow now that I've got more sisal... It will get done and I will post pics though!
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
OK y'all, the post is officially done... however, I JUST finished it (like 12:30ish in the morning local time) and my back hurts from bending over it... I promise I'll get the pics up tomorrow though - right now I've just grabbed the laptop and hopped in bed cuz my back hurts - but it looks awesome!!! Oliver used it a teeny bit so far and I've scattered some of his kibble on the base which he's nibbled at... he better end up using it a lot! Between my back and knees hurting , I burnt so many fingers on hot glue! I'm really happy with it though - I promise: pics tomorrow!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
So here's a pic! There's really only one pic I could take, unless someone wants to see some specific detail...



To get a size idea: the bed to the left is a standard twin bed and boxspring on a standard bed frame, not raised or anything at all (the big stuffed penguin is a life-sized African penguin, haha... about 2 foot tall or so).... I moved the teal area rug under the post for the pic since the base carpet is the same as the floor carpet... and for the moment, one of Oliver's fish wand toys is attached to the post via hair tie just to get him interested in it.... he's used it a little and has eaten kibble off the base so far... hope he continues - I think I'm gonna move his small store bought post out of the room, with the hope he'll use the new post and not the furniture!


Any comments are welcome!

PS: yes, I'm 23 and still sleep with a zoo's worth of stuffed animals + Oliver! haha, need somethin next to ya in bed when you're in a long distance relationship
post #15 of 23
It looks great!! Maybe I can make one that looks that nice....(not)!
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks!
It wasn't hard at all, just kinda time consuming since I decided to glue on the sisal instead of nail it - it was DEFINITELY cheaper than buying something at the store that would be that size and quality
post #17 of 23
A post that size costs $40+!!
post #18 of 23
Wow! Great job! I wish I knew how to do that. I just made a cat tree out of cardboard boxes, lol. I am also a college student.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissHoomom View Post
Wow! Great job! I wish I knew how to do that. I just made a cat tree out of cardboard boxes, lol. I am also a college student.
Cardboard boxes are the cheapest cat toys ever! I had ordered one of those fleece snuggle balls for Oliver from fosters and smith: he completely ignored the ball, yet refused to let the box be thrown out! I always joke that he's goin back to his street kitty days, pretending to be homeless when he goes in it (since I've moved back home after graduation, the box is back to being functional and not a cat toy, haha)

Anyway, it wasn't all that hard to do, just a bit time consuming - it's pretty much all explained in the first post... if anyone's interested in trying this themselves (or getting the hubby to try it, haha) I'd be happy to answer any questions on how I did it!
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok, so Oliver and I are just about to get in bed for the night... before we got in, I figured I'd try coaxing him into using the new post... there's been kibble on the base of it to entice him as well as that fishing pole toy secured to the top... so he was sitting next to the post and I started kind of batting the toy towards him - his whiskers went foward and he got the "Ready to play" look in his eyes... he reached up for the toy a few times and then started scratching the post vigorously! At first he was just scratching at the height of his store bought post (force of habit I guess) and then he stretched all the way up and scratched more!! I'm so excited! Of course the whole time I was telling him what a good boy he is... I've had his store bought post in the closet the last few days - I think it will get transported either downstairs or in the basement (he likes to prowl around in the basement frequently and his second potty box is down there) so he can still use it because he uses it well, I just felt bad he couldn't stretch all the way out... yay, I'm so happy he's figured it out and so quickly!
post #21 of 23
That's an impressive looking scratch post! Good job!! I want to hear more about home made cat furniture!!! I have always wanted to get some for my kitties, but waaay to expensive!!

Hey, you could start your own scrach post company, that would be an easy job! I'm sure mom and dad would be thrilled that you finished college to go on and make cat furniture for a living!
post #22 of 23
That looks fantastic! Great job!
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I'm glad y'all like it!
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