by Robert Hampel
Some cat furniture can be intimidating. The shear size of some cat scratching posts can threaten to take over an entire room. For people with both cats and small spaces there is an answer – make your own high quality and compact cat furniture.
It’s easy and inexpensive to make a very nice scratching post that hangs on any door knob. It takes up no floor space, it’s easy to move from door to door, and best of all, your cat would rather use his own scratching post than your furniture. It’s very important for cats to scratch. They do it to exercise their toes and to remove old claw sheathes. They are going to scratch someplace. Better it is on a scratching post than your carpet or furniture.
All you need is a 1×6 board and some sisal rope. Start with a 2 foot long 1×6. It can be any kind of wood, plywood, or particle board. Cut the ends square, sand, and paint or stain it to match your home’s décor. At the top edge you’ll drill a 3/8″ hole Through at both corners about an inch in from each edge. Drill one more hole centered from side to side about 2″ from the bottom edge of the board.
You’re going to need about 100 feet of ¼ inch, non-oiled, sisal rope. Make sure to get the non-oiled variety. Sisal rope is readily available at most hardware stores or home centers. It’s really inexpensive, too. Start by threading an end through one of the top holes Tie a knot about 15″ from the end. Bring the end back through the other hole. Tie a knot at the very end so it won’t pull out. If you did it right you’ll have a knot on each side of the board. This is the loop that hangs over the door knob.
Now start wrapping the rope very tightly edge to edge around the board heading for the bottom. About every 10 to 12 wraps you are going to have to compress your wraps by tapping a piece of wood with a hammer. Do this on each side of the board. Maintain tension on the rope as you tap. You want to squeeze the wraps together. If you omit this step your cat will compress the wraps with his claws as he uses the scratching post and it will gap at the top. When you get to the bottom feed the rope through the hole and tie it off or tack it with a couple of small nails. It will also help if you tack the last wrap every 2″ or so all around the board. This will act as a stop and help keep the wraps from sagging.
Depending on the type of door knobs that you have the scratching post should hang very nicely. As an alternative, you can just lean the scratching post against a wall. Since the board is wrapped with rope any noise from your cat’s use will be muffled. Spray your new scratching post with catnip extract and you cat will go wild over his new cat furniture.
Bob Hampel has been kept by contented cats for 35 years. He has some standing in the feline community having built cat furniture for it’s members. He currently owns KatsRule.com and invites you to browse for serious cat furniture for serious cat lovers.
Unfortunately, many cats still think human furniture makes for the best scratching post!
More seriously though, I will certainly have to give this a go. Has anyone tried it yet? How durable is it?
It’s pretty durable. the sisal rope is perfect for your cats claws. 🙂
I have found my cats prefer an incline cardboard scratcher that takes up very little room and has stopped them scratching the furniture overnight! Bit messy clearing up the shredded cardboard though!