Today we’re sharing a post about a post. A scratching post, specifically. We love our fur baby Mochi but we also love our couch, which she has gradually tried to destroy over the years.
We didn’t realize how bad this one corner of the couch had gotten until the light caught it just right one day and it literally stopped me in my tracks. Pretty sure a single little tear fell from my eye. It was a sad sight.
So we decided to take action before it got any worse. Part 1 of that action was to
casually toss carefully place a throw over the arm of the couch. It may look like it was just thrown there, but you best not move it. Part 2 of the action was to give our girl something else to pull her claws on, stat!
There are a lot of DIY cat scratching posts out there, and most of them require an actual post (i.e. something vertically standing up from the ground or hung vertically from a wall, door, etc).
I wasn’t crazy about the idea of something standing vertically on it’s own. Our Mochi is not the most graceful kitty, and chances are she’d find some way to knock it over, freak herself out, and never go near it again. The door hanging ones might wobble and they’d bounce around every time we had to use that door, so those didn’t appeal either. And wall mounted ones had to actually be attached, and we wanted a solution that we could put away if we needed the house to look nice without leaving vacant nails in the wall.
So we came up with a horizontal scratching post instead.
Spoiler alert – Mochi actually uses this thing!!! If you’re a cat owner, you know that a cat actually using something you buy/make for its intended purpose is a big win.
So, onto how we did it. This is definitely a quick afternoon project, and comparatively quite cheap to anything modern looking you could buy online. Plus, it’s built in a way that will allow you to easily replace the scratching material if it gets too worn out. Here’s what you’ll need
- 1×10 wood (we cut ours to 23″ long, but anything around that size would work)
- 1×3 wood (two pieces, cut about 11″ long each. Again, sizing is flexible, just make sure it’s longer than your main board’s width so it overhangs)
- 4 screws
Below is a quick overview illustration of what was involved/what we did. We’ll break the steps down further using more graphics as we go.
The sizing of the wood can totally be adjusted depending on what you have. For us, this project was essentially free because everything we used was scrap wood we had in the garage, so definitely do utilize material you have on hand if you can and don’t feel like you have to match our measurements exactly.
We started by cutting our main piece from a 1×10 to about 23″ long (long enough that Mochi would have room to sit on it while pulling her claws). I think as long as you have a piece that’s big enough for your kitty, it should work just fine.
Next we cut two 11″ long 1×3 pieces that we screwed in at either end of our plank. We used two screws per side, like you see in the illustration above. The 1×3 pieces overhang length-wise about 1/2″ on each side.
The purpose of these two end pieces was to give the twine something to hold tight against (we worried that without some kind of footing at either end, the twine might slip off the edge).
Next we drilled two holes through the main body, picking one corner on each end (see graphic below). We chose a side of the board to be the back, threaded the twine through our drilled hole, and tied a knot on the back side to secure it.
Here is a photo of the back side. After threading our knotted twine through the hole, we wrapped it tightly in circles around the board. We didn’t use glue because we thought Mochi might not like the smell. Plus we wanted the twine to be removable in the future if she roughed it up too much and we needed to replace it.
Annnnnd then we ran out of twine. Which is what we get for using a roll of it we already owned with an unknown amount left on the roll. At the end of the twine, we did a couple quick staples with our staple gun to secure it to the back side of the wood. Again, the staples will be easily removable (with pliers) if we need to replace the twine in the future.
Luckily, we had a second roll of twine so we repeated the same process on the other end of the board. It also was not enough to complete the board, so we stopped wrapping when it was about the same amount of coverage as the first piece of twine.
I actually consider it a happy accident because we kinda like how the wood looks in the middle. Plus, Mochi is likely to only pull her claws at either end anyway because of how she sits on it. Though when we replace the twine eventually, we might try doing the full board.
To replace it down the line, we would just need to remove the staples with pliers, knot and thread in new twine, and either re-staple the end to secure it or pull it through the other hole and tie it off. But we’ve actually had this scratching post almost a year so far and we haven’t had to replace the twine yet.
Our girl loves it! Of course… she still loves the couch too… but at least she has options haha.
Side note, if your kitty doesn’t seem impressed at first, spray some cat nip on it to get kitty interested. Once they figure out it’s something for them, they’ll keep going back to it!
Side note two, the two types of twine we used were different: one was a looser/rougher looking twine, and the other was more tightly pulled and cleaner looking. Mochi seems to prefer the rougher/looser twine to pull her claws on, so eventually we’ll use that type again as a replacement.
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