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Homemade Cat Scratchers

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by kuntrykitty, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. kuntrykitty

    kuntrykitty Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    May 31, 2007
    Here =D
    Zoey needs a cat scratcher. Only recently has she developed the need to scratch, and I know I shouldn't have put this off for so long. For about 2 weeks it's been getting progressively more obvious.

    So we just got a new house moved in onto the ranch to have a cowboy move in. There was some leftover carpet and I was allowed to steal it. [​IMG]

    Zoey has been scratching on two things. One- our office chairs. And two- my rug! It's a beautiful rug with horses on it and it's about 6 by 3 feet and in the middle of my room. She gets her paws under it and scratches at the rubber matting underneath, punching holes in it, also ripping loose threads on the outer rim of the rug. And it really upsets me, soooo...

    Right now, I just have the carpet propped up against my wall. It is rolled up, but the front is flat and I have been trying to teach Zoey to use it. I know this may take a while, and it is my fault, but she is still young. Anyway, I need suggestions.

    Should I just leave it flat? Like I can attatch it to a wide flat piece of plywood so she can scratch on a flat surface.

    Or upright? I have two options here. I can attatch it to a PVC Pipe or to a piece of wood, probably 4 by 4. One is flat and one is round.

    How tall should it be?

    The ones at PetCo are like $30 and I can make one easy with free materials.

    Thanks for any suggestions you guys may have!

  2. mschauer

    mschauer TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 17, 2007
    Houston, Tx
    I've always thought scratchers should be upright but that just may be because that is the only kind I have ever used. The flat on the floor kind are certainly sold so someone must use them. Mine like to play with (i.e. tear up) rugs but the fun seems to be in bunching them up while biting and rabbit kicking them. If attached to a piece of plywood they wouldn't be able to do that.

    It has always annoyed me that most scratching posts are so short (like the $30 ones at Petco [​IMG] ). My cats like to stretch while they scratch. I bought a couple that are 32" tall and made one that is 36" tall. I think those are they minumum height needed for an average sized cat.

    As for round or square posts, I don't think it matters. I have both and my crew seems to enjoy them all.

    Have fun!

  3. missymotus

    missymotus TCS Member Top Cat

    May 8, 2005
    I plan on making one like this out of free materials.

    I will make it taller so they can really stretch out and then have the base larger to help stabalise the added height.

    We have several cat trees, I'm just making the additional post for fun [​IMG]

  4. strange_wings

    strange_wings TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 20, 2006
    I've made a homemade scratching post too, mostly from leftover wood. The only thing I had to buy was some sisal rope. In the future I don't think I'll use rope again, it's too much trouble to wrap a large post in -the rope slipped out of my fingers and unwrapped itself a couple times.[​IMG]

    If you're going to use carpet I really suggest you turn it over so the rough side is out, you don't want your cat to think soft carpet is for scratching then have another habit to curb.

    I always recommend the flat cardboard scratchers that lay on the floor. The large ones cost around $7 and most cats seem to really be drawn to them. You can get a little extra use out of the cardboard by flipping it over too. However my boys demolish their's rather quickly.

  5. coaster

    coaster TCS Member Top Cat

    May 28, 2005
    It sounds like Zoe prefers scratching a horizontal surface. Some cats like vertical, some horizontal, some go both ways. But even if she's been scratching your rug, she won't necessarily scratch some carpet attached to a piece of plywood. Because it's the type of material itself that's just as important as its orientation.

    I think the idea to get several of the cardboard box scratchers is a good idea because if they don't work out you haven't spent too much money. And I'm a fan of a scratcher (or two) in every room. A cat isn't going to be bothered to walk to the next room when an urge to scratch comes on.

    If you want to make a post-type scratcher, the height should be enough for a cat to stretch out. Three feet should do it. Make sure the base is wide enough and heavy enough so it won't tip when the cat leans against it, or perches on top of it. [​IMG]

  6. tnkittymom

    tnkittymom TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jun 18, 2007
    Can you maybe do one of each, so she can choose which she prefers? Or attach the round to the flat, like so many cat trees and posts?

  7. angelkitty

    angelkitty TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 11, 2006
    My girls love the side scratchers, where they kind of go up a hill.. Those are their favorites.. They rip the heck out of the cardboard box thing.. It's there all time favorite!

  8. buzbyjlc10

    buzbyjlc10 TCS Member Top Cat

  9. jellybella

    jellybella TCS Member Top Cat

    Feb 10, 2007
    This is probably it, they have their preferences, and some cats like both. We have vertical posts, cardboard boxes, boxes with a slant, and a sisal mat with a rubber backing (so it stays in place).

    I balked when I saw the $10 price tag on the sisal rug at Petco, but it has been worth it as Stan prefers it to my oriental rugs...he's a "switch hitter" who loves the upright post as much as the horizonal mat. Bella is mostly a cardboard box girl, but she'll try the post now and then too.

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