Here lately my kitties have been royally getting after things with their claws that they shouldn’t be and it has been ticking me off. They have especially been trying to get to the occasional chair I bought in my sleep last year .
Um, wait… in my sleep? Yep. When I get stressed or have other strong emotions getting down I will get my rear out of bed and do things like dig in the mud, hide other people’s car keys, put my muddy dog into my dad’s car and I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t had to clean mud stains out of the bottom of my sheets after waking up with said mud on my feet. But I am way off topic here.
Though I often live in my own world I did finally realize just how ratty they kitty’s scratching post had gotten. And when I realized that 4+ cats have been going to town on this thing for over 2.5 years I realized it was time to invest in $12 of rope and get this sucker prepared for the next 2.5 years!
Today I’m going to show you how I updated my post for a completely new look that matches my current decor scheme much better. Because I used supplies on hand with the exception of a $6 rug and $3 bottle of liquid dye (learn how to use the dye and give that rope some color here). In the end this cost me $21 but if I went with a more generic look I probably would have left that stuff as is and just replaced the rope. But I’m fickle and I change my mind often and I’m stubborn and I want what I want so I went ahead with the extra $9 expense.
For this project you will need:
- One totally awesome DIY cat scratching post <– click for original tutorial
- 100 feet of sisal rope
- Staple gun and/or nails
- Craft knife (like X-acto)
- Rug at least the width of the base + adhesive
- Colored rope
So here is the old sucker. Like I said before, for 4 cats getting after this thing for 2.5 years it isn’t all that bad. I’ve never reattached the rope when it would come away from the wood and that meant the sisal rope frayed a lot faster than it would have otherwise. I also used a whole bunch of shorter pieces of rope so there was plenty of places that could easily be torn away for an all new frayed rope end to start.
When I was removing the rope from the old version of the cat scratching post, present day me was pretty ticked of with in the past me. I mean LOOK at all of those nails. What the heck was I thinking?!! Be sure to remove any nails you might have used to keep the rope on. Hopefully you were more sensible than me because it took forever to remove these things!
If you’re changing the look of the wood for the base get that done now.
After a lot of looking I finally found a rug with a medallion smack dab in the middle of the design. I wanted this to equally surround the post itself. I think this way it helps to draw the eye in a bit more so the pretty rug can be appreciated.
In order to get things just right, measure out the center of the rug. If you need to be sure that it is centered with the patter on the other side (because it can get messed up) point at the dot you made on the back side and flip the rug over with your hand still beneath. Use your other hand to find and connect your fingers. Move the dot accordingly until your fingers match up. Go ahead and mark and trim all four sides of the rug to fit within the bottom of your post.
In the center of the rug you’ll need to cut a space for your post. Now the wood we used was a 4×4 but that’s not what you really get. A 4×4 post is actually a finished 3.5 x 3.5 post. Mark the 3.5×3.5 inch square in the center and trim the carpet and get after it with your craft knife.
If you’ve already read the other post you may have noticed a difference. Instead of cutting a slit there is just the hole in the center. It turned out that slit was something the cats loved to mess with so it never laid flat after day one and that irked me. Instead with the hole just in the center I was able to pull it down over the post for a perfect fit!
Glue your carpet down with a strong glue. I used Liquid Fusion because it’s some strong business. Go around the edges of the carpet with a clear glue to seal the carpet fibers in and prevent the rug from unraveling at the cuts.
Since the nails had really hacked me off I decided screw a bunch of them and went with my staple gun. Getting them into the wood and the rope and holding it down will a bit tricky at first but once you get the hang of it you’re set. When you get a staple into both the wood and the rope it won’t be a tight fit. Use a hammer to smash that sucker down and really secure things.
Work all the way up to the top of the tree and you’re done! You can change colors as often as you’d like. I wanted 2 colors but I didn’t want it to be all up in your face so I went navy, natural, navy. Boom. I’m loving it.
Marla is loving it too. I set up the thing waiting to see which cat would head on over first and Miss Thing came swooping right on in.
And jumped on top and started scratching upside down. ‘Cause we’re all normal here. Even the petses.
Now there are other tutorials that say it’s cool to use rope out of man-made fiber and I’ve been told that it isn’t by my vet. There are lots of pretty colors that you can use of the artificial stuff but I don’t think it is a good idea. Be sure to check out my post that will show you how to dye sisal rope to be used instead. It’s super easy and only adds the cost of the dye to the project. And it’s safe for kitty’s precious feet!
And remember to build the base you can check out the post from years ago here – Cat Scratching Post DIY. Total investment will run you about $35 dollars including dye if you fancy up your rope.